Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Riccardo Muti, New Philharmonia Orchestra|
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies [Box Set]
Excellent sound and fiery playing make this a good bargain
Alan Majeska | Bad Axe, MI, USA | 05/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Riccardo Muti recorded the Tchaikovsky Symphonies in this box with the PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA in the mid to late 1970s, and they are well recorded, with excellent sound and fiery playing, which make this a good bargain. Collectors should be aware: Symphonies 4, 5 and 6 were later recorded with the PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA in the 1980s: these are NOT the same recordings - these are Muti's earlier Philharmonia ones. The Philadelphia items here are the 1812 Overture, Swan Lake Suite, Francesca da Rimini, and Romeo and Juliet.
This is a good overall survey, and a bargain to boot, but collectors should be aware there is heavy competition. To collect discs one at a time would be more costly, so the choice remains one of individual taste. Tchaikovsky's 1st Symphony, "Winter dreams" is very well played under Muti's leadership, and perhaps a little driven. Brilliant's sound is much better than the 1st EMI CD issue of this recording.
Symphony 2, "Little Russian" is also well played and recorded, and the Allegros are really FAST. Symphony 3, "Polish" benefits from blistering fast tempos in the Allegro section of I, and V (Tempo di Polacca) is nearly reckless, but with a thrilling coda. Symphonies 4, 5, and 6 are very good, but there are better recordings elsewhere, including Muti's own Philadelphia recording of 5.
Other options? For Symphony 1: Michael Tilson-Thomas/Boston Symphony (DG Originals), Adrian Leaper/Polish National Orchestra (Naxos), Andrew Litton/Bournemouth Orchestra (Virgin); for Symphony 2: Igor Markevitch/London Symphony (Philips Duo);
Symphony 3: Antoni Wit/Polish Natl. Orch. (Naxos), Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra (BMG Japan, if you want to import it); Symphony 4: Ormandy/Philadelphia (Sony); Bernstein/New York Philharmonic (Sony - the 1975 recording, NOT the earlier 1960 one); and Thomas Beecham/Royal Philharmonic (in his GREAT CONDUCTORS OF THE 20th Century 2 CD collection, on EMI); for Symphony 5: Ormandy/Philadelphia (Sony); Seiji Ozawa/Berlin Philharmonic (DG); and for Symphony 6: Ormandy/Philadelphia (Sony), Pierre Monteux/Boston (RCA), or Wit/Polish National (Naxos).
Avoid Karajan's DG recordings: especially of Symphony 3 - he did strange things with the tempos in III and V, which really distract from the music.
For one stop shopping, Muti is very good indeed, but fussier collectors may want to consider a variety of recordings one at a time."
Good, but sound could be better...
Àlex CR | Spain | 12/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Second Symphony recording could be much better. In the final movement, the orchestra sounds too undefined and the drum too near, so the melody loses its energy. Moreover, there's a bit of noise in the other recordings, specially in the calm parts of the works. And, in some occasions, the strings sound a bit far-off (the Fifth final required more strength strings). It's amazing, because these are English EMI recordings, and this combination has always a good result. Despite of it, Mutti's versions of Tchaikovsky symphonies are quite good and, sometimes, very Italian (in rythm and tempo, I mean)."
Excellent, dynamic performances with good sound
John W. Weil | Bloomfield Hills, MI USA | 11/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These performances are dynamic and enjoyable. Yes, sometimes the tympani are quite prominent -- but for me that is a positive. The sound is clean and the presence is really good."