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  Membran -
  Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet, 1812 etc. - RPO/Simonov
  Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet (Fantasy Overture), Capriccio Italien Op. 45, Eugene Onegin (Waltz, Polonaise), 1812 Overture Op. 49

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Simonov (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3

Review by raffells December 3, 2005 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Trying to get away with a quick review on this I was initially taken aback at the fairly average start to the main work Romeo and Julliet as well as a less than stellar start to Cap Italien.So after a quick sample of the beginings I put it on the back burner for a later expected to be poor review.
My was I wrong.I had noticed the recording quality was first rate and so is the playing.
This is a disc to sit down and take in as a serious listening session not casual background music.My only quibble would be with the slightly solid main theme of Cap Italien being a bit deliberate The added Waltz and Polonaise are also a very nice bonus and the 1812 is all its expected given a Mravinsky trained Soviet conducter.Usual boring cover and out of date liner notes.
again good value.

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Review by Jonalogic March 27, 2013 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
We all know two things for sure about Membran/Tring recordings:

1) They are wildly variable in performance and sound quality and
2) For some reason, they didn’t believe in gaps between pieces and movements

And to this, I would suggest that we can now add a corollary:

3) Seek out the various recordings of Russian repertoire conducted by Yuri Simonov

Don’t believe me? Well, just check out some of the prices now demanded for some of his various Membran recordings on Amazon – the Stravinsky and Khachaturian, for instance. There is a reason for all this. The guy really is/was rather good, and the recordings still stand as amongst the best of breed for Membran.

And that brings us nicely to the present recording, of unashamedly crowd-pleasing Tchaikovsky. A word or two on the conductor might be in order, here: Simonov was a protégé of the great Mravinsky, and conducted the Bolshoi Opera from 1969 to 1985. In general, he was Russian-based for much of his career, and also better known in the opera house than concert hall; this might explain his limited discography.

All this experience shows. I certainly understand raffell’s comments about the deliberate pacing at the start of the Romeo and Juliet and Capriccio, but these seem to me to reflect Simonov’s long view of the architecture of the pieces, and also serve to magnify the overall impact of the music when things heat up later.

The sense of delight of both conductor and orchestra is palpable with the two opera excepts from Eugene Oniegin; and then we turn now to that perennial warhorse- the 1812, played sensibly, as music, without superfluous flash or glitter.

Now for the sound. OK, I suspect it’s probably only; 24bit/44.1; and the booklet boasts – as always – of the recording using ‘up to 48 microphones’*. However, unlike the rather sad sounding Colin Davis/Nielsen/LSO Live recording I just slammed, this is an example of how to ‘multi-mike’ right. It sounds clear and dynamic, with good orchestral perspectives, air, hall sound and decent staging. It’s not DXD or DSD, of course, but it’s rather good for the general ‘dark age’ of digital recording in the 90s.

Oh, you want to know about the generalised loud noises, assorted bangs, whizzes and bells, do you? Well, suffice it to say, this is not quite the recording for you if you want to impress your mates by initiating local seismic activity or propelling your speaker cones through the neighbour’s wall. Seek ye the various Telarcs for that. For this Membran, you have to hike the volume control up by about 3dB towards the end, as they chickened out a bit; you are then greeted by spectacular, but not tectonic plate-shifting music, rather than raw sound. Bit of a relief, says I. But if you want the big bangs, you know where to go…

So, to conclude, this is one of the few Simonovs on Membran that are still available at sensible prices. It is chock-full of unashamedly popular Tchaikovsky, played and recorded rather well. What’s not to like, therefore?

*That’s a bit like boasting that our hamburgers contain even more of Homer Simpson’s major nutritional groupings - salt, sugar and grease – than ever before!

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Review by Luukas May 18, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This is excellent recording of Tchaikovsky's orchestral works! My own favorite is Romeo and Juliet fantasy-overture, and Yuri Simonov conducts it brilliantly: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays magnificent under him! The overture's quiet, unhappy begin sounds very good; clarinets and bassoons sound is warmly and natural, and Membran label's recording sound is very pleasant (specially in 5.1 multichannel mode). The aggressive scenes are also very good, and the famous love theme gets me tears. Brilliant composition, indeed!
Capriccio Italien is also one of my favorites, and this disc's performance is outstanding: Mr. Simonov understands this familiar score, and RPO plays effectively. I have many recordings of this work (Pletnev (DG & PentaTone), Domingo (Emi Classics), Kuchar (Naxos), Leaper (Naxos)), but this is hard to beat.
And now, the world famous 1812 Overture, Op. 49. The opening chorale sounds solemnly, and Mr. Simonov brings new ideas for its melodies. The simply middle part is performed beautifully, it isn't boring. Music power grows and grows until cannons stunning shots stopped it. Now they really sounds real cannons, watch out your subwoofer! The music comes slower and slower: Napoleon's army dies in Russian's cold winter, and the great majestic hymn, "God save the Tsar" tells Russians victory. Bells sound is interesting.
Walz and Polonaise from Jevgeni Onegin are nice bonus.

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Works: 4  

Peter Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture, TH 49 Op. 49
Peter Tchaikovsky - Capriccio Italien, TH 47 Op. 45
Peter Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin, TH 5 Op. 24
Peter Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet (fantasy overture), TH 42