Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony
The glory of this second installment in Bychkov’s Tchaikovsky symphony series is the playing of the Czech Philharmonic. Their elegant and individual sound ranges from a gossamer lightness to a trenchancy and body that take the breath away. The woodwind playing, particularly the bassoon, is superb. This most programmatic of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies is full of incident and imaginative touches, and Bychkov, an experienced conductor of opera, handles it with enormous flair.