Metamorphosen Berlin's second release on Sony Classical is a treat for fans of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's radiant works for strings, the Souvenir de Florence in D minor, Op. 70 and the Serenade in C major, Op. 48, programmed here with string orchestra versions of three piano pieces, the Valse sentimentale, Op. 51, No. 6, October from The Seasons, Op. 37, and the Nocturne, Op. 19, No. 4. Led by cellist and conductor Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, who appears as a soloist as well as arranger, the group plays with vibrant sonorities and passionate intensity, as well as with bravura technique and satisfying emotional depth. This 2017 release follows the ensemble's first collection, Inspiration, which featured pieces by Antonín Dvorák, Josef Suk, and Victor Herbert, and which seemed to have limited exposure in the United States. However, this disc promises to be a breakthrough for Metamorphosen Berlin, thanks to the enduring popularity of Tchaikovsky's music and the group's successful Tchaikovsky Gala earlier in the spring, which preceded these studio recordings.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Souvenir de Florence Op. 70|
|The Seasons, Op. 37|
|Serenade C Major Op. 48|