WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet, Capriccio Italien, Francesca Da Rimini / Kogan

Tchaikovsky / Moscow State Sym Orch / Kogan
Release Date: 02/09/2010 
Label:  Musical Concepts   Catalog #: 1033  
Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

I urge all true Tchaikovskians to hear this disc.

Liszt had the gist of the tone poem and wrote more than a dozen including the memorable Les Preludes, the Beecham-favoured Orpheus and the less celebrated Hunnenschlacht. However it was Tchaikovsky whose creative stream of music most naturally found an answer to his expressive needs in the tone poem.

Robin Vaughan's Musical Concepts hosts the labels Regis, Forum and Alto. While Regis seems to have fallen into the background and Forum has always been less profuse Alto has burgeoned. Its realm – by no means exclusive - is that of the digital reissue regenerating material found on now-defunct labels such as Collins and ASV.
Read more
The present disc follows hot on the heels of the acclaimed Rachmaninoff cycle. Alto have picked up some rather fine Tchaikovsky material recorded some twenty years ago by that elite team Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz and never issued. The three Rachmaninov symphonies with Pavel Kogan conducting are strong contenders. Kogan has no truck with blatant easy choices. His Tchaikovsky is characterised by the most tender and finely judged dynamics, stresses and emphases. His Romeo and Juliet ranks with Monteux's fine LSO recording on Vanguard.

The Rachmaninov discs have a technicolor glare – not disagreeable but certainly marmite-distinctive. This one is more suave - at least in Romeo. On the other hand the gloves are off for that most unsubtle of works Capriccio Italien. The blare and rasp of the opening fanfare are remarkable. On the other hand the buzzing and accelerating tension of the strings and woodwind before another garish triumph of brass and cymbal crashes is to treasure. The carefree Neapolitan song at 5:20 is limpid and lissom and with a delightful chuckle. More than ever does this piece come over as a balletic divertissement. This is old-style Soviet playing and completely irresistible in a world of bland generalisation and softened contrast. Rhythmic exuberance is deeply etched and sturdily sustained.

As for that furnace of the emotions, Francesca da Rimini there is a long Russian tradition. Rather than the over-heated and pressurised intensity of Ovchinnikov or Mravinsky, Kogan tends towards sensitivity. Francesca is a great work and the finest among Tchaikovsky's oeuvre in its concentration and succinct expression of ideas and drama. Kogan handles the work's many tender transitions (as at 9:23) with a loving-kindness that does not preclude the roar of tragedy in the climaxes. This is to the fore at 18:35 where whooping horns are heard in ecstatic collision with blaring trumpets. This delivers the same engrossingly coarse edge heard at the start of Capriccio Italien.

This may not have the almost demented fervour of the Ovchinnikov, Stokowski or Golovanov or the spontaneous fire and tears of an Ahronovitch but it stands very high in the Tchaikovsky ‘Hall of Honour’ stakes. When I hear Kogan revelling in the erotic throb of the massed strings I wonder whether I could be underestimating the result.

The Onegin extracts share the same qualities - rapt and taut rhythmic precision, a big sound signature, an unshakable forward-moving élan and a sense of the true pulsating Tchaikovskian tradition.

I urge all true Tchaikovskians to hear this disc.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
2. Capriccio italien, Op. 45 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
3. Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
4. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Polonaise by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
5. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24: Waltz by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Pavel Kogan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook