Notes & Reviews:
The VPO play with spirit and finesse and are obviously enjoying themselves. Of course the 'Surprise' comes off with a splendid bang and the tick-tack of the clock is deliciously droll, the violins wonderfully elegant. But sample, too, the swing of the fast Minuet of No. 94, the slow spacious introduction of No. 101, or the fizzing zest of both finales, which still have just the right degree of weight. There are surely no more enjoyable performances on disc (and I am not forgetting Beecham, Dorati or Sir Cohn Davis). Yet what makes this reissue even more treasurable is the inclusion of Monteux's thrilling LSO account of the Brahms Haydn Variations.
Penguin Guide (Brahms)
The orchestral playing is excellent at the vigorous style gives the music a splendid forward impulse: the listener is gripped from first bar to last.
Penguin Guide (Haydn)
There are no more wittily enjoyable performances of these two symphonies in the catalogue. The recordings were considered demonstration-worthy in the early stereo era.