Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony
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Manfred, symphonie en 4 tableaux - Le Voïevode / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vasily Petrenko, direction
''[Vasily Petrenko] seems to have everything going for him: dynamism, taste, confident command and clarity of communication.... What an exciting conductor he is to watch, and, even more so, to hear in action.'' --The Daily Telegraph
winner of the best orchestral disc catagory --Gramophone awards 2009
Top Customer Reviews
At this price it's an absolute bargain. Tchaikovsky lovers don't hesitate!
Try this performance of Manfred and find out why?
Not just for the sentimental and backward-looking; this is also a performance of power and precision. The fact that I was so transported by the beauty of the Alpine scene (III - Andante) is just an unexpected bonus. The sprites are also present in this recording - it is multi-faceted.
The Voyevoda is a rarity and more welcome for that. I remember it was part of a much-treasured Dorati disc in the early '70s but gets a rare outing these days.
Having been well rewarded, recently, by the Shostakovich offerings from these forces I must say that I look forward to any and all of the future releases from the Petrenko /Liverpool / Naxos partnership
You can not help but wonder if Richard Strauss knew the work. The last couple of minutes of the finale reminded me of the conclusion of Strauss's tone poem Death and Transfiguration where the artist transcends the boundaries of the world. Clearly Vasily Petrenko is going to be one of the great conductors of the future. Just buy it.
I wonder why it has fallen into comparative disfavour; if any recording could revive interest it is this one. Petrenko does it again with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, making them sound like a world class orchestra, just as he has now done in several recordings. If I lived in or near Liverpool I would jump at every chance to hear them. The strings sound rich and full, the woodwind retain a pleasing rasp in late Romantic repertoire, and the sound provided by Naxos - surely 24 bit - is absolutely gripping in its warmth and immediacy. Try the entry of the organ at 17'24" for thrills; it in no way diminishes the sonorousness of the orchestra but just lifts everything on to a higher sonic plane - stunning.
Petrenko's conducting holds an essentially disparate piece together; he obviously loves the piece and his enthusiasm infects his players. The provision as a bonus of the equally rarely heard "Voyevoda" is very welcome; it is another arch-Romantic composition which often anticipates Sibelius in his most energised and liberated mode.
The finest reading has always been Toscanini's: no one else has matched the perfect execution, the graciously sculpted phrases, the powerful climaxes, and the sense of narrative drama. Unfortunately it's in mediocre mono sound, but the memory is indelible. And the way he broadens the tempo at the conclusion of the symphony, and in the use of many other interpretive inflections throughout, gives the lie to the idea that he was a rigid or unsubtle conductor.
In stereo, I think Rostropovich comes closest to Toscanini in emotional impact, though the opening of his first movement is way too slow, and will remind some of Klemperer in his later days. Still, the final movement's conclusion is more effective under his baton than any.
Pletnev's two readings are very fine. The slightly over-reverberant sound (on DG, the one I prefer slightly at the moment) softens the dynamic impact of his orchestra's attacks somewhat, but he understands the music and seems to have lived with it longer than Petrenko, and even if Petrenko is a slightly better conductor, Pletnev is the better interpreter: the music unfolds with a seamless, organic, and more inevitable quality than in Petrenko, who seems to be fussy with it a little too much.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent recording of this symphony, for me a good introduction to a work I did not know.Published 17 months ago by ACW. Derbyshire
I bought the disc on the strength of Vasily Petrenko and the excellent rendition under his direction of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra of the Shostakovich Symphony... Read morePublished on 15 July 2014 by Serghiou Const
The RLPO's and Petrenko's Manfred was a highlight at the Proms a couple of years ago. Enough reviews have commented on this extraordinary piece and this wonderful performance. Read morePublished on 14 Mar. 2014 by dacochrane
A fine recording of this often neglected work with a superb soundstage and natural sound. Recording quality is excellent. Read morePublished on 22 Oct. 2013 by Mr Patrick McDermott
Tchaikovsky's Manfred symphony is loosely based on the Byron poem following on from an earlier suggestion by Balakirev that he should write such a work based on the poem. Read morePublished on 20 Oct. 2013 by I. Giles
What a shame Tchaikovski has passed on. I could listen to his heart wrenching..melodic..soft..loud ..beautiful..soul searching..anything.. till the end of my days. Read morePublished on 16 Aug. 2012 by Musicman
Despite having several recordings of this dramatic work in my library, I regard this as the finest availableyet -at any price! Read morePublished on 15 July 2012 by afficianado
This recording, made in 2007 in Liverpool, shows off the RLPO at its best. Vasily Petrenko thrillingly leads the orchestra through all Manfred's torments. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2011 by John Crimp