Orchestre Nationale du Capitale de Toulouse/Tugan Sokhiev

Orchestre Nationale du Capitale de Toulouse/Tugan Sokhiev

Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich

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This is an odd combination: who is it for? The French label Naive has reissued two recordings as a double CD pack. One features Prokofiev's Peter And The Wolf, in French with a French narrator and no translation, filled out with bits and pieces by Liadov and Rimsky Korsakov; the other has, as its centrepiece, Tchaikovsky's thrilling and unfollowable Fifth Symphony, followed by Shostakovich's blazing Festive Overture. It is a bizarre melange. Russian conductor Tugan Sokhiev has made a name for himself with his Orchestre Nationale du Capitale de Toulouse, and has become popular: plus, while continuing his association with Toulouse, he has taken over the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin. I must say I found his earlier Rite Of Spring recording lacking in abrasive edge. The core work here, Tchaikovsky's Fifth, has the most passionless clarinet opening, an absence of the febrile quality that is the composer's fingerprint, and a lack of the blazing propulsiveness that drives the incandescent finale. Tchaikovsky neutered.

Michael Tumelty