One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti

Rachmaninov - Trifonov

an inspirational performance

An indispensable acquisition

The finest we have had in years

bewitching sound

Simply amazing

A splendid addition

One of the most enjoyable

quite superb!

utterly essential

A wonderful introduction

An outstanding CD


One of the finest versions

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 3 in D major (‘Polish’) (1875) [45.39]
Symphony No. 5 in E minor (1888) [45.50]
The Sleeping Beauty Suite (1890) [19.53]
Swan Lake Suite (1875-76) [28.22]
Marche slav [9:54]
Vienna Symphony Orchetsra/Moshe Atzmon (3)
London Symphony Orchestra/Claudio Abbado (5)
Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra/Witold Rowicki (ballets)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Ferdinand Leitner (Marche)
rec. Simmeringer Hof, Vienna, 1973 (3); Studio Anvil Films, Denham, UK, 1970 (5); Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw, 1959 (ballets); Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, 1959 (Marche)
DECCA ELOQUENCE 482 6176 [2 CDs: 149:47]

Tchaikovsky’s ‘Polish’ symphony has not been valued as highly Tchaikovsky’s 4,5th and 6th symphonies. A great pity for this is a tuneful, thrilling score that deserves to be better appreciated.

This latest Decca Eloquence release includes a very decent recording from 1973 in very good quality sound from Wiener Symphoniker conducted by Moshe Atzmon. The outer movements really excite with deliciously tenderly romantic interludes. Atzmon’s Schumann-esque ‘Alla Tedesca’ enchants, and as everywhere the ballet-like influence is charmingly presented. Atzmon’s gorgeous Andante elegiac haunts.

There have been noteworthy recordings of this delightful work by numerous conductors including: Jansons, Karajan, Rostropovich, Markevitch, and Rozhdestvensky. (Janson’s being particularly admired as has Petrenko’s Onyx recording released this year.)

I wish I could be as enthusiastic about Abbado’s reading of Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony. The sound is first class and for the most part the outer movements are exciting enough; it is the insensitive, insecure intonation of the horn at the beginning of the second movement that really lets it down.

For me the benchmark recording of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony has always been the early 1950s Karajan/ Denis Brain recording, because of Brain’s beautifully phrased horn solo at the opening of the slow movement. Jansons’ Chandos 1984 recording has been generally admired but its CD total timing at under 45 minutes is hardly generous. For bargain seekers, the venerable 1959 George Szell recording with the Cleveland Orchestra now on Sony BC 1064 is not to be sniffed at.

Marche slav, Tchaikovsky’s up-market 1812 variant, receives a rollicking reading from Ferdinand Leitner.

The Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty ballet suites, in the capable hands of Witol Rowicki, receive beautifully polished, nicely judged and sensitive performances; the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra’s woodwind section is especially noteworthy.

Warmly welcomed return of Moshe Atzmon’s ‘Polish’ Symphony reading; not so much enthusiasm on the reappearance of Abbado’s recording of the Fifth Symphony.

Ian Lace



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger