When collections of this sort were popular in the 1950's, by people like Ormandy and Fiedler, they featured virgorous, tense performances that really brought the showpiece quality to the fore. Eiji Oue, while technically a very fine conductor, has a slightly different take on these pieces. In Espana, for example, colors are manifold, but there is a lack of snap to the orchestra playing. Finlandia is not hyperdramatic, but it is well delineated. Escales is perhaps the best performance on the disc, in part because French music seems especially suited to Oue's virtues. The Alfven is a full scale, lush performance, while Capriccio Italien, however short on excitement, offers sumptuous string sound and an idiomatic treatment of the themes. I did not listen to this CD on a CD player with an HDCD chip, as recommended. Nevertheless, the sound was full and warm, with excellent detail and just a hint of wispiness to the violins. If you want these pieces in up to date sound, don't hesitate. But there are more thrilling recordings of Finlandia and the Alfven by Ormandy and of the Capriccio Italien by Bernstein and the N.Y. Philharmonic, all on Sony.