There is a great complete performance of Manfred on youtube: Manuel
López Gómez conducting the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra.
October 7th, 2011 - Caracas - Venezuela.
Only uncut performances of this work are worth considering. Anything
else destroys the form.
Critical opion on Manfred is still divided. Tchaikovsky scholar David
Brown thinks the fugue in the finale is a fatal flaw, whereas John Warwick
thinks it excellent, balancing the weight of the first movement.
Conductors often cut the fugue.
The end, with organ is often cut too, substituting the end of the first
movement, destroying the meaning as well as the form. Many critics hate
The end of Manfred is the most visionary passage in all tchaikovsky,
cutting it should be illegal.
It's not the music that's lacking, just the imagination of pundits, and
The performance of Manfred by the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Manuel López Gómez is indeed wonderful! I have been lucky
enough never to come across a cut version of Manfred. I agree with you,
cutting all musical work should be illegal. The performance can change the
perception one has of a piece; and personal taste must be considered. I
remember reading the unfavourable opinion David Brown held about Iolanta;
it turns out this opera became one of my favourite by Tchaikovsky.