REVIEW POTPOURRI – Composer: Tchaikovsky; Band: Depeche Mode

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Tchaikovsky

5th Symphony
Anton Nanut conducting the Ljublana Symphony Orchestra- Point Classics, 265023, CD, released 1994.

The catalog of recordings of this Symphony is teeming with very fine ones. This entry can be added to the honor roll. I have written previously in this column and elsewhere about the merits of Anton Nanut, who passed away after a long illness at the age of 84 on January 13, 2017.

Nanut’s approach is one of architectural balance; intelligence in pacing, phrasing and shaping; understated beauty; and brooding drama. I have listened to this three or four times in the last two weeks and found it wears very well with repeated hearings.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

When I was 12 during the spring of 1964, a woman residing then down the street from my house gave me four very good 78 rpm sets of classical music. One was the justly famous 1944 RCA Victor album of Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony of the 5th. She also called it the most beautiful Symphony she had ever heard in her life.

For those who might be curious about the other three sets, as I would be under similar circumstances, I will not stint their very appropriate interest:

The Victor early ‘40s Stokowski/NBC Symphony Stravinsky Firebird Suite and nicely orchestrated Tchaikovsky Humoreske as filler on side 6.

Another Victor, Bach’s Brandenburgs 2 and 5 from the mid to late ‘40s with Koussevitsky conducting BSO members.

The Columbia 1940s two records of Lily Pons singing four arias from Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment.

Depeche Mode

Speak and Spell
Mute records, C stumm-5, cassette, released October, 1981.

Depeche Mode is an English electronic band, with a variety of influences in their own music; they have been performing and recording for almost 40 years. Using synthesizers with expressive results, their music is quite listenable and captivating.

Their 1981 cassette, Speak and Spell,was, and still is a beautiful example of their work, with two hit singles, New Life and Just Can’t Get Enough.

Depeche Mode

Critical reactions to the album were mixed. Melody labeled it “a great album…one they had to make to conquer fresh audiences and to please the fans who just can’t get enough.” But Rolling Stone magazine considered it “PG-rated fluff.”

 
 

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