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Tchaikovsky Edition

Has anyone here purchased this? Are there libretti for the operas?

Eric Sabinson

10/10/2011 12:45

My set of The Tchaikovsky Edition arrived today. I bought it on Amazon for £55 and received truly excellent service from the vendor: Regis Records – Ordered on Monday, arrived on Tuesday. The set comes with a CD-ROM containing Booklet notes and the words of the songs on disc. No libretti I’m afraid for the operas as far as I can see (either in Russian, English or Esperanto). I was particularly concerned about the sound of the Maid Of Orleans (recorded in 1946) and it certainly shows its age but as often happens, the ear soon adjusts to the sonic limitations, and 1946 sound for the MoO is, after all, better than no Maid at all. I’ve only had the chance to dip into a couple of other CDs and they’re fine.

Alan Street

19/10/2011 10:07

Further to my earlier post, I have now had time to listen to several more of the CDs in this box. As a general statement, the performances and recordings of the orchestral works are fine and include an extremely involving account of the Manfred Symphony by The LSO under Simonov. I have now heard a couple more operas (Mazeppa and The Enchantress) in addition to "The Maid". I'm afraid that I have to report that the recordings in all three cases leave much to be desired - but if you take the view (as I do) that a poor recording is better than no recording at all (which is the unforgivable state with the lesser-known PITCH operas) then it's OK to have this box until some better recordings come along. I used to have the excellent Jarvi account of Mazeppa with Stockholm forces on DG. This is still available I understand and I shall shortly be ordering it.

Another major disappointment for me with this box is the Piano Trio (with David Oistrakh, violin) which I was immensely looking forward to hearing. Sadly it too is let down but a most inadequate recording - muddy and badly out of focus, as through the proverbial hosepipe. One would have thought that the Brilliant team could have found a more up-to-date recording (the Trio was recorded in 1948!) to complete what is otherwise fully acceptable coverage of Tchaikovsky's chamber music - the performances and recordings of the quartets and the superb string sextet "Souvenir of Florence" by the Endellion Quartet are fully acceptable.

Just a final note on the opera libretti. I have been in touch with Brilliant to ask, as they are not included in the accompanying CD-ROM, why they don't put these on their website which has a section devoted to giving the libretti of operas not included in their original CD boxes (I accessed the libretto of their reissue of Pinnock's 1991 Purcell's "King Arthur" in this way). The reply came that they would "consider this" which presumably means "No Chance". If so, this is indeed a great pity.

Finally, the missing opera from the box "Voyevoda" (Tchaikovsky's first serious essay in the form) is available from Russia via E-bay. It arrived very recently although I've not yet had the time to listen to it.

Alan Street

05/11/2011 11:13

Further to my last post in this thread of 5 November 2011, I am now delighted to be able to report that Brilliant have now placed English versions the librettos of both Cherevichki and The Oprichnik on their website:

So, two librettos in a year - hopefully they'll all be there by the end of the decade.

Alan Street
09/11/2012 14:54

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