- Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky - Jerzy Semkow - Tadeusz Kazubek - Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5by Jerzy Semkow
While it is fair to question the need for yet another recording of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64," this point shouldn't adversely affect the reception of this performance by the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, conducted by Jerzy Semkow. The symphony's status as a warhorse has been repeatedly confirmed for many decades, and the steady release of recordings every year shows the work's enduring popularity, and perhaps a lack of imagination on the part of labels. But as far as this performance goes, the thoughtful interpretation, organic emotional development, and polished playing make this 2010 disc quite a bit easier to take. Semkow is a traditionalist who applies plenty of rubato and tempo modifications to bring across the unstable passions in the music, though this never becomes exaggerated or grotesque, and the expression stays within accepted bounds. The orchestra is sympathetic and fully responsive to the score, and with ample Slavic feeling, it plays the proverbial heart out of it. Anyone who comes to the work for the first time probably can't do much better, for this is certainly a worthy recording, and even a jaded listener who has heard countless other renditions must concede that this is a successful performance. However, the CD is skimpy for its 48:49 timing, so if some filler pieces had been provided to round out the disc and give it greater value, the package would have been a much sweeter deal.
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Performance CreditsJerzy Semkow Primary Artist
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I thoroughly enjoyed this CD of Tchaikovsky #5, his best work in my opinion. This symphony not only has the traditionally wonderful melodies of the master, but also has super orchestral color and dynamic variation. I also don't find the slower parts "soupy" or "sentimental" as I do with some of his other work, but instead think they are beautiful. This Polish symphony of young (under 30) musicians is as polished and elegant as any other group, but is also full of energy. The CD package itself is quite nice as well; the cover is very attractive and the notes booklet is very informative and interesting. I highly recommend adding this recording to anyone's music library.