JUROWSKI CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
Vladimir Jurowski, the ‘most creative force in London’s orchestral life’ (Time Out), makes his third appearance on the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s record label with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony.
The Manfred Symphony is extraordinarily dramatic, sitting outside Tchaikovsky's set of six numbered symphonies, the Manfred Symphony is an extraordinarily dramatic, programmatic treatment of a poem by Byron.. This exceptionally vivid disc – conducted by Vladimir Jurowski who is fast becoming one of the most admired, sought after conductors in the world. Jurowski is currently Music Director of Glyndebourne Opera, and Principal Guest Conductor of both the Russian National Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This recording was recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall on 8 December 2004.
If anything whets the appetite for Jurowski’s appointment as the LPO’s principal conductor from 2007, it is this magnificent account of one of Tchaikovsky’s still unaccountably neglected scores. Composed in 1884 to a programme inspired by Byron’s poetic drama — Tchaikovsky clearly saw an analogy between the antihero’s guilt-wracked conscience about his incestuous relationship with his half-sister and his own homosexuality — Manfred is one of the composer’s darkest works before his final orchestral masterpiece, the Pathétique Symphony. As early as the lento lugubre introduction of the first movement, Jurowski sets a brooding, weighty tone, digging into the lower strings. Even if the mood lightens for the scherzo depicting the Alpine Fairy’s appearance to Manfred “beneath the rainbow of the waterfall”, and the “Pastoral” third movement, the turbulence and torment of the finale, with its climactic andante con duolo (with pain), are graphically exposed in this thrilling performance.
Times, Five stars
London Philharmonic Orchestra LPO0009