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CD Review

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky

Suites for Orchestra

  • Suite #1 in D minor, Op. 43
  • Suite #2 "Caractéristique" in C Major, Op. 53
  • Suite #3 in G Major, Op. 55
  • Suite #4 "Mozartiana" in G Major, Op. 61
New Philharmonia Orchestra/Antal Doráti
Decca Originals 4781708 143m ADD
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Also available on original Philips Duo release 454253-2:
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This classic recording of the four Tchaikovsky Suites dates from the mid 1960's with Antal Doráti in fine fettle and the New Philharmonia Orchestra really on the ball. The first two suites are not very much in the mainstream although they have received some good recordings recently courtesy of Sir Neville Marriner (Capriccio 10200 and 10227, reissued as a set on Phoenix Edition 412) and Neeme Järvi (Chandos CHAN9676). I definitely like Doráti best as he brings great energy and zest to the works especially with a momentous Gavotte at the end of the First Suite. Energy and momentum is maintained in the Second Suite with the Andante particularly fine.

The Third Suite is perhaps much more well known with the famous Decca recording by Sir Adrian Boult still a fine representative of the work albeit in early stereo sound. Doráti is again energetic and rumbustious in all movements with the memorable Elegia given stately symphonic treatment. The Fourth Suite is perhaps the most famous with its combination of Mozartian melodies with the final Theme and Variations particularly intense. The Decca set has notes by John Warrack and the recordings are as clean and memorable as one could expect. This release is recommended for those who would like a lighter side to their Tchaikovsky collection.

Copyright © 2011, Gerald Fenech