The recordings of Enesco's Roumanian Rhapsodies date from 1953, while the Nocturnes and the Firebird Suite are of 1950 vintage. The main offerings on this disc are interpreted through a middle European/Eastern, Scheherazade-like lens. I suppose this makes perfect sense for the Enesco and Stravinsky pieces but the maestro's "un-French" manner with the Nocturnes results in a sinuous, seductive, atmospheric performance that frankly is a revelation. The Roumanian Rhapsodies are highly idiomatic and exciting and can compete with my own favorites, Silvestri's performances with the Czech Philharmonic on an apparently unavailable and rare, if the price is any indication, Supraphon CD.
Stokowski delivers technicolor readings in resplendent and weighty mono sound. If I have a quibble the sound of the Firebird suite seems a bit shy when compared to the other pieces and the bass is a bit boomy. Nevertheless, Stokowski had a very special relationship with the suite and this particular recording, which according to the program notes was his sixth (out of eight), is carefully textured and nuanced.
There is also a bonus track: a performance of the Ride of the Valkyries dating from 1941 recorded in a binaural- a left/right synchronized - manner. The left/right separation of this recording isn't particularly wide and it would be of curiosity value only but fortunately the performance is compelling and deserves to be heard.