Mischa Maisky – Dvorak – Cello Concerto / Strauss – Don Quixote (2004)

Title: Dvorak - Cello Concerto / Strauss - Don Quixote
Year Of Release: 2004
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Genre: Classical
Quality: APE (image+.cue)
Total Time: 01:20:21
Total Size: 376 Mb


01-04 Antonin Dvorak - Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B minor, Op. 104
05-18 Richard Strauss - Don Quixote, Op. 35

Mischa Maisky - cello,
Tabea Zimmermann - viola,
Berliner Philharmoniker
Zubin Mehta, conductor

Cellist Mischa Maisky has a huge tone, an enormous technique, and an occasional tendency toward passionately narcissistic interpretations. When Maisky resists temptation -- or when his accompanist restrains him -- his performances can be magnificent. But when Maisky indulges himself -- or when his accompanist cannot contain him -- his performances can be sloppy and self-indulgent. In this pair of performances of Dvorák's Cello Concerto and Strauss' Don Quixote, Maisky is accompanied by Zubin Mehta, perhaps the most tasteless conductor alive, and the result is possibly the worst recording Maisky has ever made.
To say that Mehta brings out the worst in Maisky is to understate the case: Mehta abets, encourages, indulgences, and inflates all Maisky's lowest instincts. Tempos change from too frenetic to too lethargic without reason. Dynamics change from far too loud to far too soft without reason. Textures are either too turgid or too etiolated. Climaxes are either too much or too, too much. Maisky' huge tone has all the delicacy of a fat man in a bathtub, his enormous technique has all the subtlety of a slab of concrete, and his passionate interpretation has all the nuance of a head-on traffic crash. Mehta's conducting is vague, vulgar, and just this side of incompetent. The Berlin Philharmonic's playing would make Nikisch, Furtwängler, and even Karajan spin in their graves. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is really, really, really loud, but that's all. Everyone involved with this recording should be ashamed of themselves.