Reiner Conducts Tchaikovsky
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Reiner was in charge of the Chicago orchestra from 1953 to 1962, just before his death the following year. In that time he brought the orchestra to a peak of technical and musical quality that is a source of continual wonder. Of course, this entirely depends on the conductor having something of lasting value to offer. This Reiner certainly had and that extends far beyond his renowned Richard Strauss readings.
This Tchaikovsky 6 is a good example of the musical insight of an outstanding musical mind being fully matched by an orchestra, both corporately and by individual merit, being able to realise that vision. As a result we experience a reading of considerable depth as well as tremendous excitement resulting from Reiner's unerring ability to build towards climatic moments within movements without undermining them by releasing tension too soon. The outer movements in particular are completely impressive in this way. So too is the playing of the orchestra whose members achieve astonishing technical feats, often at pianissimo levels.
This equally applies to the Mephisto waltz which arguably achieves one of, if not the most, gripping and effective recordings on record. No trace of false bombast here and the music gains immeasurably.
The 1812 may not have the cannon at the conclusion but Reiner's sure delivery delivers the conclusion in such a way that their absence seems not to be an issue of any importance.
The recordings from 1955-1957 simply beggar belief at how so much precision within a proper balance and at such a dynamic range from the softest pianissimo to the most powerful forte can be so apparent. This is a spectacular technical achievement on the behalf of the original sound engineers and by those responsible for this re-mastered issue.
Regardless of how many versions that collectors have of the symphony and the Mephisto Waltz, this disc is certain to deliver great satisfaction on any level. It may even supersede favourite more recent versions!