Magazine article Gramophone

Tchaikovsky * Stravinsky: Stravinsky Les Noces

Magazine article Gramophone

Tchaikovsky * Stravinsky: Stravinsky Les Noces

Article excerpt

Tchaikovsky * Stravinsky

Stravinsky Les noces

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Op 35 (a)

(a) Patricia Kopatchinskaja vn

MusicAeterna / Teodor Currentzis

Sony Classical (F) 8887516512-2 (57' * DDD)

Marrying Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Les noces makes for a bizarre mismatch. Teodor Currentzis and his Perm orchestra MusicAeterna are on pungent form in the Stravinsky, a worthy successor to their terrific recent Rite of Spring (11/15). Indeed, it would have made a more sensible coupling there, as Sony issued The Rite all by itself. Rhythms are accented with punch and there's a feel of Old Russia about the way the chorus intones the toasts of the final wedding tableaux. In this version for four pianos and percussion, the singers include the excellent Nadine Koutcher, winner of the 2014 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. No texts are provided, alas, for this wedding breakfast.

Take a closer look at the black and white wedding photo which adorns the cover, however, and you spy Currentzis and Patricia Kopatchinskaja as the happy couple. Kopatchinskaja is the soloist for Tchaikovsky's concerto and the booklet features a pair of quirky billets-doux between them in which they expound their musical philosophies and, in particular, her route into 'understanding' a concerto that had often felt alien to her.

I'm a huge admirer of Kopatchinskaja and Currentzis as risk-takers. Inevitably, there are going to be times when those risks don't come off. Alas, this is one of those occasions. …

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