Tchaikovsky: Fatum, 1812 Overture, Marche Slave, Etc. / Serebrier, Bamberg Symphony

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José Serebrier's distinctive conceptions and nimble conducting imbue the familiar Marche slave, Capriccio italien, and 1812 Overture with a freshness that belies their long-held "warhorse" status. By employing lighter sonorities and crystal-clear balances (all rendered with spectacular fidelity and dynamism by BIS's remarkably vivid recording) that expose Tchaikovsky's gorgeous woodwind writing and inner harmonic detail, Serebrier brings a vibrant youthful quality even to the overplayed 1812. Listen to how the bracing opening, with its cleanly phrased, rhythmically taut string playing fosters ever-increasing tension. Later, in the grand coda, the dramatic brass-and-strings interplay genuinely excites while cannons roar away in the distance (the opposite approach to Telarc's cannon-down-your-throat technique).

Serebrier's light and balletic rendition of the rarely heard Fatum is in marked contrast to the heavier variety offered by Slatkin, yet it nonetheless doesn't shy away from the raucous percussion that makes this rather naïve piece a real kick (just what does all that booming and crashing have to do with an inexorable "fate" anyway?).

Tchaikovsky's elegant and sweetly melancholy Élégie, and Serebrier's own arrangement of the Andante cantabile from the String Quartet No. 1, come as relaxingly gentle interludes between the noisier selections on the disc, all of which receive probing and polished performances by the Bamberg Symphony. Even if you think you've heard this music one too many times, you'll likely find this disc a rewarding listening experience.
--Victor Carr Jr,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: BIS-CD-1283

  • UPC: 7318590012833

  • Label: BIS

  • Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

  • Conductor: José Serebrier

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Bamberg Symphony Orchestra