I used mostly my ears

a blog about music by Marc Haegeman

Swans in despair

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Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Op. 20
Russian National Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev
Ondine ODE1167-2D 2CDs 78:44 + 64:08

Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake

Swan Lake by Pletnev

Piotr Tchaikovsky’s first ballet Swan Lake (1877) has fared rather well on disc. The score – melodious, brilliantly orchestrated, imaginatively constructed, evocative and dramatic – has understandably always been tempting conductors, seasoned in the theatre or not, to take it out of its balletic context, often with great conviction. From the pioneering, first-ever complete version by Antal Doráti with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1954, by way of the colorful, supremely elegant renderings by ballet specialists like Pierre Monteux and Ernest Ansermet, the incisive Ferenc Fricsay or the surprising Herbert von Karajan (for abridged versions or the suite), to the tragic full-length ones by Evgeny Svetlanov, Anatole Fistoulari, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vladimir Fedoseyev among several others: in any case there is no doubt that the music of Swan Lake can easily stand on its own as powerful lyrical drama without words. And now we have Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra on the Finnish label Ondine trying their hand at the complete ballet.
Read the full review on Classical Net

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