Kirill Gerstein / Semyon Bychkov / Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

The Tchaikovsky Project: Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Works, Complete Piano Concertos

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Almost four years in the making, The Tchaikovsky Project has been a labor of love for Semyon Bychkov, who has admired the symphonies and orchestral works of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky since childhood. Yet, as much as that may sound like an excuse for self-indulgence or excessive displays of emotion, Bychkov approaches the music without any sense of subjectivity, but with a sharp eye for details in the scores and an equally clear ear for the dynamics, timbral blending, and balance of Tchaikovsky's sometimes murky orchestration. This box set from Decca presents the six numbered symphonies, Manfred Symphony, Romeo and Juliet, Francesca da Rimini, the Serenade for Strings, and the three piano concertos, featuring pianist Kirill Gerstein performing with the Czech Philharmonic. As this orchestra's Chief Conductor and Music Director, Bychkov is off to a great start, and this ambitious venture bodes well for his relationship with the musicians, who respond to his direction with energy and clarity. The rather close-sounding microphone placement captures the instruments with remarkable presence and richness.

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