Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr ilyich. (1840-1893) Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Little russian", opus 17. (1879 version) and 3 Overtures.

New acquisition.
Bought in June 2017.
First listen: 28-6-2017.
Label: BIS.
CD 2 from 6.
Recording dates: August and November 2004.
Recording venue: Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Michael Bergek.
Running time: 72:27.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Reference performance.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 2 in C minor.
Overture in F major. (1866 version).
Festive overture on the Danish National Anthem in D major, opus 15. (1892 version).
The Storm, (Groza) Overture opus 76. (1864) for the drama by Alexander Ostrovsky.

Works performed by:
Gothenburg SO, Neeme Järvi.

Well it certainly looks as if this box is going to give me a lot of pleasure. Only in the second symphony but already elated to a high level, about performance and recording.
I am a huge admirer of Tchaikovsky, in fact he is my number one composer. I managed to keep the complete symphony boxes in check. I have only a few versions, for if I buy them they must satisfy me in many ways. Mediocre is a term I would use for many interpretations I heard. Järvi his take is on top of my list. I find that he was largely ignored by classic music lovers, for the times that I saw this used as a comparison in reviews is minimal. Well be it as it may this set is a winner on most counts. The sound is as we are expecting from BIS, top notch near State of the Art. The orchestra is one of the best in Europe, and as a conductor he is an alert interpreter of all music that passes his hands. Boring interpretations I almost never heard of him.
What is very important with Tchaikovsky are the tempi, accents and dynamics. All three are excellently handled by Järvi, which makes it much more easier to enjoy what is on offer. He has a clear understanding were to go with this music, and in this he keeps the score as clean as possible and never let desks overplay each other with dynamics that block the unity and coherence, and structure. Thus we get an crisp, scintillating performance of the second symphony, with a lucidity that makes the trespass through all the melodies one of great clarity. The strength and energy of the piece is amazingly relayed through this orchestra. Järvi keeps a tight control over the proceedings and that pays great dividends. He carefully observes all dynamic markings and is especially effective in this. All details are brought into prominence and within the context of the whole. The realistic sound frame which is superb in all respects helps to focus all effects. The orchestral forces are sufficiently present, to knock you into the back of the room, but never in a grandslam way. Brass and strings are stunningly responsive, with a sense of propulsion, without overlooking moments of delicacy. One of the best performances from the second symphony I heard so far. 
From the three overtures on this disc I only knew one, which is the opus 76, The Storm. The other two were new to me, and thus I was pleasantly surprised that the talent of Tchaikovsky did not go amiss, for these are highly polished works, well scored for string and brass, and with plenty of melodic content. The festive overture has a lot of superb brass playing, which have a propulsive power and a clear headed clarity to it. It may not have emotional power, but what it has to say it does superb. 
This is so much recommended!

Trabaci, Giovanni Maria. (1575-1647) Organo Napoletano. Second rerun.

From my collection. Date of purchase: January 2018. First listen: 6-2-2018. Second rerun: 24-2-2018. Label: Arion. Recording dates: Jun...