- Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36
- Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions)
Audiophiles may desire this hybrid SACD of Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 4" and the "Romeo and Juliet Overture" for its splendid sound quality, but music lovers may curb their enthusiasm, because there is little here to rave about. From the opening fanfares, it is immediately apparent that Channel Classics has employed DSD mastering and 5.0 surround sound to best advantage, and the listener may settle in for a real sonic feast. However, the thrill of hearing the vivid timbres and extraordinary orchestral depth soon changes to a combination of dutiful listening and distracted boredom. The Budapest Festival Orchestra, directed by Ivan Fischer, delivers fairly standard performances of these familiar warhorses: not especially magnificent or terrible, but merely routine and competent renditions that neither enthrall nor offend. Their restraint and predictability are perhaps due to the needs of the project -- the emphasis on vivid sound quality seems to overshadow the music-making, and inhibits the musicians from truly expressive playing. Yes, they can bring the roof down in spectacular climaxes -- the "Symphony"'s Finale makes that abundantly clear -- but the quieter music, say, in the Andantino and the Scherzo, is uncompelling and lacks inspiration. "Romeo and Juliet" is decent filler, but like the "Symphony," it only makes a splash in the loudest passages.
|Label:||Channel Classics Nl|