Composer: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Performer: Alexander Barantschik
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Michael Tilson Thomas
Number of Discs: 2
Format: APE (image+cue)
Size: 662 MB
02-18. Act I
19-26. Act II (Beginning)
01-03. Act II (Conclusion)
04-20. Act III
21-25. Act IV
Thanks to the new movie “Black Swan” there’ll be renewed interest in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake as a complete work of music-theater. For those of us who find the actual dancing distracting, this is a fine recording to enjoy at home.
Although MTT is now known more for his work on very-late romantics, especially the Mahler cycle recorded with the San Francisco Symphony, he clearly is in command of the LSO in this recording. While the LSO can be uncertain of pitch in some perfomances, this 2-disc complete recording of the full score is perfectly executed.
While the tempi are quite languid in many parts (making this more suitable for serious listening to the music than for dancing) in other parts, Tilson Thomas whips up the band into a prestissimo fervor–very exciting!
For a recording that’s now 20 years old, the engineering is surprisingly good and the bang-crash! of bass drum and cymbels that appears throughout is forcefully captured. This recording can be recommended with confidence and would make a great gift for a young person interested in the ballet.