Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Rodzinski, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak|
Symphonies 5 & 6 / Symphony 9 in E Minor
Listen to Samples
Rodzinski's Disfigured Tchaikovsky Fifth
T. Beers | Arlington, Virginia United States | 10/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"More about the "disfigurement" below. But first, let me say that I've loved these Rodzinski recordings of Tchaikovsky 5 & 6 and the Dvorak "New World" ever since I discovered them on wretched-sounding Westminster Lps during my undergraduate days 30(!) years ago. (The Lps were cursed with an unbelievable number of scratches ..... something that was pretty much par for the course after Westminster was taken over by ABC Records in the 1960s. Don't talk to me about the "good old days" of vinyl discs!) I always hoped these performances would be transferred to CD, but hardly expected they would come up sounding this good. Westminster's master tapes are clearly in great shape and Deutsche Grammophon has brilliantly remastered them with state-of-the-art 24Bit/96kHz technology so that the mono sound has both dimension and richness. The performances are superbly taut and dramatic, but never sound rushed; clearly, they are the performances of a man who passionately believed in the music he was conducting. The only drawback that you should be aware of is that Rodzinski imposes a whopping cut in the finale of the Fifth Symphony: scads of music are simply lopped out of the movement's development section in the misguided belief that they are merely repetitive. To be fair to Rodzinski, this was common practice with many conductors performing the Tchaikovsky Fifth up until the 1950s (when these recordings were made). Still, it seriously disfigures one of the most white-hot, out-and-out memorable performances of Tchaikovsky that you will ever hear. Frustrating! I hasten to add that no cuts disfigure either the "Pathetique" or "New World" performances, and these remain among the best recordings these often-played pieces have ever received. So, in spite of Rodzinski's flawed performance of the Fifth, you really do need to own these fabulous CDs!"
Brian H. Williams | Manteca, CA United States | 01/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is sad that this cd is out of print. Those of you who think you know your Tchaikovsky symphonies need merely to listen to these performances and realize that today's conductors are no where near as great as those in the golden age. The sound is mono, but the remastering is excellent. Don't let the mono sound stop you from enjoying these great recordings. Rodzinski's conducting has a sense of fervor and strength that is sorely missing in todays world. I love Stokowski's versions of all three of these works, but Rodzinski's is just as great. Having said this, it should be noted that Rodzinski cuts a HUGE section out of the 4th movement of the the 5th symphony. The liner notes make no mention of this, nor speculate as to why he did this. I can understand in the days of the 78 RPM record, that cuts were needed and no exposition repeats taken, due to the lack of space. But in this case, the LP era, why make the cut? Surprisingly, it didn't bother me in the least. The performance is so captivating and exciting, it makes one wonder why conductors just don't conduct like this anymore. This cut is similar to the Reiner recording of the 1812 Overture. He cuts out that huge chunk in his recording and goes straight to the finale. The 6th symphony is another riveting performance. The trombones are playing their hearts out towards the end of the first movement. The timpani is also impressive. Compare this to Reiner's version and his horns and percussion sound weak in comparison! The Dvorak 9th is another great recording. Much more exciting and emotional than most of the recordings available. If you can get this disc used, buy it. You won't regret it!"
Raves For Rodzinski
Polkadotty | Mountains of Western North Carolina | 09/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Artur Rodzinski is one of the conductors that I most admire. His approach to music has been decribed variously as lean and mean, less is more, powerfully precise, refined, austere, and contained. All of this NOT meaning ~ in the least ~ pedestrian and pedantic.
What Rodzinski is skilled at is unwinding music in ways which begs the attention of even the most expert, jaded ear. He's particularly excellent with Tchaikovsky, a composer whom far too many approach from the roccocco fluff angle, sugaring the music into little more than a sticky wad of ear candy. Or even worse, playing his music tepidly and tentatively ala the Old War Horse school.
Tchaikovsky's music, so filled with creative melody, benefits from an intelligent paring down and a respectful pointing up. Which is not to excuse what Rodzinski did with the Fifth, as mentioned by Mr. Beers a common enough practice at the time, but to inform you that what you'll hear will be Tchaikovsky not like you're used to. It's straight up and unabashedly forward, and most refreshing and invigorating because of.
Now for the Dvorak Ninth. In a word ~ outstanding. What a full-blooded performance! The inner details which so often get muddied are poked up and brought forward and they simply shine. The tempi is faultless, the interpretation unique ... yet so idiomatic I'm certain Antonin would have deemed the RPO and Rodzinski one of his very own desert island discs.
It is that good.