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CD Review

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Swan Lake Op. 20

National Philharmonic Orchestra/Richard Bonynge
Double Decca 473283-2 156m ADD
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Tchaikovsky's ballets are simply a collection of magical music, an incredible peroration of glorious melodies that remain amongst the classics of all time. 'Swan Lake' is perhaps my favourite, not just for personal reasons but also for its wonderful story that definitely brings tears to the eyes.

Richard Bonynge remains one of the finest exponents of these ballets and his recordings have rarely been out of the catalogue. Consequentially, this mid 70's recording of 'Swan Lake' is definitely one of the front runners alongside the equally famous Lanchbery set on EMI (now reissued as a complete recording alongside the other two ballets).

The crisp, clean orchestral playing and the astonishingly vivid Decca recording contribute to the whole project with élan. Anyone searching for a mid price version of this set could do far worse than acquire this recording, one of the legends of the analogue Decca era.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech