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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 4-6 / Markevitch, London So


Release Date: 08/10/1993 
Label:  Philips Duo Catalog #: 438335   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 12 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

In the Classical Hall of Fame in Fanfare 15:6 I discussed Bernstein's amazing "Pathétique," a performance that has more whimpering and self-pity than even the composer put into the music, and that's saying a lot. It's as compelling and discomfiting as watching a method actor ham it up on television. Markevitch, by contrast, presents Tchaikovsky with clarity, honesty, and belief in both the spirit and the letter of the score; Markevitch, like Bernstein, was also a composer, but he doesn't try to muscle in on the authorship of the music. This symphony is as hackneyed as the "Pathétique," and commentators have long delighted in sniping at it. With Markevitch I don't notice crudity, obviousness, or patchy Read more construction, and I don't think it is because I'm being mesmerized (it can still seem like a tired old nag of a piece in other hands). I do hear what a tremendous orchestrator and clever orchestral thinker Tchaikovsky was; the winds and brass of the London Symphony circa 1966 had colorful, distinctive tonal qualities that Markevitch was able to exploit and mold to his purposes.

-- David K. Nelson, Gramophone [3/1993, reviewing Symphony no 5]

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...Overall, these performances match the best available, with the adrenalin running free, a fine understanding of the music and a spontaneous Tchaikovskian feeling pervading the music-making throughout... Symphony No. 4 also has thrilling outer movements, as exciting as any I have heard. Markevitch's way of leaning on the rocking crescendo phrase in the first movement is a nice individual touch, while the climax of the development provides a really thrilling moment, matching the unbuttoned Russian fervour at the close of the finale. The central movements are no less appealingly imaginative. Symphony No. 5 has a similarly direct first movement, with everything moving forward (perhaps a shade inflexibly) in a single sweep, and the slow movment generating plenty of emotional power. The main controversial point here is that the re-statement of the big tune in the finale is rather slow and solid. The intensity of No. 6 (Pathetique) is in no doubt: the first movement presses on with passionate energy, the central movements are well contrasted—the scherzo/march ebullient—and the finale is often elegiac in feeling without loss of passion. Throughout the set the LSO's playing is both committed and polished.

-- Gramophone [3/1991]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 in F minor, Op. 36 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
2.
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
3.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 01/1962 
Venue:  London 
Length: 45 Minutes 44 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36: 1. Andante sostenuto - Moderato con anima - Moderato assai, quasi Andante - Allegro vivo
Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36: 2. Andantino in modo di canzone
Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36: 3. Scherzo. Pizzicato ostinato - Allegro
Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36: 4. Finale (Allegro con fuoco)
Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64: 1. Andante - Allegro con anima
Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64: 2. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza - Moderato con anima
Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64: 3. Valse (Allegro moderato)
Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64: 4. Finale (Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace)
Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique": 1. Adagio - Allegro non troppo
Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique": 2. Allegro con grazia
Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique": 3. Allegro molto vivace
Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique": 4. Finale (Adagio lamentoso - Andante)

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