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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky, Svetlanov, State Symphony
Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Genre: Classical
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #3

Yevgeny Svetlanov's "socialist realist" approach to Tchaikovsky has as many admirers as it does detractors, and for the same reasons: it's coarse, loud, vulgar, intense, brash, and generally very exciting, if also totall...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Tchaikovsky, Svetlanov, State Symphony
Title: Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Melodiya
Release Date: 6/13/1995
Genre: Classical
Styles: Ballets & Dances, Ballets, Historical Periods, Modern, 20th, & 21st Century
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 743211708227

Yevgeny Svetlanov's "socialist realist" approach to Tchaikovsky has as many admirers as it does detractors, and for the same reasons: it's coarse, loud, vulgar, intense, brash, and generally very exciting, if also totally lacking in elegance. The orchestra, with a brass sound that goes a long way toward explaining the reasons for the Cold War, plays this music as though it's either Tchaikovsky or the Gulag. Don't take it too seriously, and you'll have a lot of fun. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

C. McGovern | Beacon Falls, CT USA | 03/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"All I know is, it's exciting listening--Evgeny Svetlanov is probably the best interpreter of Tchaikovsky there is; the Symphonies, the Suites, and now here's an intense reading of an already lively ballet score. I'm a little bit in disagreement with Mr. Hurwitz about this recording in that he says it lacks elegance--At times I think it may even have too much elegance. Svetlanov knows Tchaikovsky as if he knew the man himself. He knows this music was supposed to be loud and brash, because Tchaikovsky himself wanted it that way, and many people couldn't handle its brutality. I also reviewed the Seiji Ozawa/Boston Sym. version of SL, and although I think that reading is stronger in some areas of the piece, I still find myself coming back to this for the darker sections, especially the biggest payoff of all--the finale (Svetlanov does it right--timpani all the way to the last chord). We've been taught over the years about the Iron Curtain, Communism, Marxism, all the negativity about the Soviet Union ad nauseum, but I hear Tchaikovsky and other great Russian composers, and I wish there never was a cold war."
The most profound Swan Lake
Marc Haegeman | 12/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Evgeny Svetlanov's way with Tchaikovsky's music, and his ballets in particular, is unparalleled. His view may be unsettling to western ears, but what this revelatory recording of "Swan Lake" proves beyond all is that there is a lot more to the music than we usually come to hear. Svetlanov explores this magisterial but often molested score to the very limit, moulding the music with an exceptional feeling for rubato. By bringing out all the orchestral details and with his innumerable changes in tempi and dynamics, ranging from tender and graceful dansante passages to hard-hitting and loud outbursts, Svetlanov's "Swan Lake" is a fascinating experience from start to end, making it easier to understand why it left contemporaries baffled at the time of its creation. Moreover, instead of presenting a succession of charming tunes, Svetlanov clearly perceives Tchaikovsky's first attempt at ballet as a musical and dramatic entity, building the tension all the way from the frenzied opening scenes to the starkly tragic finale (Svetlanov's "Swan Lake" does not have a happy ending as was ordained in the Soviet era).The digital recording dating from 1988 is adequate but lacks the presence, warmth and polish of the best western recordings. It may not be the easiest "Swan Lake" to live with, nor is it the only possible interpretation of the ballet, yet Svetlanov's is by far the most profound version on disc around. Not to be missed by anyone wishing to explore one of the greatest ballet scores ever, indispensable for those who still think of Tchaikovsky's music as sugary and sentimental wish-wash."
Adam Hampson | Dallas TX | 06/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The other reviewer below took the words right out of my mouth. You haven't heard Tchaikovsky, or Rachmaninov, or Scriabin.. until you've heard it performed/recorded by Maestro Svetlanov. Check out his Swan lake, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker, all on Melodiya. If you're looking for smooth glossed-over Tchaikovsky, you won't find it here!"