Tchaikovsky: The Tempest / BBC Scottish SO

Tchaikovsky: The Tempest / BBC Scottish SO

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Born in Birmingham, Alpesh Chauhan studied cello under Eduardo Vassallo at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester before continuing at the RNCM to pursue the prestigious Master’s Conducting Course. Alpesh has studied with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, participated in masterclasses with Juanjo Mena, Vasily Petrenko and Jac van Steen, and was mentored by Andris Nelsons and Edward Gardner in his post as Assistant Conductor of the CBSO 2014-16. Newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker from the 21/22 season, he is also Associate Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of Birmingham Opera Company. He frequently appears as guest conductor with acclaimed international orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Île de France, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI, Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

For this, his debut recording for Chandos, he has chosen a collection of Tchaikovsky’s symphonic fantasias, alongside the Overture and Polonaise from the comic opera ‘Cherevichki’. The Tempest, from 1873 is based on the Shakespeare play, and shows that Tchaikovsky’s unique voice and style were already fully developed. Francesca da Rimini (based on the tale in Dante’s Inferno) was written only a few years later, but after Tchaikovsky had attended the premier of Wagner’s Ring cycle in Bayreuth – an influence discernible particularly in the brass chords. Cherevichki (the Slippers) is a revision of his earlier opera Vakula the Smith, based on Gogol’s Christmas Eve. Tchaikovsky’s Symphonic Ballad The Voyevoda is based on Adam Mickiewicz’s poem ‘The Ambush’, and is the first orchestral work to include the (newly invented) Celeste.


Chauhan proves in this disc that he loves Tchaikovsky and is not afraid to show it, at a time when so many conductors appear embarrassed by the emotional intensity and try to tame the music, with results that are sometimes desiccated.

-- Gramophone

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