Heralded for his vivacious and energetic interpretations of the Haydn symphonies, conductor Thomas Fey and the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra present here a collection of overtures from composers ranging from Salieri to Brahms. For the most part, each of the overtures lives up to Fey's interpretive reputation for clear and precise strings, vigorous tempi, and unabashed energy. The horn playing throughout the album is quite energizing, but in the Brahms they are particularly brazen, making listeners wish that some Mahler might come next on the program. There are a few setbacks on the program, though. There are moments where the strings, perhaps overcome with excitement, fail to deliver precise intonation. The timpani at times goes straight past the realm of brashness into obnoxious, often covering the light, crisp sound Fey seems to strive for with the rest of the orchestra. Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture seems to be the only work on the program that lacks Fey's trademark energy; the Allegro is quite stagnant. Nonetheless, as overture anthologies go, this one is still quite strong, and fans of Fey and the HSO will no doubt find it a welcome addition to their collections.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
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