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Ultimate Tchaikovsky
     

Ultimate Tchaikovsky

 
It would be too easy to poke holes in this collection called Ultimate Tchaikovsky. Described as "Classic performances of his essential masterpieces," one could dispute both the performances and, to a lesser extent, the repertoire. Fine as it is, could one really call Rafael Orozco's performance of the "Piano Concerto No. 1" a

Overview

It would be too easy to poke holes in this collection called Ultimate Tchaikovsky. Described as "Classic performances of his essential masterpieces," one could dispute both the performances and, to a lesser extent, the repertoire. Fine as it is, could one really call Rafael Orozco's performance of the "Piano Concerto No. 1" a classic -- or, loud as they are, could anyone say the tone poems "Voyevoda" or "The Storm" are essential? Indeed, of all the performances here, perhaps only Henryk Szeryng's "Violin Concerto" deserves to be described as a classic, while most of the rest are more in the acceptable to enjoyable range. Ashkenazy and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic's 1997 recording of the "1812 Overture," "Serenade for Strings," and "Romeo and Juliet Overture" is well-played and enthusiastically conducted; Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw's 1975 recording of the "Fifth Symphony" is superbly played and competently conducted; Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Orchestra's 1989 recording of the "Sixth Symphony" and the three big ballet suites are brilliantly played and colorfully conducted. Listeners looking for a quick fix for the gaping hole in their Russian Romantic Orchestral Music shelf might consider this five-disc set. Listeners with more time to spend might search out other performances that could more accurately be described as classics: Richter and Karajan's "Piano Concerto No. 1," Dorati and the Minneapolis' "1812 Overture," Mravinsky and the Leningrad's "Fifth" and "Sixth" symphonies, and so on. Recorded in stereo and digital by Decca and Philips, the sound here is distinctly different from performance to performance -- the Dutoit/Montreal recordings are more vibrant, for example, while the Haitink/Concertgebouw performances are more blended -- but they are all consistently excellent.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/12/2007
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0028947583530
catalogNumber:
000895202

Tracks

  1. Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
  2. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
  3. 1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49
  4. Serenade for strings (or piano, 4 hands) in C major, Op. 48
  5. The Voyevoda -- Symphonic Ballad, for orchestra, Op. post. 78
  6. Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions)
  7. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Act 2. No. 10. Scène
  8. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Act 1. No. 2. Valse
  9. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Act 2. No. 13. Dance of the Little Swans
  10. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Act 2. No. 13. Pas d'action - Tempo di valse
  11. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Act 3. No. 20. Czárdás (Hungarian Dance)
  12. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Act 4. No. 29. Scène finale
  13. Nutcracker, suite from the ballet, Op. 71a
  14. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Introduction (Prologue)
  15. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Act 3. No. 23. Pas de quatre
  16. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Act 3. No. 26. Pas de caractère
  17. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Act 3. No. 25. Pas de quatre
  18. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Act 3. No. 28. Pas de deux
  19. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Act 3. No. 30. Finale
  20. The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66: Act 3. No. 30. Apotheosis
  21. Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
  22. The Storm, overture for orchestra, Op. 76
  23. Symphony No. 6 in B minor ("Pathétique"), Op.74
  24. Francesca da Rimini, symphonic fantasy for orchestra in E minor, Op. 32

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