The Ormandy Sound
Ormandy recorded for Columbia Records from 1944 to 1968, and it's from this period-the peak of his career-that Sony Music collects recordings for its new 10-CD Original Jacket Collection release focusing on Ormandy and his Philadelphia Orchestra. The works show Ormandy's broad range, from Baroque (the two-CD "Bach Album") to Romantic (Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Grieg) to his then contemporaries (Rachmaninoff, Bartok, Barber, Shostakovich). The jewel in the set is "The Romantic Philadelphia Strings," the original LP from 1966 containing 12 gorgeous string-laden works.
Each CD comes in a miniature of its old LP jacket, though not always quite the "original," thus making the series a bit of a misnomer (whenever changes have been made to the original LP's contents, the front of the jacket was altered to include mention of the addition work(s)). This is basically unobtrusive but also unnecessary, since the box set comes with a booklet detailing each CD's contents. Still, these 1950s-'60s recordings are given great digital polish and are a nostalgia buff's dream, with all those old LP references to Columbia's "Stereo 360 Sound," and quaint reminders that these recordings are "playable on today's new mono record players!"