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Big Tchaikovsky Box

Big Tchaikovsky Box

May 6, 2012

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: May 6, 2012
  • Label: eOne Music
  • Copyright: (C) 2012 Vanguard Classics
  • Total Length: 7:14:27
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B0080K06JW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,088 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 25 customer reviews
It is great music!
Amazon Customer
Total download size is 731 MB for 7.2 hours of music.
T. Fisher
Quality of recording is very good.
Sci Fi guy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Neil R. Brennen on May 9, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Let's start with the good. This "Big Tchaikovsky Box" uses recordings from the Vanguard catalog, and was issued by eOne, the current holder of the tapes. Tchaikovsky wasn't a focus of the label, but Vanguard managed to publish some very fine performances over the years, and they have been collected here.

Highlights of the set include Maurice Abravanel's tapings of The Nutcracker and Swan Lake ballets with the Utah Symphony. The recordings from the 1960s sound fresh, and while the Utah brass and winds at times suffer in comparison to, say, orchestras in Philadelphia and New York, the difference is inches and not yards. Abravanel recorded excerpts from Swan Lake with the Utah Symphony in the 1950s for another label (and a filler on the first CD issue of Rodzinski's The Nutcracker, on the old MCA Classics "Double Decker" series), and the orchestra is much more refined sounding in Vanguard's recording. Purists might turn up their noses at a "complete" Swan Lake with traditional cuts, but Abravanel's dramatic conducting sweeps criticism before it.

Turning to the rest of the set, the American Symphony Orchestra recording of the Fourth Symphony remains a classic not only for the performance but for the orchestration. Conductor Leopold Stokowski, as was his wont, couldn't resist 'improving' Tchaikovsky's orchestration. Fanfare magazine once published a detailed list of all the changes made to the score; I don't have it at hand, but even from the first notes you notice something is different. There's no denying the impact the recording makes.

The three performances led by Pierre Monteux are live tapings from the Vienna Festival in 1962.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Alias on June 14, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
A Big Box from Bach Guild just wouldn't be a Big Box without some goofs. Here are the ones I found:

Mislabelings:

71 - Swan Lake Ballet, Op. 20 Act III_ Scene_ Allegro, Tempo di valse
should be labelled: Scène. Allegro - Allegro giusto
(Scene: Allegro, Tempo di valse is part of track 70)

72 - Swan Lake Ballet, Op. 20 Act III_ Scene_ Allegro, Allegro giusto
should be labelled: Danse espagnole. Allegro non troppo, Tempo di bolero

73 - Swan Lake Ballet, Op. 20 Act III_ Danse Espagnole
should be labelled: Danse napolitaine. Allegro moderato - Andantino quasi moderato - Presto

74 - Swan Lake Ballet, Op. 20 Act III_ Danse Napolitaine => This track is definitely not the Danse Napolitaine but is what is commonly known as the 2nd violin solo from Swan Lake. This occurs in Act 2 - if you listen to track 67 the same music begins near 1:30. If you compare tracks 67 and 74 you'll realize that while this is the same music these are *different* recordings. In other words the performers in track 74 are very likely different as well. So the Bach Guild has given us a "bonus" recording of the 2nd violin solo, labeled as the Danse Napolitaine and with mystery performers to boot.

Track order:

The usual order for the dances in act 3 is Danse hongroise - Danse espagnole - Danse napolitaine. In this case the Danse hongroise is placed last - it's hard to tell whether this is intentional or just another screw up. If you want to hear these in the usual order you would play tracks 71 - 75 - 72 - 73 - 76 (and leave 74 out).

The Bach Guild seems unable to put out a big box set without including goofs and editing errors. On sale these are great value, particularly so if you can figure out their screw-ups.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Another excellent addition to the growing line of "Big Box" MP3 releases from eONe Music, which apparently now handles the catalog of the once great, now defunct classical music division of Vanguard Records. Vanguard's classical music was often published under a separate brand, "The Bach Guild", which is where the name on these releases derives from (that is, they are NOT published by any organization called "The Bach Guild"). This set was released on the same day as Big Brahms Box, also for an extreme bargain introductory price.

This set is excellent, and I have been especially impressed with the quality of the sound. For the most part, the recordings ring crisp and clear, without noise and in wonderfully three dimensional stereo. I was surprised to learn from a comment on my review for the Brahms box by a representative of eOne that the company is preparing these releases -- at least in part -- from the original master tapes. While I'm not sure exactly which recordings are from the original masters, this does go a long way to explaining the remarkable sound quality on some of the selections.

The set starts with the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, one of three pieces (along with the Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 5) taken from this recording conducted by Pierre Monteaux, the man who conducted one of the most famous (or infamous) performances in music history -- the premiere of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" in Paris on May 29, 1913.
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