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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony - Jurowski

Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony - Jurowski

Avex-classics  AVCL 25937

Stereo Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski (conductor)

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PCM recording

Recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall on 8 December 2004

Recording producer: Tim Oldman

Recording engineer: Mike Hatch
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Comment by Don_Angelo - June 1, 2021 (1 of 1)

I was able to get a copy of this one, after a mixed impression from the redbook release for the full cycle I previously acquired.

So, I made a comparative listening to the SACD incarnation and the CD incarnation of Manfred. I could not get the technical details of the recording confirmed, judging by what I could read on other releases it should be a 24 bits - 44.1kHz source. Which made me reluctant in the first place.
Long story short, the SACD release is more detailed, the timbers are more accurate and lots of details of the orchestration are vivid while the redbook felt muddied. I feel some dynamic compression may be involved as some piano passages appear louder (e.g. Harp soloesque passage from last movement) but at the same time the timbre feel full and crisper. Does the extra information from the 24 bits weight more in this perception than the better mastering process I cannot say. I do, however, know I wish I could get the full cycle mastered in the same fashion.

Performance-wise, Jurowski is highly recommendable in Tchaikovsky as the praises he earned from his later recordings of the ballets can attest for. For the Manfred symphony, Jurowski may not be the first name to come to mind. I would, however, put him in my top 5 recommended performers. I wish the organ climax would have the impact it has in Mutti’s studio recording with the Philharmonia, but Jurowski seems not to want excessive drama in his Tchaikovsky, which I understand completely.