Dmitri Kitayenko / Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne

Tschaikowsky: Symphonie Nr. 4; Capriccio Italien

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Dmitri Kitayenko and the Gürzenich Orchester Köln have been recording the symphonies of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky for Oehms Classics since 2010, and they've demonstrated a great affinity for this composer, even if they have little new to offer in these warhorses. In the case of the Symphony No. 4 in F minor, the interpretation is conventional but still interesting, the playing is not spectacular but communicative, and the sound quality is exceptionally clear and focused, thanks to the label's fine audiophile technology. This is Romantic music in every sense, and Kitayenko employs a reasonable amount of rubato to heighten tension, and the orchestra plays with passion and intensity, as if this symphony hasn't been overplayed over the past century or so. But most listeners in the market for a recording of the Fourth will find this performance quite acceptable because it is comfortably predictable, and the reliability of the Oehms label for excellent hybrid SACDs makes this a good choice. The filler work is the sunny Capriccio Italien, and if the Gürzenich players are intense in the Fourth, they are exuberant in this catchy showpiece. Anyone building a library of classical SACDs would do well to consider this package.

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