Is the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Britain’s longest-standing orchestra?
July 26, 2009
BBC Music magazine August 2009 reports that the RLPO may be Britain’s oldest orchestra: ‘The Original Liverpool Sound now suggests that the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic society has had fully contracted players as early as 1851.’
With none of the original players to consult it may be hard to confirm this claim, but the orchestra’s current line-up, conducted by the youthful Vasily Petrenko, has given music lovers some tremendous recent Naxos recordings.
TCHAIKOVSKY Manfred Symphony, The Voyevoda
‘…the best new recording of this [the Manfred Symphony] in 20 years…Tchaikovsky did not like his tone-poem, The Voyevoda, and never published it and threatened to tear it up after he conducted it. But the composer would certainly have more faith in his work if he heard Mr Petrenko conduct it. This is the best Voyevoda I have heard’ (American Record Guide)
‘This is impressive—and, at Naxos’s pricing, not to be missed.’ (Gramophone)
LISZT Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2, Totentanz
Eldar Nebolsin, piano
‘…perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Nebolsin’s performance in these fiendishly difficult pieces is his highly infectious confidence—even bordering on cockiness—that keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to hear what he’s going to do next. There’s simply no point coming to this music with an attitude unless you’re fully capable of pulling it off—and he is. The Liverpool musicians do a remarkable job of taking Nebolsin’s hairpin turns right along with him’ (American Record Guide)
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphonies Vol 1
– Symphony No 11 ‘The Year 1905’
‘RECORDING OF THE MONTH It’s a very fine piece. And this is a very fine performance…don’t be without this new release—I couldn’t be without either! This is an essential disk for all collections.’ (MusicWeb International)
‘…in the same class as the best ever made…Recorded in extraordinarily vivid digital sound, this disc deserves to be heard by anyone who admires Shostakovich’s music.’ (Allmusic.com)
‘This is remarkably fine performance, superbly recorded…Petrenko does far more than get it right. From manifest compassion to total brutality, he conducts from the inside, exposing the composer’s sources of inspiration, his Muse.’ (The Wholenote)
The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko release their new recording of Shostakovich’s mighty Fifth and ambiguously jovial Ninth Symphonies on Naxos 8.572167 later this year, with the remaining symphonies to follow in what looks set to be a new benchmark series.
Vasily Petrenko Biography & Discography