The Tchaikovsky Album

I can't decide whether or not the school holidays are good for one's health.  The idea of a lovely long summer is a glorious one, but the cooking, washing, endless odd socks, bodies on sofas and all the driving is not such a lovely thought. Oh God and there is pony club camp to get through…...   My aim is to get through the summer without a half-way meltdown!  Then come September I hate them going back to school……you can't win!

Despite the dreadful cover The Tchaikovsky Album by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko is a goody.  This new recording contains many of the composers hits,  is very well recorded giving an excellent sound with plenty of instrumental colour.  The young Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko is Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which is the oldest orchestra in the UK.  In 2007 Petrenko was awarded Male Artist of the Year at the Classical Brits and in 2010 he received a Gramophone Award for Young Artist of the Year so having already conducted many of the world's most prestigious orchestras, he has a glittering career ahead. 

This recording contains the famous 1812 Overture which was composed during a period of personal turmoil for Tchaikovsky.  He had married the teenage Antonia Milyukova but the marriage failed within weeks and Tchaikovsky fled St Petersburg to escape and reflect on life without the pressure.  It was at this time that he wrote the 1812 Overture and although the work has become a huge favourite, he never liked it.  Beginning with a Russian hymn and ending with bombastic canon fire, this overtly nationalistic piece is one of the best examples of how Tchaikovsky was a master of orchestration.

Other works included on this recording are the powerful overture Francesca de Rimini Op 32 which is a symphonic version of the tragic tale of the great beauty who was immortalised in Dante's Divine Comedy.  The overture to Romeo and Juliet, considered to be one of the composers earliest masterpieces and the Capriccio Italian Op 45 - fantasy for orchestra, inspired by a trip to Rome when the carnival was in full swing. It opens in a sombre mood but soon picks up pace when the merrymaking begins. 

This is an excellent recording which I thoroughly recommend.  Listen to the 1812 on YouTube.     
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Posted on June 30, 2015 .