- Souvenir de Florence, for string sextet or string orchestra in D major, Op. 70
- String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
The 15-member I Musici de Montréal, under the leadership of Russian-born cellist and conductor Yuli Turovsky, has distinguished itself as a powerhouse both in live performances and in its impressively robust discography. In it, they have surveyed the vast majority of string chamber works and concerto grossi. This 2009 release on the Analekta lable branches outside of the "traditional" repertoire into a realm that is controversial to purists: transcriptions of smaller scale works. The program opens with Turovsky's own transcription of the Tchaikovsky sextet "Souvenir de Florence." Turovsky does an admiral job preserving the score, and I Musici de Montréal performs with admirable vigor, generally solid intonation, and sweeping dynamics. The fact remains, however, that this work was not originally scored for chamber orchestra, and some of the original intimacy, precision, and flexibility that exists when performed by a sextet without conductor. The second half of the program features Turovsky again trying his hand at transcribing Tchaikovsky's "Op. 11 String Quartet in D major." This rarely performed quartet seems to fair much better when performed by the larger ensemble and the I Musici de Montréal seems to realize it. Their tone is much warmer and more cohesive here, and the sense of closeness and dialogue is greatly improved. Analekta's sound is warm but a bit fuzzy at times.