This is more of a supportive review to John Quinn’s excellent
appreciation. I find I am in complete accord with his critique. This CD will
certainly appear in my 2013 list of best recordings.
Like John, I have loved this Symphony ever since I purchased André Previn’s recording
, on its first LP release, forty
years ago, in 1973. In those days we had to endure the snap, crackle and pop
of LP surfaces. I well remember being frustrated by this nuisance early on
in the first movement and encountering the same problem on three subsequent
copies for which I exchanged the original purchase. All were marred. Clearly
this was a batch fault - not uncommon in those days.
Petrenko’s reading of the Symphony is slowly but firmly paced
and controlled. It unravels exquisitely, the lovely Adagio
affecting. It never becomes mawkish but is full of tender nostalgia, as
though revealing lingering, cherished memories, reluctant to be released,
its passionate, heartfelt climax overwhelming in its intensity. You feel a
sincerity of emotion here.
This reading will not supersede my favourite readings of this
marvellous work such as those by Previn and Ashkenazy but it will sit
alongside them and be played when I feel in the appropriate mood for its
very special atmosphere.
The RLPO is on top form and the recording is extremely well
Dances make an interesting filler. The
Women’s Dance is a waltz, gentle, dainty and tenderly seductive. The
Intermezzo blends oriental and pastoral and the Men’s Dance is wild
and frenetic but not without wit.
A tenderly seductive account of this great Russian symphony.
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