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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4/Jarvi SACD

David Hurwitz

Artistic Quality:

Sound Quality:

If you saw these performances as part of a typical subscription concert, you would probably go away satisfied. They are proficient and respectful, and probably sounded more impressive live than they do at home. Järvi offers no special insights whatsoever into either big work. The Symphony’s opening fanfare is matter-of-fact; the theoretically ferocious moment of recapitulation in the first movement is distinctly underwhelming. The solo oboe in the Andante lacks character, the scherzo trips along mechanically, and the finale manages speed without sparkle. It’s just average. The same holds true for the Serenade, only here, from the first note, it’s clear that the Gothenburg strings aren’t special. Their tone lacks richness and body, while the conducting needs a stronger rhythmic profile. Järvi seems stuck in an interpretive rut. He used to be reliable and often very exciting; now he conducts like a man merely going through the motions. A pity.

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Symphony: Mravinsky (DG)

PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 4; Serenade for Strings; Elegy in Memory of I.V. Samarin

  • Record Label: BIS - 1458
  • Medium: SACD

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