Includes FREE MP3
version
of this album.
or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Available to Download Now
 
Buy the MP3 album for £7.99
 
 
 
 
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 

Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare

Gustavo Dudamel Audio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £9.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, 14 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Complete your purchase to add the MP3 version to your Amazon music library. Provided by Amazon EU S.à r.l.
Buy the MP3 album for £7.99 at the Amazon Digital Music Store.


Amazon's Gustavo Dudamel Store

Music

Image of album by Gustavo Dudamel

Photos

Image of Gustavo Dudamel

Biography

GUSTAVO DUDAMEL – A BIOGRAPHICAL TIMELINE
“When Dudamel is up on the podium, he truly is ‘inside’ the music. It courses in his veins, mixing with his blood.”
Los Angeles Times, January 2010
Born on 26 January 1981 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Gustavo Dudamel was ten when he took up the violin, and soon was also studying composition. In 1996, he began his ... Read more in Amazon's Gustavo Dudamel Store

Visit Amazon's Gustavo Dudamel Store
for 30 albums, 17 photos, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Spend £30 and get Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year 2014 for £24.99. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

Tchaikovsky & Shakespeare + Tchaikovsky: Symphony 5, Francesca da Rimini
Price For Both: £19.01

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product details

  • Audio CD (7 Mar 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B004I4HCU0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,881 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Tchaikovsky: Hamlet - Overture-Fantasy after Shakespeare, Op.6718:38£2.29  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Tchaikovsky: The Tempest, Op.1824:41£2.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture - Romeo and Juliet - Fantasy Overture22:14£2.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

BBC Review

Is it too early for a backlash against Gustavo Dudamel, the flame-headed inspiration to a nation? Now that his beloved Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela have dropped the 'youth' tag, it seems that what was once so vigorous, special and dynamic about the whole proposition has lost its sheen somewhat – if you believe the press. As recently as 2010's wonderful Rite of Spring disc they've proved to be a formidable ensemble under Dudamel's direction, but the opening strains of this Shakespeare-themed disc of Tchaikovsky works are worryingly ponderous.

Rather than evoking a specific mood, one that perhaps mirrors the gloom and unease of the play's beginning, the Hamlet Overture-Fantasy feels specifically non-specific to begin with. Thunderous timpani rolls are one thing, but the strings are a leaden accompaniment that doesn't match their intensity. It takes a good few minutes for Dudamel to establish any kind of clarity, thanks in part to the arrival of a languid, focused woodwind section, but once he has it under control we can relax once again and enjoy this subdued and subversive work.

The Tempest, conversely, features more of the vim we're accustomed to. Blaring brass trades blows with the strings in the brilliantly controlled mania of the middle section, and calms with alarming contrast for the whispered, spooked conclusion. It is typical of Tchaikovsky to undermine his own works with inescapable darkness (exemplified in the finale of his sixth symphony), and to this end the Simon Bolivar are not the most natural of fits, but they manage an encompassing change in mood that is most effective.

That leaves the most well-known of these three works, and Dudamel’s Romeo & Juliet decides early on to do away with much of the schmaltz it has become associated with (i.e. every romantic scene in every comedy film, ever). Focus turns to the chugging, warring strings that pollute the middle section and evoke the well-spun tale's myriad heartaches. Still, the fawning nature of the love theme is inescapable and needs to be made as sweet as possible. It is perhaps not the most appealing of the works here, but there's still plenty of panache to enjoy. Dudamel is by no means lacklustre here, he's just about holding on to a reputation that anyone would struggle to live up to.

--Daniel Ross

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window


Customer Reviews

4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Talk about a mixed bag... 10 Mar 2011
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra - the "Youth" bit now discreetly dropped as time has gone by - have already recorded Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony with DG and generally created quite a stir with their raw energy and marketability. They continue their series here with three Shakespeare-inspired works: "Hamlet", "The Tempest" and the "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture".

The disc turns out to be a real oddity; there are two orchestras and two conductors here. The first combination makes a valuable contribution to the Tchaikovsky discography with powerful, assured interpretations of two relatively neglected symphonic fantasies: "Hamlet" and "The Tempest". The second delivers a thunderously ponderous account of the famous "Romeo and Juliet".

Dudamel's "Hamlet" cannot rival the grip and urgency of Stokowski's celebrated account (coupled with the even more stunning performance of a "Francesca da Rimini" which should be in every Tchaikovskian's collection) nor is the Simón Bolívar Orchestra anywhere near as virtuosic as Stokowski's "Stadium Symphony Orchestra" (the New York Philharmonic incognito) but they create an atmosphere of grim concentration - lento lugubre, indeed - which perhaps reflects the turmoil and melancholy of the composer's own temperament. There is certainly no danger here of the sentimentality some conductors indulge in - in fact a little more overt emotionalism would be welcome - and we do not hear the depth of singing tone in the strings or the subtle gradation of dynamics that Stokowski secures - but there is a good deal more grandeur and sense of shape and momentum than in the subsequent "Romeo and Juliet".
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Tcahikovsky's three tone poems (actually fantasie overtures) programmed for this CD may not include the composers best work (many would place 'Francesca da Rimini', 'The Voyevode', 'The Storm' and 'Fatum' as more solid works), but the concept of marrying Shakespeare with Tchaikovsky in one program is a novel and very valid one. Gustavo Dudamel appears to have an affinity for Tchaikovsky's music and it shows in this recording. At a recent Los Angeles Philharmonic concert Dudamel programmed these three works with actors offering excerpts from the three plays (Orlando Bloom as Romeo with Anika Noni Rose as Juliet, Malcolm McDowell as Prospero/Prince/Ghost of Hamlet's father and Matthew Rhys as Hamlet) creating a nonstop survey of the Shakespeare experience and the result was overwhelmingly successful.

In this recording Dudamel stands before another of his orchestras - the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra - and the while the overall performances are solid, there is a lack of depth in the sound of the orchestra and Dudamel does not offer the degree of passion that comes with repeated performances. That is not to say that this recording is not a fine one: the pleasure of hearing three Shakespeare inspired musical works by one composer is reason enough to add this recording to the collection. The 'Hamlet' succeeds on its limited grounds, the 'Tempest' is the most interesting to hear, and the Romeo and Juliet has a fine sweep with good attention to detail. The Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra plays with commitment to their conductor and despite some flaws in the sonics of the album this is a worthy performance. The five stars are for the concept - and for where the conductor is at the present with this interesting repertoire. Grady Harp, March 11
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
It would make a difference if this depressing CD were the brain child of an R and R man at DG, someone trying to fill a hole in the catalog. But one can never have too few versions of Tchaikovsky's ambitious flop, "Hamlet," and in a perfect world anyone who became intrigued by it could listen to Stokowski's suitably bombastic assault on Everest (or the more obscure Bernstein from New York on Sony, which is better played) and forget the matter ever after. This is music of truly Lisztian emptiness and posturing, riddled with banal themes and empty rhetoric. Dudamel seems to feel that being as sensitive to the score as possible will bring out hidden depths, but what can you do with dross? Wikipedia informs us that Tchaikovsky wrote this 18-minute overture-fantasy (a term of his own invention that is basically the same as a Liszt tone poem) in 1888 as he was orchestrating the Fifth Symphony.

The score doesn't depict any action in the play, or even the principal characters, but evokes its moods. There's a completely unmemorable love theme, and in the middle a gentle oboe solo brings Ophelia to mind. The rest is generically gloomy. the secret to bringing off trite music is to play it with total conviction, as Bernstein and Stokowski did, but Dudamel's surprising reticence only reminds us of how right Tchaikovsky's perpetual doubts could sometimes be. Sad to say, the next item in this Shakespeare-themed album is equally forgettable, The Tempest, a tone poem dating from 1873, fifteen years before Hamlet. The music evokes the stillness of the sea, the storm that follows, the wild nature of Caliban, and the love between Ferdinand and Miranda on Prospero's magical isle. Not that the program matters given the second-rateness of the music, which at least doesn't flaunt its emptiness.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Talk about a mixed bag... 10 Mar 2011
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Orchestra - the "Youth" bit now discreetly dropped as time has gone by - have already recorded Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony with DG and generally created quite a stir with their raw energy and marketability. They continue their series here with three Shakespeare-inspired works: "Hamlet", "The Tempest" and the "Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture".

The disc turns out to be a real oddity; there are two orchestras and two conductors here. The first combination makes a valuable contribution to the Tchaikovsky discography with powerful, assured interpretations of two relatively neglected symphonic fantasies: "Hamlet" and "The Tempest". The second delivers a thunderously ponderous account of the famous "Romeo and Juliet".

Dudamel's "Hamlet" cannot rival the grip and urgency of Stokowski's celebrated account (coupled with the even more stunning performance of a "Francesca da Rimini" which should be in every Tchaikovskian's collection) nor is the Simón Bolívar Orchestra anywhere near as virtuosic as Stokowski's "Stadium Symphony Orchestra" (the New York Philharmonic incognito) but they create an atmosphere of grim concentration - lento lugubre, indeed - which perhaps reflects the turmoil and melancholy of the composer's own temperament. There is certainly no danger here of the sentimentality some conductors indulge in - in fact a little more overt emotionalism would be welcome - and we do not hear the depth of singing tone in the strings or the subtle gradation of dynamics that Stokowski secures - but there is a good deal more grandeur and sense of shape and momentum than in the subsequent "Romeo and Juliet". Indeed, Dudamel captures much of the tragic intensity this piece demands, although the plaintive oboe theme representing Ophelia is coolly played and the love theme music itself remains slightly four-square, lacking the fantasy of the love music heard in Romeo and Juliet" and "Francesca da Rimini". Perhaps that is more Tchaikovsky's, not Dudamel's, fault, however.

"The Tempest", the earliest tone poem here, displays the musical influences the composer had experienced since he composed "The Storm" in 1864; we are now in the sound-world of "The Ring" and all the better for it. The opening combines a heroic, Wagnerian horn theme with a gradual crescendo betraying the influence of "Das Rheingold". We hear storms at sea, a depiction of Caliban and a strangely swooning, Hollywood-movie-style love theme on the strings for Miranda and Ferdinand. The opening lacks somewhat of the sense of mystery which more lightnes and legato in the strings would create but there is a haunting quality to the insistent, ostinato figure high on the violins reminiscent of Bruckner. Even a good performance played with energy such as we have here cannot prevent the piece from sounding a little too long, formless and episodic.

After two such engaging and thoughtful accounts, the "Romeo and Juliet" comes as a let-down. David Hurwitz was vitriolic about this release in his recent review on the Classics Today website, excoriating Dudamel's "droopy" tempi and "flaccid" rhythms and condemning the fight sequences as "about as dull as any yet recorded" and the love music as "remarkably under-characterized". I tend to take many, if not most, of his pronouncements with a big pinch of NaCl, yet he is in this instance right - at least about the "Romeo and Juliet", if not the other two tracks. Barely a trace emerges of the febrile eroticism which should suffuse the work; the rhythmic pulse constantly stalls. The whole enterprise is fatally hobbled by Dudamel's lugubrious tempi and a deliberateness which robs the music of all spontaneity.

The opening should drip tension, underlined by edgy, nervy litle marcato accents on each note to suggest impending doom, but Dudamel takes almost 7 minutes to reach the battle when it should take about 5. Phrases are accent-free and smoothed over; the effect is soporific. One has only to compare Dudamel's plodding pizzicato with that of Adrian Leaper and the RPO twenty years earlier on Naxos, a performance which positively sizzles with energy. The requisite brilliance in the swirling, scurrying string passages is missing because the Simón Bolívar strings cannot articulate with sufficient clarity, speed and snap. When the violas wheezed in to the famous - here, long-delayed - love theme like a band of superannuated bagpipes, I found my patience exhausted. This music is simply not played with the verve we expect from a celebrated youth orchestra. There is no ecstasy, no exaltation - just notes. A real dud.

The sound is a bit muddy and soft-edged: the drums thud soggily, the brass is too recessed and everything is a little muffled for a modern, digital, state-of-the-art DG recording. This dics is a real mixed bag which will, for some, be hopelessly compromised by the performance of the best-known item but might still to others be desirable for the accounts of the lesser-known music.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars superb sound but frustratingly variable interpretations 17 Mar 2011
By David Rowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A superb DG recording lavished upon a frustratingly variable set of performances. When Dudamel gets it up, he produces very exciting, thrilling, goose-bump-inducing music. But when the music relaxes, which is much of the time in these scores, he, unfortunately, drops into a coma. Slow tempi are only part of the problem. Limp, to the point of losing all sight of the overall vision, is the real problem. However, even during these moments, the pianissimo playing of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra is breathtaking. Many big-league orchestras can take a lesson here. It is common knowledge that it is much more difficult for an orchestra to play softly than to play loudly with bombast. Any second-rate orchestra can do bombast! Just look to any Marin Alsop recording to witness how easy it is to whip up empty "excitement". However, this orchestra produces simply incredible pianissimo playing. But, Dudamel is completely at fault here for allowing these glorious scores to fall flat just to show off how in control he is of this orchestra.

The best interpretation here is of Hamlet, the terrific bass drum adding to the glorious sonic palette. The Tempest is almost great, but the maximum forte (lack of) power of the brass fails to produce a true climax. Abbado/Chicago/SONY is impossible to better here. Romeo and Juliet is a complete and utter failure. By the time the Allegro arrives, the listener is completely comatose along with the conductor. A complete Tchaikovsky disaster, despite some gorgeous string tone in the love music. Seriously, how does any living musician ruin Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet? Completely unforgivable. All of us couch/air conductors could do better. I would love to hear Dudamel remake this recording when he's awake. Does the L.A. audience tolerate this erratic behavior with their glorious orchestra? I'm afraid he may not last long in front of a real audience with this kind of erratic behavior. This is a very frustrating CD.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dudamel is in surprisingly weak form, but the music is weak, too 1 April 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It would make a difference if this depressing CD were the brain child of an R and R man at DG, someone trying to fill a hole in the catalog. But one can never have too few versions of Tchaikovsky's ambitious flop, "Hamlet," and in a perfect world anyone who became intrigued by it could listen to Stokowski's suitably bombastic assault on Everest (or the more obscure Bernstein from New York on Sony, which is better played) and forget the matter ever after. This is music of truly Lisztian emptiness and posturing, riddled with banal themes and empty rhetoric. Dudamel seems to feel that being as sensitive to the score as possible will bring out hidden depths, but what can you do with dross? Wikipedia informs us that Tchaikovsky wrote this 18-minute overture-fantasy (a term of his own invention that is basically the same as a Liszt tone poem) in 1888 as he was orchestrating the Fifth Symphony.

The score doesn't depict any action in the play, or even the principal characters, but evokes its moods. There's a completely unmemorable love theme, and in the middle a gentle oboe solo brings Ophelia to mind. The rest is generically gloomy. the secret to bringing off trite music is to play it with total conviction, as Bernstein and Stokowski did, but Dudamel's surprising reticence only reminds us of how right Tchaikovsky's perpetual doubts could sometimes be. Sad to say, the next item in this Shakespeare-themed album is equally forgettable, The Tempest, a tone poem dating from 1873, fifteen years before Hamlet. The music evokes the stillness of the sea, the storm that follows, the wild nature of Caliban, and the love between Ferdinand and Miranda on Prospero's magical isle. Not that the program matters given the second-rateness of the music, which at least doesn't flaunt its emptiness.

Which brings us to the only success that Tchaikovsky actually had with Shakespeare as his inspiration, the ubiquitous Romeo and Juliet, a score so popular that it plays itself. Or so I thought until I heard Dudamel fuss over the opening with intrusive pauses, slack rhythms, and a general air of strained sensitivity. What in the world went wrong? The meteoric rise of this conductor was based on his charisma and fiery passion, yet here is a reading that evokes none of those qualities. He also takes 22 min. to perform the work, dragging slower than Masur and Barenboim, who aren't exactly fireballs. Even the tempestuous middle section is seriously underplayed. Finally, since my copy is a download, I don't know how the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra morphed into the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, but it is the same group as before, with the same youthful personnel. They play well but not spectacularly, which can also be said of DG's sound.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The art of bad conducting. 14 Aug 2013
By Colloredo von Salzburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This issue includes some of the worst Tchaikovsky performances ever done. It is Dudamel at his worst:
bombastic, noisy, effectist, but with no real understanding of this music, he never goes beyond the surface.
His terrible lack of deepness makes this music sound trivial and in summary, the apotheosis of banal. A pity.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The conductor & performance fine..... 24 Aug 2012
By Paul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
however....the recording is muddy with virtually no sonic detail and a shallow pasty soundstage. Sorry, can't recommend it for the sad pathetic engineering.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Look for similar items by category


Feedback