Top critical review
Gergiev cannot conduct Tchaikovsky Symphonies......
on 15 February 2017
Gergiev cannot conduct Tchaikovsky 5th Symphony to save his life. Why does Gergiev have to drag the music out and slur the line breaking the flow of the music by always slowing down almost to a halt (which is not in the score) and then suddenly speed up for the 'fast bits'? The opening of the first movement just sounds so static, laboured and mannered and self -indulgent - and even more self-indulgent than Bernstein and that's saying something. To ensure that he received a rapturous applause, Gergiev speeds things up in the closing passages (yet still manages to 'milk' the closing bars for cheap effect making the music sound mannered.
Gergiev's sensationalist renditions of the 4th and 6th Symphonies of Tchaikovsky are equally as mannered and turgid and sluggish as the 5th with the VPO playing far too politely and polished, perfumed and manicured, silky and streamlined and all smoothed out; the VP) just cannot play Tchaikovsky (as was blatantly evident when Maazel recorded the Tchaikovsky Symphonies with the VPO years ago).