Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky, Abbado, Cso|
Symphony 5 / Voyevode
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Simply the best
Scott Taylor | 06/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is simply not a better recording of the 5th Symphony. Abbado drives the orchestra to brilliance in the 4th movement. The former-conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic is a great match for the Chicago Symphony on this disc. Such passion in music-making is a treat. Highly Recommended!"
Powerful Performances, an Unusual Pairing
Scott Taylor | 08/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I fully concur with the reviewer from Tallahassee and would add only a few observations to his comments. First, this is Solti's Chicago, playing with the kind of visceral excitement the Hungarian master so often generated and with all the technical polish the orchestra had in his day, especially the brass, incredible in the final harrowing measures of "Voyevode." Abbado-who, at his best, is one of my favorite conductors-is in top form here, bringing a special poetry to the reading, from the stirringly tender slow movement of the symphony to the manic climaxes of the last movement.A plus is the pairing. While "Voyevode" is not a Tchaikovsky favorite, its program, which details a general's failed attempt to revenge himself on his unfaithful young wife (the general himself ends up dead as a result), offers an ironic twist on the doomed-love theme that Tchaikovsky exploited in his most famous tone poems. But there is no irony in Tchaikovsky's treatment. A galloping theme with relentless rhythms dogs the whole piece except for the love music, which itself is haunted and unquiet. The work ends with an overwhelmingly tragic coda. You'll note as well that it has hallmarks of the orchestral style of Tchaikovsky's very last compositions: the Nutcracker (note the prominent part for the celesta) and the Pathetique Symphony (the massive brass utterances). As such, "The Voyevode" is a tantalizing glimpse of where Tchaikovsky's orchestral muse might have led him had he lived.Sony's sound is full and wide ranging. Though close, the recording has sufficient air to make that remarkable brass section resonate."
Too fast until it counts
gcolombo2 | Illinois | 07/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I found Abbado's interpretation of Tchaikovsky's E minor symphony in my local college's music library, along with the rest of the Tchaikovsky cycle he recorded in the 1980's. The First, Second, and Third symphonies are particularly nice; the Fourth and Sixth are alright, but I can't say I recommend the Fifth.Abbado's interpretation of the first and second movements seems to be driven by how quickly he can get through them. This is especially evident in the third theme of the first movement, where the upper strings sink into D Major for a theme that eventually explodes into a fanfare. I don't feel Abbado slows down nearly enough at this point; beyond that, the entire first movement and a good portion of the second movement feel rushed to me. There is one redeeming moment in the first movement, however, and that is the first trumpet's leap up an octave on the second appearance of the fanfare. (In the score, this is written an octave down, but the virtuosity of players has improved since then; my other two recordings of this piece both play it down the octave, but up an octave brings a wonderful effect.)The finale features a "slow" middle section at a march tempo of about 120 to the half note, with fast sections on either side of it. I suspect this is the prevailing interpretation (my Karajan recording does this, and when I had the joy of playing the finale a few years ago, my conductor chose to as well), but I prefer a finale that is faster in the middle and slower on the ends.The interpretation of the symphony would be more bearable if the recording quality were better, but it often sounds unbalanced - blatty in some spots and muted in others.The Voyevode is an interesting piece for absolute die-hard fans of Tchaikovsky, but if you are interested in an introduction to the composer, stick to "1812" and "Romeo and Juliet."Those looking for their first recording of Tchaikovsky 5 need look no further than Andre Previn's recording on Telarc (Telarc CD#80107). Not only does it have my preferred interpretation of the finale (you'll have to hear it to understand the effect :), the recording quality is stunning, as it is with most of Telarc's CDs.If you purchase this album and like the conducting, Abbado's First, Second, and Third Tchaikovsky symphonies are a good way to fill out your collection, as well as his recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 for Deutsche Grammaphon.Overall, the recording is adequate, but in the pantheon of interpretations I've heard (some live, some not), this one is towards the middle or the back."