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Robert Benson, November 2007

The Arthaus Musik DVD Tchaikovsky Cycle has two brilliant winners here. Vladimir Fedoseyev conducts the excellent Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in an extraordinary performance of Symphony No. 5 (102129), and a very good one of Symphony No. 4 (102127). Mikhail Pletnev, at the time just beginning his spectacular career, gives a stunning performance of the Piano Concerto No. 2 (102129), presented in its complete form, with violin and cello soloists taking front stage for their important parts in the second movement.

Viktor Tretyakov's performance of the Violin Concerto (102127) is of equal caliber. The relatively unknown Overture in F contrasts greatly with the familiar 1812 Festival Overture.which is played with all stops out. No cannon here, but the percussion section gets a grand workout in the final pages, particularly the bells. These are not new recordings; the copyright date is 1991, but the sonic and picture quality are first-rate, with sound coming from all speakers, even though it really isn't true surround. Both DVDs are highly recommended!

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