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Reviews: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Romeo & Juliet - Ashkenazy

Reviews: 2

Review by flyingdutchman July 16, 2003 (3 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Perhaps one of the worst sounding recordings I have ever heard of this magisterial music. There are countless musical errors especially in the first and last movements. The sound is very constricted for a multichannel SACD and Suntory Hall is perhaps one of the driest venues ever. Stay away from this recording. One other thing: the Exton recording team recorded both items on this SACD in one day and it sounds like it. While Ashkenazy and the Philharmonia are a great team in other recordings, this one stinks and it is obvious they spent little time in rehearsals or refused to do retakes of certain portions of the music.

Nabokov could not be more wrong on his review. There are numerous mistakes that could have been remedied with extra recording sessions. Furthermore, the Philharmonia play this music w/o emotion. Ashkenazy's previous recording on London/Decca is much preferred. Certainly NOT one of the better SACDs to date.

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Review by nabokov June 27, 2003 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is all you could hope for in Tchaikovsky – a passionate, gripping performance from start to finish, caught in exemplary sound. Ashkenazy’s pacing is exactly right – always supporting the melodic line and his ritenutos are affectionate, but never affected. He has a very definite idea of where the music should go and brings many revelations to the score. The entranced Philharmonia is with him all the way, even though a few minor flaws have not been edited out - perhaps a motivated decision on Tomoyoshi Ezaki's part, because this is not the first Exton recording on which you can hear such unedited flaws? Anyhow, the momentum was not spoiled - this is certainly one of the best SACD’s to date – a legendary performance caught on the wing.

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