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Jurowski: Tchaikovsky – Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet (24/96 FLAC)

Jurowski: Tchaikovsky - Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet (24/96 FLAC)

Jurowski: Tchaikovsky – Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Performer: Maxim Mikhailov, Tatiana Monogarova
Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Pentatone
Catalogue: PTC5186330
Release: 2008
Size: 954 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Hamlet, Op. 67
01. Overture
02. Act I Scene 1: Melodrame: First appearance of Ghost
03. Act I Scene 4: Fanfare: A Flourish of Trumpets
04. Act I Scene 4: Melodrame: Appearance of Ghost to Hamlet
05. Act I Scene 5: Melodrame: The Ghost tells Hamlet of his father’s murder
06. Act II: Entr’acte: Prelude to Scene 1 and first appearance in the play of Ophelia
07. Act II Scene 2: Fanfare: The Dumb Show enters
08. Act II Scene 2: Fanfare: A Room in the Castle – Flourish
09. Act III: Entr’acte: Prelude to Scene 1 which features Hamlet’s soliloquy
10. Act III Scene 2: Melodrame: The Players enact the Scene of the Poisoning
11. Act IV: Entr’acte: Prelude to Scene 1 – A Room in the Castle
12. Act IV Scene 5: Scene d’Ophelie: Elsinore – Ophelia’s Mad Scene
13. Act IV Scene 5: Deuxieme scene d’Ophelie: Re-enter Ophelia, fantastically dressed with straws and flowers
14. Act V: Entr’acte: Prelude to Scene 1 – A Churchyard
15 .Act V Scene 1: Chant du Fossoyeur
16. Act V Scene 2: Fanfare: Trumpets sound
17. Act V Scene 2: Marche finale

18. Romeo & Juliet – Fantasy Overture

Any recording on PentaTone with Vladimir Jurowski must be regarded as an event and this release certainly lives up to its promise. Russian conductor and Russian orchestra play this astounding music with full romantic panache!

Tchaikovsky’s rarely recorded overture and incidental music for Hamlet, and his even more rarely recorded original version of the Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet, are hardly the crown jewels of his output. The former has some fine music in it — the blustery overture and the fetching Allegro simplice Entr’acte in particular — but most of it, while appropriate as incidental music, can hardly stand repeated listenings. The latter likewise has fine moments, but it is less formally cogent and dramatically compelling than its later incarnation.

That said, these are truly first-rate performances. Vladimir Jurowski had previously demonstrated his understanding of Tchaikovsky’s music in his brilliantly colorful and highly balletic recording of the composer’s under-valued Third Suite for Orchestra, and his direction here is no less sympathetic. As much as the Hamlet music and Romeo and Juliet overture can hold together, they hold together here in Jurowski’s tight, taut performances. The Russian National Orchestra responds to Jurowski’s direction with passion and panache, and that enthusiasm goes a long way toward overcoming the music’s inherent weaknesses. Captured in immediate super audio, multi-channel digital sound, this disc may initially appeal only to Tchaikovsky’s most dedicated fans, but they will most likely be very happy to hear it.

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