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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 1-6; Ballet music, etc (Audio CD)
To someone who thought he had heard a few too many performances of Tchaikovsky's music, these performances came as a revelation. Rarely if ever have I heard such exciting and passionate interpretations as these. Like all great conductors, Muti has his own particular sound, which is evident in London as well as in Philadelphia, though the latter's recordings are slightly more recent. The Muti sound is perfectly balanced, rich and full, enveloping the listener, with a wide dynamic range, impressive in its power. The string sound is notably lambent and full.
I have always thought "Manfred" unjustly neglected, even though written when the composer was at the height of his powers. In my view, it contains some of his greatest music. The Finale can sound a bit weak but it certainly doesn't here. The 3rd Symphony has always seemed to me the least convincing but under Muti it is played for all it is worth - and more.
There is a rare chance to hear the dazzling pianist Andrei Gavrilov. Whatever happened to him? He hasn't made a recording in years, despite many successes, yet is still only in his fifties.
The recordings do full justice to the playing - I admit to retreating to the back of the room on a first listening to the "1812 Overture" but in the event the "cannon fire" was highly impressive rather than deafening.
Strongly recommended, even if you have other versions of these works.