Author Topic: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony  (Read 25839 times)

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Offline Bunny

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #60 on: November 12, 2008, 09:36:11 PM »
You think so? I think merely - well, hurwitzian  :D. I heard him a few times on CBC's radio and he's not only knowledgeable but he backs up his comments with examples. Which of course goes for naught if he (or Hurwitz) has a game plan designed to prove his point.

Yes, very knowledgeable, but also very arrogant.  There's no humility to temper his opinions which is his main flaw.

Offline knight66

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #61 on: November 21, 2008, 12:11:52 AM »
I cannot really explain how I can have listened to music for over 40 years, yet never heard a bar of Manfred. I have been reading this thread and a week ago bought a mag with a sampler disc on it because among other new issues, it had a movement from Manfred on it.

What a wonderful piece, full of energy, wonderful long melodies, memorable music. I have bought the new Naxos version; The Royal Liverpool Phil conducted by Vasily Petrenko. As no kind of expert on this piece, my recommendation really means nothing. To my ears it is excellent, clear sound, characterful woodwind, sweet strings and the conductor takes us on a journey, drama, sweep, drive and great lyricism.

Probably my find of the year in terms of music new to me.

Mike
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Offline Marcel

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #62 on: November 21, 2008, 01:34:46 AM »
I cannot really explain how I can have listened to music for over 40 years, yet never heard a bar of Manfred. I have been reading this thread and a week ago bought a mag with a sampler disc on it because among other new issues, it had a movement from Manfred on it.

What a wonderful piece, full of energy, wonderful long melodies, memorable music. I have bought the new Naxos version; The Royal Liverpool Phil conducted by Vasily Petrenko. As no kind of expert on this piece, my recommendation really means nothing. To my ears it is excellent, clear sound, characterful woodwind, sweet strings and the conductor takes us on a journey, drama, sweep, drive and great lyricism.

Probably my find of the year in terms of music new to me.

Mike

I can only agree with your opinion. I love Petrenko's Manfred.

Offline Scion7

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1982 Muti/Philharmonia TCHAIKOVSKY - Manfred Symphony
« Reply #63 on: March 14, 2012, 10:43:14 PM »
       click image



A major favorite.  EMI-Angel had gotten the message about the quality of their LP surfaces,
and this one - along with the Perlman/Beethoven Concerto - was very quiet.   Great record.

        from Gramophone July 1982

TCHAIKOVSKY. Manfred Symphony, Op. 58. Phil- harmonia Orchestra / Riccardo Muti. HMV digital (E) ASD4169; TCC-A5D4169.

The new HMV digital Manfred is magnificently recorded. This is one of a handful of digital records so far issued which must convince any listener of the potential of this new recording system. It is in almost every way finer than any of the available analogue comparisons, in a work that is gloriously responsive to ripely glowing string textures and rich brass sonorities. It is true that once or twice in fortissimo the trumpets are somewhat fierce, but overall the brass makes a marvellous effect and the strings sound gorgeous, whether playing pianissimo or with full-throated open tone in unison on the G string. Indeed, the physical thrill when they do this in Tchaikovsky's great unison melody which comes twice (at the end of both outer movements) is overwhelming, and when in the finale the climax is capped with cymbals the effect is electrifying. Direct comparison with the Ashkenazy/Decca version, recorded four years earlier, also in the Kingsway Hall— which by any normal standards offers first-class quality—emphasizes how remarkable is the body of Philharmonia string sound which Muti secures here.
Muti's is an epic reading, red-bloodedly powerful throughout. It is less subtle than Ashkenazy's, less Slavonic in feeling and atmosphere, with bold dramatic strokes to highlight moments of climax, as for instance with the entries of the Manfred motif in the central movements. Ashkenazy is appreciably lighter in his approach to the Scherzo, the effect more delicate in the outer sections, with the lyrical ardour of the lovely central melody less overtly sensuous (but the whole movement quite enchanting). Muti's Scherzo is demonstrably fast, crisply pointed, conveying a sense of exhilarating bravura, the lyricism of the central episode vigorously extrovert. Ashkenazy's Andante has a unique freshness, a flowing spontaneity which is naturally appealing. Muti's slow movement opens with a beautifully played and expressively flexible oboe solo, but the ravishing string response (one of Tchaikovsky's loveliest phrases) already brings a fair degree of intensity and throughout the movement Muti characterizes each change of mood and tempo strongly, with climaxes of great fervour. Ashkenazy's finale has tremendous pace and thrust; Muti is that bit broader but he is helped by both the weight and amplitude of the recording, and the superb response from the orchestra. Again, the physical effect of the sound on the listener—Tchaikovsky's Bacchanalian effects superbly telling—is tremendously compelling. After the opening furore has died down Muti creates another emotional peak when Tchaikovsky sinks into a mood of utter desolation (comparable with the Pathelique Symphony) until he makes a 'fresh start' with the fugato. The work's climax is thrilling indeed, admirably balancing weight with passion.
I have concentrated in my comparisons on Muti and Ashkenazy, because, it seems to me that these are the two versions that most Tchaikovskians will need to have. Muti's forcefulness and the superb demonstration qualities of the HMV recording (especially the finale) do not eclipse the incandescent memorability of Ashkenazy's record.
        ~I. M.


         It’s out on CD in two versions, both readily available on Amazon:






   from Gramophone February 1987 :

TCHAIKOVSKY. Manfred Symphony. Phil harmonia Orchestra / Riccardo Muti. EMI (D 0 CDC7 47412-2 (59 minutes). From ASD4169 (7/82).

One of EMI's earliest digital recordings, made in the Kingsway Hall, now emerges the more vividly on CD. It was in the demonstration class in its original LP format and the physical thrill of the strings playing the principal Manfred theme in full-throated open tone on the G string makes a fine effect at the end of the first movement and is even more electrifying in the Bacchanalian finale (with its affinity with Gounod's Faust at the organ entry). Muti's is an epic reading, red-bloodedly powerful throughout, with the scherzo fast and exhilarating---the lyricism of the central episode distinctly extrovert—the Andante comparably volatile, full of expressive fervour. The climax of the finale is superbly telling. Manfred is a flawed masterpiece, but Mutt makes a splendid case for it and the EMI engineering is very convincing. A classic Tchaikovsky transfer—a must for all this composer's a cionados.    ~I.M.



CD reissues point up Riccardo Muti’s early mastery
Complete Beethoven and Tchaikovsky symphonies are among the many major works in recordings from the 1970s and ‘80s  by the CSO’s music director, with the Philadelphia and Philharmonia Orchestras.
By Lawrence B. Johnson

Conductor Riccardo Muti’s distinctive gifts are richly certified in recordings. Three decades ago – before he commenced his long and often controversial directorship at La Scala Opera in Milan — Muti stood at the threshold of a 12-year tenure as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
There, he succeeded the institutional figure of Eugene Ormandy, he of the vaunted Philadelphia sound. But Muti soon enough transmuted the Philadelphians into his own instrument, one that bore the imprimatur of an Italianate sensibility distinguished by a singing line and elegant instrumental (one might say vocal) balances.
In the dozen years that followed, the Muti-led Philadelphia Orchestra made a plethora of recordings that only added to the stature he’d gained as a young conductor of importance with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra immediately beforehand. EMI Classics has newly reissued many of Muti’s recordings with both orchestras, a series that ranges collectively from the complete symphonies of Beethoven, Schumann and Tchaikovsky to music of Berlioz, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev, among others. I’ve spent many rewarding hours with these rebundled recordings, all of which I first encountered and reviewed in their original releases.
Here are six of the EMI reissues that embrace the core orchestral repertoire and are well worth owning, living with and getting to know intimately.
 
Tchaikovsky: The Six Symphonies, “Manfred” Symphony, “Romeo and Juliet” Fantasy-Overture, “Francesca da Rimini,” “1812” Overture, Serenade for Strings, “Hamlet,” Suites from “Swan Lake” and “Sleeping Beauty,” Piano Concerto No. 1 with Andrei Gavrilov, piano. Philharmonia Orchestra (symphonies) and Philadelphia Orchestra. Seven CDs. To judge from these performances of the symphonies, recorded in the late 1970s before Muti took over the Philadelphia Orchestra, they might have been written by a Russian bred under Italian skies. The “singing” is seductive, the passion irresistible.
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Offline Marc

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Offline Est.1965

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Re: 1982 Muti/Philharmonia TCHAIKOVSKY - Manfred Symphony
« Reply #65 on: March 15, 2012, 02:15:08 PM »
What is it that people find so appealing about this set?  Yes, it is beautifully played, from what I've heard (2,4,5), but there must be something I am missing..?

And part of the nicely priced symphony boxset of Brilliant Classics:



http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Box-Pyotr-Ilyich/dp/B000BLI3TI/

http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Complete-Peter-Tschaikowsky/dp/B000B7VZTM/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Complete-Peter-Tschaikowsky/dp/B000B7VZTM/

http://www.amazon.de/Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Complete-Peter-Tschaikowsky/dp/B000B7VZTM/

EDIT:
I should have read this:
It was in the demonstration class in its original LP format and the physical thrill of the strings playing the principal Manfred theme in full-throated open tone on the G string makes a fine effect at the end of the first movement and is even more electrifying in the Bacchanalian finale (with its affinity with Gounod's Faust at the organ entry). Muti's is an epic reading, red-bloodedly powerful throughout, with the scherzo fast and exhilarating---the lyricism of the central episode distinctly extrovert—the Andante comparably volatile, full of expressive fervour. The climax of the finale is superbly telling. Manfred is a flawed masterpiece, but Mutt makes a splendid case for it and the EMI engineering is very convincing. A classic Tchaikovsky transfer—a must for all this composer's a cionados.    ~I.M.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 02:17:42 PM by Scots John »
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John

Offline early grey

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #66 on: April 18, 2012, 05:33:58 AM »
A recording of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony Opus 58 , New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel,  performed at a Promenade Concert in the Royal Albert Hall, London around 1970 can be found on the "tapes" page of
www.cliveheathmusic.co.uk

Offline Que

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Re: 1982 Muti/Philharmonia TCHAIKOVSKY - Manfred Symphony
« Reply #67 on: April 18, 2012, 08:28:18 AM »
What is it that people find so appealing about this set?  Yes, it is beautifully played, from what I've heard (2,4,5), but there must be something I am missing..?

No, it's just an overrated set. The "fame" of this set, particularly championed by some British reviewers has been on the decline for a while BTW.


Quote
Manfred is a flawed masterpiece, but Mutt makes a splendid case for it and the EMI engineering is very convincing. A classic Tchaikovsky transfer—a must for all this composer's a cionados.    ~I.M.

The Manfred a "flawed masterpiece" ??? Humbug! 8)

Q

Offline Scion7

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2012, 05:51:49 PM »
You didn't really expect a critic to give any piece 100% approval, did you?  :)
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2016, 12:06:16 PM »
The following recordings are the versions of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony that I own....

Jansons – Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra [Chandos]
Litton – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra [Virgin]
Pletnev – Russian National Orchestra [Pentatone]
Previn – London Symphony Orchestra [EMI]
Rostropovich - London Philharmonic Orchestra [EMI]
Svetlanov – USSR Symphony Orchestra [Melodiya]

In terms of preference I would rank them as follows:

Previn
Jansons
Pletnev
Litton
Svetlanov
Rostropovich

The Previn, Jansons and Pletnev would possibly be interchangeable on any given day, certainly the Previn and Jansons. The Rostropovich would be my least favoured.


A quick look on Amazon throws up the following that I am interested in....

Jurowski – London Philharmonic [LPO]
Chailly – Concertgebouw Orchestra [Decca]
Petrenko - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic [Naxos]


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Offline Daverz

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2016, 01:27:46 PM »
It was the Markevitch recording that really had me hearing the beauty of this work.  It's now available as a digital download.

http://www.prostudiomasters.com/search?q=Markevitch#quickview/album/7695

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Decca/4830427
« Last Edit: May 17, 2016, 01:44:10 PM by Daverz »

Offline jochanaan

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2016, 04:22:21 PM »
I am a little surprised by the praise for the Goossens recording.  I had that recording in a set of Tchaikovsky symphonies on Everest, and though it was the best of that set, that's saying next to nothing.  Yes, the London Symphony Orchestra play their hearts out and Goossens' tempos are perfectly judged, but as I recall, the performance was cut nearly to ribbons, and the recorded sound was bottom-of-the-barrel.  Its only recommendation in that set was that the others were even worse.  (With the possible exception of the first three numbered symphonies, played by Hans Swarowski and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.  They at least played with good tempos and dynamics, although the sound was too heavy and Germanic for my tastes.)
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2016, 06:53:06 AM »
It was the Markevitch recording that really had me hearing the beauty of this work.  It's now available as a digital download.

http://www.prostudiomasters.com/search?q=Markevitch#quickview/album/7695

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Decca/4830427

Yes indeed, Markevitch would certainly be interesting; thank you for that.
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #73 on: May 18, 2016, 06:54:47 AM »
I am a little surprised by the praise for the Goossens recording.  I had that recording in a set of Tchaikovsky symphonies on Everest, and though it was the best of that set, that's saying next to nothing.  Yes, the London Symphony Orchestra play their hearts out and Goossens' tempos are perfectly judged, but as I recall, the performance was cut nearly to ribbons, and the recorded sound was bottom-of-the-barrel.  Its only recommendation in that set was that the others were even worse.  (With the possible exception of the first three numbered symphonies, played by Hans Swarowski and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.  They at least played with good tempos and dynamics, although the sound was too heavy and Germanic for my tastes.)

Yes I intensely dislike when works are heavily cut so that rules the Goossens recording completely out.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #74 on: May 18, 2016, 10:47:06 AM »
I like the Svetlanov version with the completely bogus end to the finale - the symphony ends with the return of the magnificent finale of the first movement instead of Tchaikovsky's actual ending (:o). No doubt Tchaikovsky would be turning in his grave but I love it:

http://slippedisc.com/2014/06/wrong-tchaikovsky-ending-at-the-berlin-philharmonic/
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:54:48 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline merlin

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #75 on: May 19, 2016, 07:35:18 AM »
Listened again to the Pletnev Manfred last night.  It confirmed my initial impressions — very well played and recorded, and for the most part, pablum.  If you want your Tchaikovsky red-blooded and fiery, with guts and passion, his version cannot hold a candle to Svetlanov, Kitayenko, and even Rostropovich.

Online mc ukrneal

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2016, 06:11:03 PM »
Listened again to the Pletnev Manfred last night.  It confirmed my initial impressions — very well played and recorded, and for the most part, pablum.  If you want your Tchaikovsky red-blooded and fiery, with guts and passion, his version cannot hold a candle to Svetlanov, Kitayenko, and even Rostropovich.

But you are referring to the Pentatone version, yes? His DG is much different (as are all the symphonies).
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #77 on: May 21, 2016, 01:20:05 AM »
I like the Svetlanov version with the completely bogus end to the finale - the symphony ends with the return of the magnificent finale of the first movement instead of Tchaikovsky's actual ending (:o). No doubt Tchaikovsky would be turning in his grave but I love it:

http://slippedisc.com/2014/06/wrong-tchaikovsky-ending-at-the-berlin-philharmonic/

No doubt Tchaikovsky would be turning in his grave indeed but if you like it then you like it  :)
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Offline aligreto

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #78 on: May 21, 2016, 01:22:22 AM »
But you are referring to the Pentatone version, yes? His DG is much different (as are all the symphonies).

I had heard that there was a significant difference between the two versions and I had been advised to go for the DG version which I did, and enjoyed it. One is always curious to make such comparisons for oneself though but I have not done so yet.
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Offline bluto32

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Re: Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony
« Reply #79 on: March 05, 2017, 03:49:24 PM »
I have only heard the Manfred by Jansons (on the Chandos box set of Tchaikovsky symphonies) and love it. Has the main Manfred theme of the symphony ever been used in a film score? Or maybe for a TV series a long time ago? I've got a feeling I've heard it somewhere...

Bluto