Tchaikovsky - Manfred Symphony, Marche Slave
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Cat No: C895151
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 7th April 2015
ArtistsCity of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
The 'Manfred' Symphony in B minor, composed between Tchaikovsky's Fourth and Fifth Symphonies, has all too often been overlooked. The latter two symphonies, and the Sixth, have already been released in award-winning recordings from the CBSO under Music Director Andris Nelsons.
'Manfred', after Lord Byron’s dramatic poem of the same name, now enriches this Tchaikovsky cycle through a number of remarkable facets. As suggested by the critic Vladimir Stasov, Tchaikovsky's programmatic late-romantic, agitated series of orchestral scenes depicts Manfred's lonely mountain peregrinations, complete with magical apparitions, an idyllic submersion in nature plus a bacchanal from the nether world. The listener is gripped by the enormous strength of the CBSO string section while the woodwind and brass sections almost steal the show, particularly in the vision of the Alpine fairy and the tempestuous sweep of the bacchanal.
Tchaikovsky’s much shorter 'Marche Slave' includes not only musical references to Serbian folk songs but also the Russian National Anthem, 'God Save the Tsar', which caused considerable problems for Russian censors during much of the 20th century.
Whether on the concert or operatic podium, conductor Andris Nelsons remains a master when it comes to the heightening of dramatic intensity. Here, with the CBSO once again on superb form, this march assumes a timeless historic stature.
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