I have had a long interest in conductor Thomas Schippers so when this disc was issued it was a must buy for me. The performance of Sergei Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony comes from May 1957; the symphony is played with relaxed tempii and given a broad reading that compared to the recent recordings of Valery Gergiev will seem a bit slow by comparison, particularly in the first movement. The scherzo is nicely conceived and played with attention to detail and the Andante is played with great feeling. The Finale is lovingly performed and concludes with an exciting flourish by the orchestra.
The disc also includes a rousing performance of Rossini's L'assedio di Corinto (The Siege of Corinth) Overture, which is from a complete recording of the opera made a few years after Mr. Schippers conducted it at La Scalla in the 1967/68 season. This was a memorable performance as the opera had not been staged in over 100 years and included Beverly Sills and Justino Diaz, who would repeat their roles in Ms. Sills Metropolitan Opera debut in 1975 in the same opera. This recording of the overture comes from July/August 1974.
This CD also has three selection recorded in Naples with the Orchestra Alessandro Scarlatti and includes a Sinfonia by Antonio Vivaldi, the Concerto No. 5 for Strings by Franceso Durante and an overture by Antonio Saleri. The sound is noticeably mono for these recordings but the performances are magnificent and lovingly played. This is a great introduction disc to the career of Thomas Schippers and the notes Tully Potter provide a good background. If you already know Mr. Schippers this disc is a nice addition to your collection.