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<<  -- 3 --  Ron Bierman    POINTING THE WAY


As in the Symphony, Immerseel's Suite from The Nutcracker has a closer-to-chamber-music quality that adds a delightful delicacy. Unexpectedly, I most missed the modern string sound in the Waltz of the Flowers [listen -- track 12, 1:07-2:11]. Had Tchaikovsky heard Ormandy's marvellous, string-bloated performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra, I think he'd have preferred it too.

So it depends on the particular piece and the desired effect. I have no wish to hear what Anima Eterna would do with The 1812 Overture. Instead, add as many canons and modern brass instruments as you can. I expect to go home with a temporary loss of hearing. But I'd quite like to hear Immerseel in the Suites for Orchestra. I'm sure it would give us a much better feeling for why Tchaikovsky used themes from Mozart in the last of these.

Fanatical original instrument recordings of Haydn or Vivaldi usually leave me cold. I like best those that incorporate a few modern techniques. I also like the reverse, modern performances that have benefited from the hearing of original instrument practices. Quicker tempos and smaller orchestras come to mind. Similarly, there is an opportunity for a modern approach to Tchaikovsky that includes the best of nineteenth century thought. I congratulate Anima Eterna for pointing the way.

Copyright © 21 May 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 - Suite de Casse-Noisette

ZZT 030102 Stereo NEW RELEASE 65'16" 2002 Zig-Zag Territoires

Anima Eterna; Jos van Immerseel, director

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 in F minor Op 36 (1877); Nutcracker Suite Op 71a (1892)


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