One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 [44:18]
Swan Lake ballet suite [26:29]
Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra/Christian Lindberg
rec. January-February 2012 and February 2013, Harstad Kulturhus, Harstad, Norway
BIS BIS-SACD-2018 [70:47]

The first time Christian Lindberg ever played in a professional orchestra, he was manning a trombone in Tchaikovsky’s Fifth under the baton of Evgeny Svetlanov. That tells you a lot: he loves this music, knows it inside-out, and drives his players hard in a thriller of a performance full of high romantic emotions.
Mostly, anyway. Lindberg’s pace for the first movement is one of the fastest of all time, with a balletic pointedness and precision to the dramatic effects. His slow movement too is on the speedy side. The back half of the symphony breaks from this pattern: the waltz takes its time and the finale is not the frenetic, pell-mell rush one would expect from Svetlanov … or Vladimir Jurowski and the LPO, or Mravinsky. I don’t know whether Lindberg is making a deliberate choice or if the Arctic Philharmonic just can’t handle the speed - but they do in the symphony’s opener. Even so, it’s not quite as exciting as it could be. On the other hand, I’ll give them this: those fearsome, martial-sounding interludes that act as transitions (3:40-3:50, 7:58-8:08) have rarely sounded so amazingly weird and off-his-rocker brilliant. I love this performance just for making me hear these passages anew and think, “wow, Tchaikovsky was really a genius” in a brand new way.
Truly, I like this Tchaikovsky Fifth a lot. I think Daniele Gatti and the Royal Philharmonic can be preferred, because of a truly luxurious slow movement that makes the quicker stuff around it really pop. I’m also partial to some old favourites. That said, this one’s a winner, and you can’t discount the superb BIS SACD sound. It does what Jansons’ now-classic reading on Chandos does at least as well as Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic managed. There’s something about Tchaikovsky from Norway.
The coupling is the suite from Swan Lake, and it’s definitely well-enough played to merit yet another copy of this music in your collection. That goes especially well if you have a high-end audio system and really want the solo harp to pop out of the walls and into your room, or want your drink to shake with the bass drum thwacks. Again, the waltz is rather mild-mannered. The last few dances are an exciting compensation.
This bodes pretty darn well for future Lindberg/Arctic recordings. It’s also vastly superior to the blasé Neeme Järvi Tchaikovsky recordings which BIS released a few years ago. I listened to 24-bit FLACs downloaded from eClassical; the PDF booklet is lovely and my ears feel satisfied.
Brian Reinhart 

Masterwork Index: Tchaikovsky Symphony 5