皇家利物浦愛樂在Naxos公司的代表作，是由David Lloyd-Jones指揮的William Alwyn交響曲全集（4CDs），並在William Alwyn 基金會支持下，繼續灌錄其他管弦作品。在Naxos公司這套錄音之前，William Alwyn的交響曲錄音，只有由Richard Hickox指揮倫敦交響樂團的Chandos獨家一套錄音，在接下來我們還會看到很多類似例子，Naxos找英國樂團灌錄20世紀英國作曲家罕交響曲目，直接的競爭對手不是Chandos，就是Hyperion，Naxos公司挾其價格優勢，對向來穩扎穩打的兩家英國獨立唱片公司經營帶來很大威脅。
年僅32歲的俄羅斯指揮新秀 Vasily Petrenko就任（2006年9月）後，Naxos公司繼續保持與該團錄音關係，這兩個月來連續推出由其擔綱指揮的兩張錄音，獲得英國媒體相當好評。
They seek him here, they seek him there. Everybody wants Vasily Petrenko, the blond, galvanizing young Russian who, in two years as principal conductor, has transformed the artistic profile of the royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a talented outfit that had been languishing for too long on the Mersey without inspiring leadership.
So all praise to the budget label Naxos for signing a deal with the orchestra and their Russian wizard for a series of major recordings. This Tchaikovsky CD is just the trailblazer. Liszt’s piano concertos, with the little-known Eldar Nebolsin, follow. Then Petrenko sinks his teeth into a complete Shostakovich symphony cycle—an exciting prospect to be completed in five years, just after his Liverpool contract ends.
Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony, recorded in Liverpool in June last year, presents abundant evidence of the orchestra’s new glory. Feel that crackle of electricity. Listen to the woodwinds’ bright dexterity in the second movement, the strings’ ravishingly controlled pianissimo at the movement’s close, or the fat confidence of the brass. Throughout, the orchestra’s ensemble spirit is so tight that you could cut yourself on the music’s edges. Note, too, the Philharmonic’s rousing organ, crucial to the symphony’s bulging finale: a very satisfying sound.
But the playing on this disc goes beyond polished, red-blooded music-making. Call it taste and intelligence. This programmatic symphony, inspired by Byron’s poetic drama about an outcast wandering to his death in the Alps, belongs in the hothouse corner of Tchaikovsky’s works. An over-melodramatic conductor—no need to list names—can make its weaker portions uncomfortably ludicrous.
Petrenko, bless him, keeps a level head. He makes no attempt in the climax of the problematic finale to raise the dynamics to a level to match the absurd quadruple forte marked in the score. At all points, any vulgar underlining is avoided: Tchaikovsky’s turmoil, passion and sweat come across quite clearly enough through the orchestra’s rhythmic drive, textural clarity and Petrenko’s tight grip on phrasing.
He makes just as good a case for the CD’s filler, the symphonic ballad The Voyevoda, 11 minutes of love, jealousy and death (a typical Tchaikovsky cocktail). Watch out for more Petrenko magic on Naxos.
在不到40歲之前以5年任期時間灌錄蕭斯塔高維奇交響曲全集，Vasily Petrenko，Good Job！