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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 7. 1961.


Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet. Fantasy Overtime. Nuteracker Suite, Op.7la. Phllharmonle Orchestra/Igor Markevitch. World Record Club. Tz 136.

World Record Club seem to be keeping up the good work: this week they Introduce a pleasant disc which has on it the most lyrical interpretation of the Nutcracker yet produced. Not calling upon any great amount of power or depth of sound, the Suite, If less attractive than Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty, nevertheless has its merits. The Philharmonia plays marvellously; the woodwind has to be heard to be believed, they are 80 clear and vibrant (notice the Impressive bassoon sound in the Danse Chinolse). Likewise the strings and percussion are alive—notice how the sound of the latter appears to come for once from behind rather than in front of the body of the orchestra. Markevltch has treated the Suite to a delicate handling; with some extremely decisive and precise orchestral phrasing. The fantasy-overture fares worse. Though Markevltch again adopts a lyrical approach, the result is unconvincing. The Orchestra lacks power where needed—especially in the bases and cellos, and the tempi are ridiculously erratic. Of the Philharmonia ver-sians of Romeo, by far the most desirable is the ageing (1955) copy by Fistoularl.