Tschaikowsky: Sämtliche Symphonien
Since 2010, Dmitri Kitayenko and the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne have been releasing hybrid SACDs of the symphonies of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky on Oehms Classics, and they've shown a natural sympathy for the music, though there's little new to discover in these performances. Treating the symphonies as the epitome of late Romantic music, Kitayenko uses a fair amount of rubato to heighten the drama, and the orchestra plays with big emotions and ample excitement, despite the fact that these are among the most familiar and over-played pieces in the repertoire. Anyone looking for a solid set of the complete symphonies will find these performances quite acceptable, and Oehms' reputation for state-of-the-art reproduction makes this set highly desirable. It includes the six numbered symphonies, the somewhat overlooked "Manfred Symphony in B minor," the reconstructed "Symphony No. 7 in E flat major," and the unfinished "Piano Concerto No. 3 in E flat major," along with a handful of orchestral favorites provided as filler. This package is a fine choice for collectors who want to have the essential Tchaikovsky in one convenient package.