MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 4 [41:45]
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition (orch. Ravel) [32:33]
London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda
rec. live, Barbican, London, October/November 2017 & June 2018
LSO Live SACD LSO0810 [74:18]

The rise of orchestra-own-brand recordings is one of the reasons to be cheerful in our modern age which seems to put so little value on recorded music. These labels are bucking the trend, and LSO Live is one of the more successful ones. However, they sometimes raise the question of who they are for: are these interpretations for the ages, or are they mostly mementos for those who were at the concert?

I think this one falls squarely into the latter category, because it’s perfectly fine but overall pretty vanilla. I’m a fan of Gianandrea Noseda, and he is, no doubt, a shot in the arm for the LSO but, after a very mediocre Shostakovich 8 (review), I haven’t been particularly impressed by their collaborations on disc so far. This Russian disc is better than that one, but much of it is perfectly fine without being particularly exciting.

Let’s start with the Tchaikovsky. There is lyricism in the slow movement, which builds up some decent momentum, and I enjoyed the fun feel of the Scherzo, particularly the woodwind skirling. The outer movements are a bit flat and unexciting, though. For one thing, the horn fanfares that open the work are unforgivably tame: this moment needs to pin you to the back of your seat, but here it just seems to begin without much, well, fanfare. The strings have a silky lilt to them in the first subject, which is very attractive in its own way, and there is a gloopy, slightly tipsy feel to second subject, but it doesn't reek of Russian fire. The finale is pretty workaday, too. The initial explosion is pretty good, but there isn’t really a sense of threat when the first movement’s fanfare returns, and the final pages don’t carry enough of a sense of euphoria: if anywhere in Tchaikovsky's music calls for that, it’s here.

Pictures generally goes the same way. There are some very fine individual moments, such as the lovely saxophone solo in The Old Castle, and a pleasingly yappy trumpet in Goldenberg and Schmüyle. Importantly, the various different colours of the Promenades come out very well, binding the performance together successfully. On the whole, though, it’s a little ordinary. Nobody would be scared of this Gnomus, and the Great Gate of Kiev doesn’t thrill the blood like it should. The brass of the Catacombs echo pleasingly, and at least Baba Yaga’s hut is pretty exciting, but that almost comes a bit too late.

So this disc is perfectly fine but, in the light of the competition for both of these works, is that really enough? Ultimately, you can’t get away from the Russians in these works. My recent favourite Pictures is Gergiev’s Mariinsky live recording (review), and Pletnev’s Tchaikovsky 4 (review) knocks this one out of the park. Like I said, this disc is mostly a memento for those who were at the concerts.

Simon Thompson

Previous review: Robert Cummings

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili