This disc represents my first experience with German label EBS, and if this disc is representative of their catalog, I have no reservation giving them my highest recommendation. The major works here are Tchaikovsky’s Serenade in C and his compatriot Anton Arensky’s Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky; the remaining works are either by Tchaikovsky, or are transcriptions of Tchaikovsky works for cello and chamber orchestra accompaniment. Cellist and orchestra leader David Geringas leads the players in absolutely stirring performances of these works; despite the almost instant familiarity of works such as the Serenade and the Andante Cantibile, the freshness of the readings helps to elevate them to new heights of enjoyment. The transcriptions for cello and orchestra were bold and inventive, and increased my appreciation for the works exponentially.
The Red Book CD offers superb sound, and captures an excellent representation of the recorded acoustic. Because the recording notes were only offered in German, it was impossible for me to ascertain the recording location, but I was able to make out the following phrase: “recorded in surround-sound technic,” which leads me to believe that EBS may be planning to offer this disc as one of their mulitichannel SACDs. A quick trip to Google turned up several hits for EBS SACDs, so as great as this disc is in its present incarnation, it could be significantly better as an SACD. Hope springs eternal! Highly recommended.
– Tom Gibbs