Riccardo Muti

Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies

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Riccardo Muti's EMI recordings of the symphonies and orchestral works of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky are gathered together in this 2014 reissue from Warner Classics, which includes five discs. This is a reliable presentation of some of the most performed and recorded music in history, and there is nothing controversial about the interpretations, which, like many of Muti's other recordings of symphonic music from the 1970s and 80s, were always dependable but safe. Conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in the six numbered symphonies and the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, and leading the Philadelphia Orchestra in the Manfred Symphony, Francesca da Rimini, and the 1812 Overture, Muti maintained high quality in the playing and showed a thorough understanding of Tchaikovsky's passionate and brilliant music. This quality control guarantees satisfaction with the set, yet it also reduces interest for listeners who are seeking more excitement in these mainstays of the concert hall. Newcomers to Tchaikovsky could do a lot worse than snapping up this set to have all of the symphonies and major works in one shot, and students will appreciate the convenience of having this music in one package. However, collectors will know that these recordings have been reissued multiple times, both as sets and as individual CDs on the Seraphim budget label, so the chances are good that they already own them.

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