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Classical - Released November 27, 2015 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica
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Classical - Released December 6, 2019 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason découverte
It seems as though a young European prodigy comes along each year and is proclaimed to be the next big thing, but Johan Dalene has the chops to make it last, or so it seems from the evidence here. Just 19 when this recording was released, at the end of 2019, Dalene is both daring and thoughtful in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35. He could have played it safe, as many young players do with their debut releases. Instead, he takes the concerto's outer movements at a skittery quick tempo, pushing himself to the edge but not beyond. Then for the more melodic passages in the opening movement, he takes time and lets the music breathe. It's an impressive performance of a very familiar work, but the Violin Concerto, Op. 14, of Samuel Barber, is possibly even better. Some Barber works seem Romantic in style, but on closer examination, turn out to be quite modern in form, and this concerto is a complex example. It has the big tunes, but its use of the violin is atypical and constantly shifting; Barber said that the work was more a sonata than a concerto. Dalene's lively, alert performance is complemented by fine work from the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Blendulf in what is throughout a really impressive debut concerto recording. © TiVo
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released June 14, 2019 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Tchaikovsky's sacred music is not often performed, although he was religious (even if in a somewhat blurry way) and was willing to let himself in for a hassle by writing the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 41, in 1878: it was promptly banned by the Russian Orthodox Church, which considered it too modern. Indeed, Tchaikovsky wrote a textbook on church music composition and seems to have contemplated a kind of reform of church music. That went nowhere, but this gorgeous setting of an Orthodox liturgy was performed quite often during its own time in non-liturgical settings. The abridged version here is quite effective. Sample "Dostoyno yest" ("Hymn to the Mother of God") for an idea of what he was thinking: the work keeps the opening chants and much of the traditional sound, but Tchaikovsky introduces Western harmonies with the intent of a quietly lyrical effect. Big Russian choirs have recorded the work, but the lighter sounds of the 24-voice Latvian Radio Choir under Sigvards Klava seem ideal here, probably resembling the Moscow art societies that first performed the music, and more likely in keeping with the spirit in which Tchaikovsky composed it. Also included are nine a cappella sacred pieces that really let the Latvian Radio Choir show what it can do: this group has a precision and grace that are hardly matched anywhere in the world these days. The choir may be better suited to Tchaikovsky than to Rachmaninov, whom it has also recorded, but check them out, whatever it takes. Ondine's sound engineering, at St. John's church in Riga, is absolutely exemplary. An exceptional choral release. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 16, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

The music on this pair of CDs falls into one of two categories: ballet music from an opera, or ballet music that was not originally intended for dancing at all, but that was subsequently adapted for that purpose. (The exception is Don Quixote, a full-length ballet with an original score.) Many famous conductors had unusual lives, but the life of Anatole Fistoulari (1907-1995) was more unusual than most. When he was just seven, he conducted a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony in his native city of Kiev. At thirteen, he conducted Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah in Bucharest. While a young man, he travelled throughout Europe and North America, accompanying bass Feodor Chaliapin and conducting the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Escaping the European mainland in World War II, he came to England, where he soon married Gustav Mahler’s sole surviving daughter, Anna, and was named principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He became a British citizen in 1948. Under a reciprocal arrangement between Decca and RCA, the Verdi, Mussorgsky, Saint-Saëns and Rossini items – all ‘opera-ballets’ – first appeared on RCA in 1960. Their first Decca release (under the title ‘The World of Ballet’) was not until 1972. Likewise, the Lecocq and Walton items were published in 1959 by RCA but in 1971 by Decca.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonic Music - Released January 11, 2019 | Decca

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
The Tchaikovsky ballet score recordings by the Ukrainian-born conductor, Anatole Fistoulari, are prized ‘as being among the finest ever made’ (Gramophone). As a companion issue to the abridged Swan Lake and extended excerpts from The Nutcracker on Eloquence, this newly remastered set offers another pair of complete Decca albums both appearing for the first time on Decca CD: the abridged (mono) Sleeping Beauty made in Paris in 1952 and the Fourth Symphony from 1971, recorded in Phase 4 stereo. It is the sense of being present at a live performance that critics have always prized in Fistoulari’s ballet recordings. As an experienced conductor in the pit who (perhaps apocryphally) led his first opera performance at the age of 12, he had the still-rare knack of transferring the vital sense of dramatic narrative to the studio. Sleeping Beauty, the longest of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, was reduced in this version to roughly the length of The Nutcracker – an hour and three-quarters – which, when LPs required side turns every 25 minutes, was deemed quite sufficient by most critics and listeners who were still accustomed to attending similarly cut versions of the ballet live. Although Decca capitalised on Fistoulari’s talents as a concerto accompanist and ballet director, the records of him as a symphonic conductor are all too rare which makes this dynamic, spacious and detailed account of the Fourth Symphony all the more treasurable. The tension and complex form of the first movement – Tchaikovsky’s single most innovative symphonic movement – is superbly handled and he secures quiet string playing worthy of any ballet conductor in the pizzicato Scherzo. It makes a notable addition to the symphony’s discography on CD and a worthy tribute to the art of an unjustly neglected maestro. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Symphonies - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

The Decca Sound in Hamburg and Paris: a trio of 1950s Tchaikovsky albums, including a pair of symphony recordings previously unpublished on CD. This supple and beautifully proportioned 1952 mono account of the Fifth Symphony marked the debut on disc of the NDR Sinfonieorchester under its founding conductor Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, the focus of two other recent Eloquence releases (symphonies by Mozart, 484 0353, and Dvořák, 484 0366). ‘Like most of the great European conductors,’ wrote the critic Harold C Schonberg, ‘[Schmidt-Isserstedt] has been brought up in a tradition that insists on selflessness before great music. The aim of conducting, as he sees it, is to bring out the message of the composer and not the skill.’ The other performances on this compilation have a French accent which particularly suits the brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s orchestration. Albert Wolff (1884-1970) had begun recording for Decca in 1951 – Massenet’s Manon with the Opéra Comique – and he continued to make albums of French and Russian music throughout the 50s, with this combustible stereo account of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth being his envoi to the label. Carl Schuricht (1880-1967) was a no less welcome guest to the podium of the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra at that time. For EMI they made an admirably unfussy cycle of Beethoven symphonies, preserving the French Beethoven tradition at its most fleet and balletic, while their Decca recordings displayed the same virtues in the music of Schumann, Wagner and Tchaikovsky. These mono recordings of the Capriccio Italien and the Theme and Variations finale of the Third Orchestral Suite have only previously been available on CD as part of a larger box; their extrovert temperament makes them a fine complement to Wolff in the Fourth Symphony. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

Erich Kleiber’s major Tchaikovsky recordings, newly remastered and coupled with Ruggero Ricci’s debut recording for Decca. Only a truncated version of the Capriccio Italien from 1933 predates these accounts of the Fourth and Sixth symphonies in the Kleiber discography. They were made in Paris – Decca apparently esteemed the playing of the Conservatoire Orchestra in Russian repertoire – and are precious testaments to the particular attack and vigour he inspired from orchestras in this music. Despite being recorded under 78rpm conditions, in four- or five-minute sections, the Fourth Symphony is marked by a palpable symphonic rigour as well as the edgy brass which lends such intensity to Decca’s Paris recordings of Russian music. This Fourth dates from 1949; four years later Kleiber returned to Paris for the ‘Pathétique’, recorded on tape, with an especially compelling sense of line drawn through the symphony’s tragic finale. After his early death in January 1956, at the age of 65, his friend Jacques Barzun recalled watching Kleiber rehearse and perform in Paris, presumably for these recordings: ‘He did not seem to conduct, that is, to earn his fee on the podium. All his histrionic ability went into rehearsal: there he gestured, danced, chattered, pantomimed his way into the subconscious of his players until the right musical utterance came out of their fingers and lungs.’ In January 1950, when Ruggiero Ricci first recorded the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, he was 31 years old and had been performing in public for over 20 years. The sessions marked his debut for Decca, at least in concertos, and he was most sympathetically partnered by Sir Malcolm Sargent – the preferred conductor of Jascha Heifetz on his appearances in London. Two further Decca recordings followed, in 1961 and 1974, both impressive in their ways and technologically advanced but hardly superseding the folksy bravura and legerdemain of his initial efforts. (© Decca / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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Classical - Released January 8, 2007 | Warner Classics

On its face, this EMI reissue of performances by Herbert von Karajan and the Philharmonia Orchestra of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, "Pathétique," with selections from the ballet Swan Lake as filler, may look like a steal at the budget price, but it's really nothing to get excited about. These analog recordings still have considerable tape hiss and an aural fogginess that makes anything below the dynamic of mezzo forte sound indistinct and distant; and some loud passages, particularly for the brass in the Allegro molto vivace, seem unduly tinny and unnatural in EMI's compressed sound, despite the 2007 remastering. Furthermore, these performances date from 1955 for the symphony and 1959 for the Swan Lake excerpts, still quite early for Karajan; he surpassed this middling performance of the "Pathétique" later in his career with powerful interpretations in 1964, 1971, and 1976, all with the Berlin Philharmonic, which critics have regarded as far superior readings. So there's little reason to go for this retread CD, except perhaps in the interest of building a complete Karajan collection. Otherwise, invest in one of the later Berlin Philharmonic recordings, or save your money to splurge on a good, all-digital recording by another conductor, since there is never any shortage of excellent recordings of the ever-popular "Pathétique." © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 1, 2020 | Sony Music Entertainment

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Symphonic Music - Released March 6, 2020 | Decca

Sir Adrian Boult was a conductor of much more ‘temperament’ than is commonly supposed, with ever-frustrated ambitions to lead a complete Ring cycle, and whose consummate professionalism and Edwardian moustache concealed an interpreter of often fiery passions in Romantic repertoire. This new collection invaluably gathers up all the Tchaikovsky recordings he made for Decca between 1952 and 1956. The first of them was the fantasy overture based on Hamlet, a recording produced in Kingsway Hall by the young John Culshaw. Later the same month came the 1812 Overture, recorded without cannon or bells but possessed of a strength and dignity not always present in more bombastic accounts. Tchaikovsky played a formative role in Boult’s development. At the age of twelve he attended what he later called ‘the most important concert I have attended from my own point of view’. Arthur Nikisch was conducting Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and the First Piano Concerto with Mark Hambourg as soloist. Boult was captivated by Nikisch’s ability to obtain playing of the utmost brilliance and a quality of sound he had not heard before. It was on that evening that he decided that he had to become a conductor. At the beginning of June 1954 Boult and the LPO were joined by the 63-year-old violinist Mischa Elman for the Violin Concerto, and Elman rekindled in the sessions something of the golden tone which had propelled him to youthful fame as a pupil of Leopold Auer, to whom Tchaikovsky had originally dedicated the concerto. These are all mono recordings, whereas the Third Suite and Third Symphony were recorded in both mono and stereo, made in Paris and London respectively. Boult was apparently perplexed by the invitation to conduct the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra, but he secures from them playing of rare affection in the once-popular Theme and Variations movement. This compilation issues the stereo version of the Suite for this first time on a Decca CD. (© Decca Music Group Limited / Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd.)
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New Age - Released June 5, 2017 | Lynne Publishing AS

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Symphonies - Released January 31, 2007 | UNIVERSAL MUSIC LLC

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Classical - Released March 13, 2015 | Lp Classics