Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky, Bychkov, Bpo|
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
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One of the very best--why is it ignored?
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 11/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Leningrad-born conductor Semyon Bychkov was only 26 when he made this complete Nutcracker with the Berlin Phil. He had debuted with the orchestra the year before but had already taken them on a Geman concert tour, the first time a guest condcutor was invited to (one suspects that Karajan's abrupt departure from the podium led to a sudden vacuum). In any event, Bychkov was the real thing, an accomplished musician with lots of good ideas.
This Nutcracker yields to none in terms of orchestral virtuosity, but it is also light and springy, carefully detailed but never fussy. A delight in every way, I would say. No doubt you've never heard of it, even though it rivals Previn, Temirkanov, Jansons, and Dorati. In my opinion it excels them all, but then, I can't account for what happened to Bychkov's career.
Now 51, he did a stint with the Buffalo Phil. in the late Eighties--never a great career move--and is now relegated to a provicial German radio orchestra in Cologne. He's on the comeback trail with a recent well-reviewed Ein Heldeleben and a current Daphne on Decca starring Renee Fleming.
There are lots of early Bychkov recordings on Philips besides this Nutcracker--I own a splendid Rachmaninoff Second Sym. and Shostakovich Eighth, along with an acclaimed Eugene Onegin. But a lot of other CDs, especially those done with the Orchestre de Paris, are out of print. We'll have to wait and see if this outstanding musician gets reborn. He deserves a major orchestra again. Meanwhile, here is a lyrical, dream-like Nutcracker which takes us into the realm of fantasy beyond any other reading I've ever encountered. Highly recommended."
Turning A Warhorse Into Pegasus
Lawrence Otoole | New York | 12/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I so strongly agree with Santa Fe Listener. This Nutcracker, which I have owned ever since it was released, leaves all other versions earthbound. Nobody else captures the emotion within the fantasy so delicately and yet so forcefully. As a former ballet critic who saw more Nutcrackers than he cares to remember, this is the one that leaves visions dancing in this kid's head. Bychkov, whose Eugen Onegin also remains nonpareil, gets a spectacular and detailed sound from the BPO. Yes, Bychkov's Rachmaninoff symphony is also ravishing. Now exceedingly hard to find, this Nutcracker is a treasure. Pounce when next you see it."