TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4 in F Minor; Capriccio Italien – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniele Gatti – Harmonia Mundi

by | Aug 23, 2005 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36; Capriccio
Italien, Op. 45 – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Daniele Gatti – Harmonia
Mundi HMU 907393   53:39***:

At the risk of contradicting whoever passes as the great mavens of
criticism, I do not see what all the excitement is about, regarding
Daniele Gatti’s 1996 assumption of the Royal Philharmonic and his
current cycle of Tchaikovsky symphonies. What I hear is an extremely
responsive orchestra catering to a fairly pedestrian imagination on the
behalf of its chief interpreter. The opening movement of the F Minor
Symphony is taken at a rapid clip; the pizzicato strings of the Scherzo
sound great. The Capriccio, which blazes under the hands of
Mitropoulos, Kempen, and Beecham, sounds here like an intelligent if
restrained reading that bounces in the right places but never soars.
Maybe what we need here is a musical trampoline. After having
auditioned Ferenc Fricsay’s vivid realization of the Fourth on DGG and
having auditioned the contemporary likes of Gergiev on Philips, what is
the appeal of yet another, merely competent account?  And then,
when I recall my fondness for Furtwaengler, Mitropoulos, Kleiber,
Mravinsky, Mengelberg, and Koussevitzky in the Fourth, why am I
bothering myself with auditory angst?  Dare I mention Sir Thomas
Beecham’s version with this same ensemble? Besides, I have learned to
live with guilt. [Tilson Thomas was pretty good too in the PBS video on DVD…Ed.]

–Gary Lemco

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