£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Pyotr Ilych TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 5 (1888) [47.32]
Serenade for Strings (1880) [21.37]
Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
rec Broadwood Hotel Philadelphia, PA, USA, 25 Jan 1959 (Sym 5); 10 Apr 1960 (Serenade) ADD
SONY ESSENTIAL CLASSICS SBK46538 [69.50]


BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Ormandy's 1960s version of the Fifth Symphony complete with outrageously (and I mean gloriously) over-the-top portamenti in the first movement has not been dealt a kind hand by time. As far as I can tell from this disc the problem is down to tape deterioration. This is only evident in the first movement where any sort of massed intensity causes spalling distortion. Not even Mason Jones' solo horn song in the second movement nor yet the lithe waltz of the third can quite redeem this problem. If you want to hear a world-beating off-the-beaten-track recording then go straight to Vanguard's inspirational LSO Fifth with Monteux. Alternatively the Mravinsky version set down by Deutsche Grammophon while the Leningrad Phil were on a rare tour in the UK in 1960 will suit if you crave the adrenalin-soaked temperament.

The Symphony is coupled with a durable and springy Serenade for Strings taken at breakneck speed in the first movement. With music-making of this pitch is it any wonder that Ormandy was happy to pass a take that has someone's cough at 2.35 (track 5). It hardly matters. The lengthy Elegia is played with surging feeling. The luxury article that is the Philadelphia delivers plush strong sound but also resounding attack.

Rob Barnett


Return to Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.