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Symphonies - Released May 10, 2019 | Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice

Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski gets most of his press from his association with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (and later, the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra), but he has also served since 2011 as chief conductor of the cumbersomely named State Academic Symphony of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov" and knows its players well. That bodes well for this entry in the crowded marketplace of recordings of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and indeed everyone involved delivers handsomely. For one thing, the recording represents a fine confluence of the talents of musicians and engineers; the precise instrumental work of the orchestra is matched by clean transparency from the audiophile PentaTone label, working (at two sessions, a year apart, it should be noted) at Moscow's Rachmaninov Hall. And it's hard to avoid the feeling that this music is Jurowski's bread and butter, for all his forays into Western music. He is brisk but elegant, never too fast, and making you feel like he's rushing you through the big tunes (all of which are here in this 1877 original version, just in a slightly different order from what you may be used to). And he seems to have singlehandedly brought the brasses of the ensemble formerly known as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra up to the international A-list. Sample the sequence of ethnic dances in Act 3 for numerous demonstrations of how he gets the elusive clean but gentle sound out of his brasses. Everything's just delightful, down to the packaging of the CD version, which includes, charmingly, a foldable swan. Highly recommended. © TiVo

Classical - Released January 1, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica
Tchaikovsky's final opera was the one-act lyric drama Iolanta, which was planned as a companion piece to the Nutcracker. However, the immensely popular ballet eclipsed it, and today the opera is rarely performed or recorded outside Russia. Yet this live concert performance on Deutsche Grammophon will certainly bring the work greater attention worldwide, thanks to the star power of Anna Netrebko, who has performed the role of the blind princess in Salzburg and Baden-Baden, making it a vehicle for her unique talents. She is joined by a strong Russian cast, which includes Sergei Skorokhodov as Count Vaudémont, Alexey Markov as Robert, and Vitalij Kowaljow as King René, and the orchestral support of Emmanuel Villaume and the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra lends the performance rich tone colors and fine details. While Netrebko's name recognition is the chief reason most western listeners will notice this recording, her singing provides the best reason to hear it. Netrebko's commitment to making this opera better known -- indeed, making it her own -- is reflected in her passionate performance, which is immediate and thrilling, and she imbues the music with intense emotion that is moving and memorable. The audio is exceptional, even by Deutsche Grammophon's high standards, so the orchestra's sonorities, dominated by woodwinds, are reproduced with vibrant sound. But above all, the audio gives Netrebko presence and warmth, so this is required listening for all of her fans and curious newcomers. © TiVo

Classical - Released October 14, 2016 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice