Mariss Jansons

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker; 1812; Francesca da Rimini; Romeo and Juliet

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AllMusic Review by

After Mariss Jansons lean, hard, and muscular cycle of Tchaikovsky's symphonies on Chandos, his contract was picked up by EMI, who hired him to conduct, among other things, more Tchaikovsky. But, fine as Jansons' Tchaikovsky symphonies were, these recordings of three tone poems plus the whole Nutcracker ballet were distinctly disappointing. With the Oslo Philharmonic, Jansons' tone poems are too lean, too hard, and too muscular. While his approach works well enough for the aggressive first themes of Francesca da Rimini and Romeo and Juliet, in Jansons' interpretations, the love themes are too thin and characterless and their apotheoses are too harsh and unsympathetic. With the London Philharmonic, Jansons' Nutcracker is light and rhythmic, but it lacks color and lyricism. For listeners who want to hear great performances of these works, the classic recordings by Mravinsky and Reiner and Dorati are still the ones to hear. For listeners who want to hear Jansons at his best in Tchaikovsky, his cycle of the symphonies is the one to hear. Although superbly remastered from EMI's early digital recordings, these performances are negligible.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71
1
2:28
2
5:54
3
6:33
4
6:55
5
3:36
6
3:35
7
6:19
8
4:02
9
4:27
10
1:09
11
3:46
12
1:00
13
1:04
14
2:29
15
2:47
16
6:35
17
5:05
18
0:39
19
2:12
20
1:21
21
3:25
22
1:43
blue highlight denotes track pick