Semyon Bychkov has been passionately devoted to the music of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky since his childhood, so he clearly regards recording all of the symphonies and the major orchestral works for Decca as a labor of love. This first volume in The Tchaikovsky Project opens with Tchaikovsky's last symphony, the Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathétique," and includes as filler the popular Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, his first masterpiece.
Verdi's late masterpiece is presented in Elijah Mashinsky's Met production with sumptuous sets and period costumes. Semyon Bychkov conducts an all-star cast led by South African Heldentenor Johan Botha in the title role with a voice of "impressive size and bronze color" (New York Times). Renee Fleming's Desdemona enshrines one of her signature roles in a definitive performance "she knows exactly how to spin the gentle lines of the "Willow Song" and "Ave Maria" so that they softly fill the hall" (New York Times). A strong supporting cast includes the superb Falk Struckmann as Iago and star tenor Michael Fabiano as Cassio.