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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Nothing Very Special
on 31 December 2011
I am an unabashed fan of Valery Gergiev. I have considered his interpretations of the Russian and East European Composers as one of the best. However, this recording of the last three symphonies of Tchaikovsky left me totally unsatisfied. Maybe my expectations were a tad too high when I ordered for this.
I have no idea whether to blame the quality of the audio recording (I played it on my Yamaha/Bose combination and then on another good system) or the interpretation (or lack of it) by Gergiev, but the net effect is rather disappointing. The orchestra seems to have been left totally to itself to interpret, and there is no 'tightness' if I may address it so, in the cohesion and ensemble and parts of it appear even 'muddy'and maybe 'airy' to say the least. The strings sound rather tired throughout, and the various climaxes within the work seem a little sterile.
Unlike some who have criticized it for the video recording, I feel that is the real redeeming factor here. In a video recording, I love to see the camera flit between the main and other instruments making the music and the conductor. Otherwise it becomes more like sitting in one position and watching much more of the conductor (like in Karajan recordings) or a meaningless collage of musicians making one want to switch off the screen and listen to the music only.
Like some other reviewer has stated, the Abbado with the Berlin in Japan as well as Abbado conducting in Caracas seem far more lively and spirited and bring out the essence of Tchaikovsky in their interpretations. This one comes nowhere near the other Russian greats like the old Rozhdestvensky or Mravinsky recordings, and one of the other benchmarks for me, the Ormandy/Philiadelphia ones....
Given the choice, I dont think I would recommend it as a 'worth buy' stuff.