Vladimir Jurowski / State Academic Symphony of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov"

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake

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Russian conductor Vladimir Jurowski gets most of his press from his association with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (and later, the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra), but he has also served since 2011 as chief conductor of the cumbersomely named State Academic Symphony of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov" and knows its players well. That bodes well for this entry in the crowded marketplace of recordings of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and indeed everyone involved delivers handsomely. For one thing, the recording represents a fine confluence of the talents of musicians and engineers; the precise instrumental work of the orchestra is matched by clean transparency from the audiophile PentaTone label, working (at two sessions, a year apart, it should be noted) at Moscow's Rachmaninov Hall. And it's hard to avoid the feeling that this music is Jurowski's bread and butter, for all his forays into Western music. He is brisk but elegant, never too fast, and making you feel like he's rushing you through the big tunes (all of which are here in this 1877 original version, just in a slightly different order from what you may be used to). And he seems to have singlehandedly brought the brasses of the ensemble formerly known as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra up to the international A-list. Sample the sequence of ethnic dances in Act 3 for numerous demonstrations of how he gets the elusive clean but gentle sound out of his brasses. Everything's just delightful, down to the packaging of the CD version, which includes, charmingly, a foldable swan. Highly recommended.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Swan Lake, ballet in four acts
1 02:42 Amazon
2 03:06 Amazon
3 07:27 Amazon
4 04:00 Amazon
5 02:19 Amazon
6 02:53 Amazon
7 01:16 Amazon
8 01:28 Amazon
9 01:07 Amazon
10 01:47 Amazon
11 02:35 Amazon
12 05:10 Amazon
13 01:38 Amazon
14 01:53 Amazon
15 02:12 Amazon
16 00:40 Amazon
17 06:18 Amazon
18 02:36 Amazon
19 02:43 Amazon
20 05:37 Amazon
21 04:05 Amazon
22 02:38 Amazon
23 02:02 Amazon
24 02:03 Amazon
25 01:23 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Swan Lake, ballet in four acts
1 07:15 Amazon
2 01:46 Amazon
3 01:42 Amazon
4 02:49 Amazon
5 02:33 Amazon
6 02:36 Amazon
7 07:47 Amazon
8 01:46 Amazon
9 03:09 Amazon
10 01:31 Amazon
11 03:27 Amazon
12 01:10 Amazon
13 00:54 Amazon
14 01:29 Amazon
15 01:47 Amazon
16 02:53 Amazon
17 04:42 Amazon
18 02:43 Amazon
19 02:00 Amazon
20 04:03 Amazon
21 03:49 Amazon
22 02:10 Amazon
23 02:22 Amazon
24 04:04 Amazon
25 03:13 Amazon
26 05:54 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick