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Not So Terrific TchaikovskyApril 2 2005
Michael Brad Richman
- Published on Amazon.com
While I'm not currently buying Testament titles at the same rate I was a few years back, I still look forward to the company's reissues. However, I was initially luke warm about this double disc featuring Erich Kleiber performing Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos. 4 & 6. Not only did it seem excessive to charge full-price (x 2) for just two symphonies, but I had just bought a similar Testament title featuring Rafael Kubelik conducting the 4th, 5th and 6th, and in stereo no less (see my review). Well, thankfully Testament has made this a two-for-the-price-of-one release, making my concern about cost moot. With that being said, these 1953 and 1949 mono recordings leave a lot to be desired. The senior Kleiber is not in his element here -- an Austrian conductor performing Russian works with a French orchestra (Orchestre de la Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire). His bread and butter performances (Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert) are better represented on his recent title in the UNI's "Original Masters" series (see my review). This 2CD offering definitely has collector appeal, but if you really must have a Testament Tchaikovsky title, pay the extra money for the Kubelik.