Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart / Nishizaki, Breiner, Queensland SO

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This inventive album presents Tchaikovsky's occasionally heard songs in arrangements for violin and orchestra by Peter Breiner. Although the songs may not often be performed today by singers, these irresistible melodies provide justification enough to be heard in this almost equally satisfying form: "Why?", "Not a word, O my friend", and "The fearful minute" are among the composer's most inspired creations and should be heard more often. A few, however, such as the ever-popular "None But the Lonely Heart", need the soulful evocation of the human voice to make their full effect. Ljuba Kazarnovskaya's vocal recital (also on Naxos) demonstrates what a great singer can bring to this impassioned music.

But overall Takako Nishizaki's beautiful singing tone and sweetly-wrought phrasing, partnered with Breiner's affectionate conducting, make these transcriptions pleasing and satisfying musical experiences, even without the love poems that were Tchaikovsky's main impetus. My only caveat concerns the disc's tracking order: placing so many slow and similar-key selections together unavoidably engenders feelings of monotony. But since this easily can be remedied with the CD's programmability, there's no reason for you to hesitate about obtaining this serene, relaxing disc. Naxos' atmospheric recording balances Nishizaki's violin significantly forward relative to the orchestra.

--Victor Carr Jr.,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8555332

  • UPC: 747313533220

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

  • Conductor: Peter Breiner

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Queensland Symphony Orchestra

  • Performer: Takako Nishizaki