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TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Manfred Symphony / Voyevoda (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Petrenko)

Composer(s):Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il'yich
Artist(s) Petrenko, Vasily, Conductor • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Orchestral
Catalogue 8.570568
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

Written between the fourth and fifth symphonies, Tchaikovsky’s programmatic Manfred Symphony, inspired by Byron’s dramatic poem of the same name, contains some of the composer’s most thrillingly orchestrated music and best tunes. For Tchaikovsky, as for Byron, Manfred represented the figure of the outsider, an outcast from society. The first movement depicts Manfred at midnight in a Gothic gallery in his Alpine castle, seeking self-oblivion and haunted by memories of lost love. The second movement evokes the spirit of the Witch of the Alps, appearing in a rainbow through the spray of a waterfall, while in the third movement a chamois hunter offers Manfred what little comfort he can. In the final movement, set in a subterranean hall of Evil, in


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Review By Ivan March,Gramophone,December 2009

The brilliant young Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko is undoubtedly a new star in the conducting firmament. He has transformed the playing of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic who obviously greatly enjoy playing for him. His splendid new version of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred was rightly chosen as Orchestral Record of the Year. It is thrilling and finally establishes the symphony as a masterpiece.

Review By Tony Way,The Age,November 2009

This finely wrought disc of symphonic romanticism  has just been honoured with Gramophone magazine’s prize for orchestral disc of the year. Petrenko, a native of St Petersburg has been at the helm of the Liverpool orchestra for just three years but he has already branded the players with his ardent love of Russian music. Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, with its richly evocative orchestration, is an ideal vehicle for the young conductor to draw an enviable wealth of detail and colour from his players. Wind and brass sections in particular play with enormous zeal, while the strings are totally unafraid to exhibit emotion through such devices as the portamento (or “slide”). From the grandeur of the opening through the varying


Review By Gregory Keane,Limelight Magazine,February 2009

This Manfred is a worthy addition to the recorded legacy of a symphony which has not always fared well on disc. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and their recently appointed Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko are a formidable team and certainly on fire in this demanding mercurial score…their opening movement is searching and beautifully nuanced, full of the unhurried phrasing, slight hesitations and subtle rubato that I recall made the (very) old Constantine Silvestri version such a delight. The brass are completely confident and the climax is wonderfully intense and passionate. The second movement is a delight, with gossamer textures and superb woodwind playing…[in the third movement] the RLPO’s woodwind choir is delectable here and the orchestra and


Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,November 2008

This recording includes two excellent and major symphonic works that represent Tchaikovsky at his dramatic, colourful best. Maestro Petrenko has the Tchaikovsky idiom down pat—this is echt Tchaikovsky—it simply does not get any better! There are not that many other versions of either work, and this superb, high-tech recording is a welcome addition to the catalogues.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,November 2008

The arrival in Liverpool two years ago of the St. Petersburg-born conductor, Vasily Petrenko, was one of the most exciting events that has happened to UK music for many decades.



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