Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky, Uso, Maurice Abravanel|
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (complete) / Abravanel, Utah SO
Listen to Samples
A Near Perfect Recording!
Gary | 08/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Never has a ballet recording been so phenomenal and at the same time doesn't quite meet my criteria for selecting the definitive ballet recording--that is, the quality of the recording itself aside, GENERALLY, the music also has to be performed by the orchestra that premiered it and that the orchestra has had a long tradition of playing it. Such is the case with Abravanel's 60s recording of Swan Lake. Certainly, one wouldn't normally think of a certain Utah Symphony Orchestra to give an astounding performance of Tchaikovsky's immortal ballet. But, this is an exception. When I bought the excerpt-version of this recording on cassette a decade ago, I thought it was plainly the best I had ever heard. Despite the passage of time and after four COMPLETE Swan Lakes added to my collection later, it has remained AMONG the best, in my opinion. Hence, the reissue of Abravanel's rendition of this work in its entirety is enthusiastically received. What's most striking about Abravanel's conducting are his tempo--he paces the orchestra just right--and his feel for the dance--the Spanish Dance and Mazurka in Act III are given a most exhilarating performance! His reading of the score is nearly impeccable and of the countless recordings of this masterpiece on the market, his rendition comes closest to resembling the "Mariinsky" style. The key here is Abravanel does not forget that this music is to be danced. Thus unlike, say, Ermler or Dutoit, his phrasing never lags or hurries. However, he in no way ignores the "symphonicism" of the score. The finale in Act IV, for example, is every bit symphonic in its passion. In my eyes, this recording ranks only second to Fedotov's DEFINITIVE Mariinsky-version on the "Classical Records" label. Plus, Vanguard's use of 24-bit technology in the remastering process makes the music sound as if it was recorded just yesterday. With the superlatives aside, this recording does leave one thing to be desired. Despite the fact that we're getting it in its entirety, it is only "entire" in terms of the extent to which Abravanel's performance had been recorded, not in terms of Tchaikovsky's score. Apparently, severe excisions had been made in the score prepared for this recording (CD2 clocks in at just 38 minutes). But don't let that stop you from getting this magnificent recording, for what is recorded in this set gives you a near perfect performance!"
Powerful childhood memories lasting forever
Christian Landaeta | Chile | 03/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not being a real expert or dedicated investigator on Swan Lake best versions, I can only say I got the Lp set when I was about 8 years old and it really took a long time to see a record company reissuing this in 2000 (thanks Seymour-Solomon!).
In spite of being an edited version of the original score, not only is this one of the Tchaikovsky pieces that makes my hair rise most clearly but also, this version does the trick if you are a bit of an audiophile like myself. I never thought master tapes from the 60's would sound this crisp and heavy on my ARs. This obviously doesn't reach the impact of a modern-day digital recording regarding bass power but, for a great 60's sounding LP record I have treasured since for ages, this can only make the whole mind-blowing experience of hearing this immortal piece even stronger. Have a good audio-trip with Mr. Abravanel and the Utah Symphony. I believe you might not need to search much more!"