Very nice interpretation, less than spectacular playing
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although I'd agree that Titov's interpretations of these pieces are quiet nice, and currently my favorite of several (Karajan, Ormandy, Barbirolli), I feel I must note that both the playing and the engineering on this disc are not exceptional overall. It is often clear that we are listening to a conservatory, not a professional, orchestra (although, clearly a very good conservatory orchestra). The violin sound is often overly bright, while the listener often wishes for a more "present" viola, cello, and bass sound (no doubt an engineering issue). Ends of phrases and gestures are not always well attended to, and intonation and ensemble inaccuracies are apparent throughout a somewhat "loose" sound. Having said all of this, if looking for a reasonably well executed, very nicely interpreted, decently recorded, low price rendition of these serenades, you won't go wrong with this recording. Even with the above mentioned reservations, I feel it's a good deal for the price. The fine interpretation alone is worth the small cost, and the playing and engineering are not distractingly flawed, simply not as brilliant as one might expect from the string section of a major professional symphony orchestra recorded by a major label."
A REAL steal!!!
Benjamin Bolival | The Peninsula of the Bay Area | 03/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let the bargain price fool you, this CD is WORTH keeping in your classical collection. I have both Karajan's and Titov's version of this set of string serenades and both are performed equally well. The main difference between this two versions is the way the pieces are interpreted: the Karajan version gives the listener a muscular orchestral performance whereas the Titov version highlights the individual sounds of string instruments. The Tchaikovsky and Dvorak serenades are beautiful to listen to, choosing which CD to buy really boils down to your musical preferences. But if you are serious Tchaikovsky or Dvorak fan, I would get both versions."