Nuova Harmonia ended its season with a marvelous symphonic experience at the Coliseo: the only concert of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra Moscow under Vladimir Fedoseyev. It used to be called the Moscow Radio Symphony and it visited us under that name some years ago, led by the same conductor, who has been with it for 34 years and is now a spry 76-year-old.  They brought us two standard Russian masterpieces: Rimsky-Korsakov´s "Scheherezade" and Tchaikovsky´s Fifth Symphony. Under normal circumstances I would attack the yuxtaposition of two such well-known scores and would call for something more innovative, but after hearing them I stand not only content but enthusiastic.

The orchestra has had great Russian conductors since its inception in 1930: Orlov, Golovanov, Gauk, Rozhdestvensky and for more than  the last three decades, Fedoseyev. It was in 1993 that it took the current name.  The fact that its 95 players have interpreted the chosen scores dozens of times under the same guidance certainly gives them an assurance that is reflected in the sovereign quality of phrasing they show. Fedoseyev isn´t a precisionist and this is felt in minuscule misadjustments that however don't affect the paramount interpretations, of an authenticity in both composers that made for  a memorable occasion.

The players are individually virtuosi and have both that unmistakable Russian expressivity and great discipline; it is uncanny to hear the massed violins to play with exactly the same bowing and attack. In "Scheherezade" both the concertino, Mikhail Shestakov, and the first cellist, Vladimir Nikonov, were wonderfully sweet and accurate. The myriad shadows of the score were ideally phrased, with a subtlety and beauty that made for ecstatic hearing. And Tchaikovsky´s Fifth,  was simply ideal in tempi, timbres, tensions and releases, becoming a profoundly moving experience, as well as thrillingly virtuosic. A curious bit of data: both works were written in 1888.

Tribuna Musical. For Buenos Aires Herald

<< Back