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Pletnev: Tchaikovsky – Symphony no.5, Francesca da Rimini (24/96 FLAC)

Pletnev: Tchaikovsky - Symphony no.5, Francesca da Rimini (24/96 FLAC)

Pletnev: Tchaikovsky – Symphony no.5, Francesca da Rimini (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Pentatone
Catalogue: PTC5186385
Release: 2011
Size: 1.17 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
01. I. Andante – Allegro con anima
02. II. Andante cantabile con alcuna licenza
03. III. Valse: Allegro moderato
04. IV. Finale: Andante maestoso – Allegro vivace

05. Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32

The second in a new Tchaikovsky Symphonies cycle with these forces, the PentaTone releases by the Russian National Orchestra have received excellent reviews, many winning awards. “… the orchestra is superbly responsive, shaping the love melody with nobility and warmth…” BBC Music Magazine (PTC5186384)

There is no shortage of recordings of the Symphony No. 5 in E minor by Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, so the discriminating listener need not settle for one that falls short of true excellence, however good it may be in some particulars. Such is the case with Mikhail Pletnev’s multichannel recording for PentaTone, which for the most part is a respectable effort that has fine sound quality, but which is somewhat less than extraordinary. In such an audiophile presentation, one expects the Russian National Orchestra to be marvelous in sonority, deep in textures, and expansive in spatial dimensions to raise it above the levels of a merely good or satisfactory recording. Yet in spite of the resources at hand, considering that PentaTone has produced some of the finest SACDs available, it sounds about as good as one might expect of a CD, not a state-of-the-art recording. Pletnev’s interpretation is lyrical and elastic, so the music sounds fresh and organically conceived, and the orchestra is responsive to the conductor’s nuances. But this familiar work falls short of being exciting when it needs to be and seems to be a bit more studied than felt. (There is one unfortunate passage in the Finale where Pletnev indulges in a ritardando that slows down to a farcical sostenuto, showing bad taste.)The filler work, Francesca da Rimini, is played with melodramatic flair and flexibility, but again, the sound is nothing special for a collectors’ package.

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