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CD Review

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Live Recordings 1942-43

  • The Storm, Op. 76
  • Symphony #5 in E minor, Op. 64
  • The Tempest, Op. 18
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski
Guild GHCD2334 74m ADD
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The first thing that strikes you when listening to this new Guild disc is the astonishing sound for a wartime recording. The other thing is the literal white heat of Leopold Stokowski's interpretation which is truly trailblazing from end to end – what you could call as edge of the seat stuff.

It is also good to have Stokowski's rare recordings of "The Storm" and "The Tempest" which although early works are full of the charismatic touches and interpretative quirks which make this conductor so famous. The Fifth Symphony is amongst the most satisfying of the many Stokowski versions available on disc and it has the NBC Symphony in true top form.

As I've already said, the sound is astonishing for its age and is a tribute to Guild's skilful remastering techniques. Notes by Robert Matthew walker are detailed and full of exemplary information – as much as we've come to expect from this series. A most desirable Stokowski reissue to add alongside his vast collection.

Copyright © 2008, Gerald Fenech