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Donald R Vroon
American Record Guide, March 2017

TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Nutcracker (The) / Symphony No. 4 (St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Gergiev) MAR0593
TCHAIKOVSKY, P.I.: Nutcracker (The), Op. 71 / STRAVINSKY, I.: Divertimento (Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, D. Kitayenko) OC448

…Gergiev knows ballet (has conducted it all his life), and he never loses the sense of dance, even in faster moments. Also, the sound on his recording is every bit as beautiful as on Kitayenko’s—and it’s SACD, which adds some depth to an orchestra that is inclined to sound glassy. The German strings are richer, the Russian ones brighter. Both orchestras are wonderful.

I have to admit that these are both terrific recordings of this gorgeous music. Feel free to choose the faster or the slower one based on your own preferences. The faster one does not harm the music, and the slower one never seems sluggish. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



David Gutman
Gramophone, January 2017

…this reading is very beautiful in its way, with everything properly prepared and textures at once crystalline and sumptuous. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




Infodad.com, December 2016

Dmitrij Kitajenko has some particularly interesting ideas about Tchaikovsky—for instance, he concluded his cycle of the symphonies with the rarely played No. 7, not with No. 6, as most conductors do. His ideas about Stravinsky bear hearing, too: Kitajenko emphasizes the balletic nature of the music while at the same time effectively bringing out details of its orchestration, with the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln playing superbly, …Kitajenko takes a highly personal approach to Tchaikovsky in general and The Nutcracker in particular, and the pairing of the ballet with the Stravinsky makes for an unusually interesting release. © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review



Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, December 2016

[This] new Oehms recording features some very fine playing from the orchestra but the performances are very laid-back. This is one to listen to dozing in slippered ease after a good meal. I certainly prefer that to breakneck tempi… © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, November 2016

In addition to providing us with a Nutcracker that is both a fine dancing version and a delightful listening experience, Kitayenko also manages something few other conductors are able to do, and that is to inject some personality into the musical portrayals of the characters. © 2016 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, October 2016

In a magic sound evolution Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker gets its full measure of elegance, grace and vivid dance rhythms. Kitajenko secures a wholly admirable response from the Gürzenich Orchestra, so that the orchestral sound becomes detailed, flexible and amazingly colourful. The performance of the Divertimento from Le Baiser de la Fée is a constant delight, with a perfectly balanced orchestra and plenty of atmosphere. © 2016 Pizzicato





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