Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Francesca da Rimini - Stokowski
PentaTone RQR PTC 5186 122
Classical - Orchestral
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings Op. 48, Francesca da Rimini Op. 32
London Symphony Orchestra
Leopold Stokowski (conductor)
Review by John Broggio - April 2, 2006
If we could collect the electricity that flows from Stowkowski and the LSO in this pair of recordings, there would be no energy crisis! This is simply extraordainary playing which is matched to a very well balanced recording which has been bought back to life by Pentatone - thank you!
Firstly, we are treated to a most incredible Francesca da Rimini (something of a Stokowski speciality) in which the notes fairly leap off the page and out of one's speakers! If you don't know this superb work, you could not hope for a better introduction than how it is presented here. The outer sections are absolutely incredible in their energy and passion; they are beautifully offset by the sensitive playing of the central section (not that sensitivity is lacking in the outer sections nor energy or passion from the central section). Stokowski and the LSO combine to produce what must be one the finest accounts on disc that either has given. The ending is transformed here into one of music's most exciting moments which has gripping the edge of your seat until the last remnants of the dying gong sound has ended.
Following this, there is a loving but fortunately for the listener a more relaxed account of the Serenade for Strings. This is a joy to the ear and throughout the LSO strings are rich, delicate and almost translucent by turns. Stokowski encourages a romantic view of the score but the phrasing that he encourages are all to the service of the musical mood.
Philips Classics 4.0 recording was wonderful and has been extremely well transfered by Pentatone with a beautiful amount of ambience from the rears. At no time can one realise that the recording is over 25 years old! If all discs were of this quality, there would be no need for reviewers...
I cannot recommend this recording strongly enough - I sincerely hope there are more RQR releases like this to follow.
Copyright © 2006 John Broggio and HRAudio.net