Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, February 2014

Debussy. Mozart. Tchaikovsky. The trio of venerated European maestros offer up the material presented on this recent DVD release…Filmed in 1985 during the final leg of conductor Georg Solti’s European tour with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, this restored and enhanced performance footage captures the triumphant essence of the concerts that defined the conductor’s late career. Here Solti is, at the peak of his international and cultural influence, leading one of the world’s great orchestras through some of the finest music ever written. The majestic opening and general vitality of Mozart’s exposition is contrasted brilliantly with the robust emotionality and gravitas of Tchaikovsky’s composition in such a way that both pieces are enhanced immeasurably by the other. Meanwhile the easy, celebratory nature of Debussy’s Fete’s takes the edge off the dour intensity of the Russian composer, leaving the viewer to gently revel in the performance’s afterglow. A superior concert film featuring one of the great conductors of the last century. © 2014 Scene Magazine Read complete review

James A. Altena
Fanfare, November 2013

Solti was a superb Tchaikovsky interpreter…the first movement [of the Tchaikovsky Fourth], with its “Sword of Damocles” motif of Fate, which in lesser hands can seem overly prolix or mawkish, is channeled with a propulsive fury that at the same time does not slight the contrasting interludes of almost balletic grace, the latter being rendered with a delicacy that belies critics who accuse Solti of insensitively running roughshod over every score.

“Brilliant” and “sizzling” are not normally the first adjectives that come to mind for performances of Debussy’s music, but they certainly apply to this encore performance of “Fêtes” from the Trois Nocturnes. I for one would never have pegged Solti as a Debussy conductor of the first rank, but he is absolutely terrific here. This rendition positively crackles with drive and bounce; every note, every instrumental part is detailed with stunning clarity and gleaming color, with an unexpectedly witty close to boot.

The camerawork is sensible, and the visual resolution is fine…Highly recommended, then, for the Tchaikovsky and Debussy items. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, August 2013

Here’s another irresistible helping of Sir Georg Solti and his dazzling Chicagoans from the BBC archives…

Captured in satisfyingly full-blooded ‘enhanced mono’ sound…both symphonies receive top-class advocacy. Solti’s Mozart combines grace, tender affection and urbanity to most agreeable effect… As for the Tchaikovsky, Solti’s imperious reading pretty much has it all: long-term rigour, intensity, temperament, pathos, wit and drama. Listen out for the memorably songful tone Solti draws from the ever-pliable CSO strings in the slow movement, and how much balletic point and twinkling fun he locates in the ensuing Pizzicato ostinato. I need hardly stress that the finale attains the highest degree of excitement without ever degenerating into flashy theatricals—the power and precision of the brass section in particular will blow you away.

Above all, though, these consistently alive and involving performances serve to remind one afresh of the cherishable pedigree and long-standing tradition of this remarkable orchestra. What an enviably secure and commandingly articulate group of musicians, and what an extraordinary array of collective and individual talent inhabited their ranks! © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone, May 2013

This DVD is primarily for people who want to see as well as hear Solti’s conducting. The performances are very good…The Mozart sounds fine, its rhythms clean and its tempos well-chosen…Tchaikovsky’s Fourth…is top-notch in many ways…its pacing handled ably from start to finish, and the pizzicati of its scherzo being especially attractive…this is a top-notch mainstream reading featuring tight direction and excellent playing throughout. And Debussy’s Fêtes makes a pleasant…encore. This is a DVD intended to appeal to Solti fans, of whom there are many. © 2013 Read complete review

Robert Benson, May 2013

Here’s another opportunity to watch the energetic conducting style of Sir George Solti as he vigorously shapes the music, even if it is Mozart. After a brisk performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 we have a virtuoso reading of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 displaying the Orchestra’s magnificent brass section. As an generous encore, we have Festivals from Debussy’s Nocturnes. The stereo sound is excellent, with fine video as well. An excellent issue. © 2013 Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group