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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4, 5, 6; Romeo and Juliet Overture; 1812 Overture / Barenboim, CSO

Tchaikovsky / Chicago Sym Orch / Barenboim
Release Date: 04/24/2012 
Label:  Teldec   Catalog #: 2564663139   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyLudwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 3 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Daniel Barenboim's recordings of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's most popular orchestral music have been brought together in this trimline box set from Teldec. Among the most significant works are the Symphony No. 4 in F minor, the Symphony No. 5 in E minor, and the Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathétique," each assigned to its own disc. These live recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have been admired for their sober mood, and Barenboim's close readings of the scores are quite removed from other conductors' flamboyant interpretations. To fill out the the remainder of the program, studio recordings of the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and the 1812 Overture are included, both popular pieces that share much of the Read more passion and orchestral color of the symphonies. Somewhat gratuitously, however, the third disc leads off with Barenboim playing Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, "Pathétique," which shares only its soubriquet with Tchaikovsky's last symphony, and appears here only because the original CD release was identical. Recorded between 1995 and 1998, the sound of the set is decent, with minimal audience noise in the concert settings and a good audio range that captures most details.

-- All Music Guide

Additional Reviews

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 & Romeo and Juliet Overture

"Tchaikovsky of dignity, integrity and a certain solemnity; motivated more by song than rhythm, with that song at times a little smooth (the oboe solo in the Symphony's slow movement). The colouring of the Fourth's swings of mood, within and between movements, is imaginatively done: in the main theme of the first movement (after the fanfares) the strings enter quietly and tentatively, singing a very melancholy song indeed (the basic tempo is broad, though with a quickening for fortes). I warmed to the poetry and typical refinement of the playing, particularly of the bassoon in a very expressively phrased link to the second theme. This theme seems shadowy and dreamlike, again melancholy, and quite without the balletic quality of Jansons and many others, but it builds to a joyful close, with the Chicago brass opening up splendidly (as ever, a bold, eventoned choir). Surprisingly though, the trumpets don't deliver a convincing triple forte at the climax of the development; so it is possible that, for some, this will also be Tchaikovsky or caution (complete abandon only allowed/achieved in the finale's coda).

There was a claim made to me recently that, in the first half of the century, orchestras would take a performance into the studio, whereas these days the aim is for recording perfection in the concert-hall - a claim made by an orchestral musician who played before and after the introduction of tape. It probably holds good as a general rule, and it occurs to me that my kind is partly to blame for fostering the expectation of technical perfection. But it is interesting that, in the coupling here, a 'studio' Romeo and Juliet, tensions are higher than in the Symphony. Romeo is, of course, a piece with fewer pitfalls; one with more inherently sustained tensions, and less in need of 'an approach'. And there is another factor that accounts for its evident success here: the absence of an audience in Chicago's Orchestra Hall, allowing more bloom on the sound.

-- JS, Gramophone [12/1997]

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5

Whether we actually need another Tchaikovsky Fifth with over fifty recordings already in the catalogue is a moot point. But this one, recorded live in Chicago, is rather special. Conductor and players apparently took the work apart and relearnt it for the occasion; the result speaks for itself.

Barenboim has repeatedly demonstrated his mastery of large-scale structures, and it is revealing to hear him at work on a composer for whom form has often been held – not least by Tchaikovsky himself – to be a problem. He shows that in the right hands Tchaikovsky’s structures are as cogent as anybody’s. Each movement on its own is tightly drawn, and the directional impulse is further enhanced by playing them virtually attacca.

In a fascinating booklet interview, Barenboim talks about the influence of Mravinsky’s ‘rigorous approach’ and ‘unrelenting attitude to tempo’. This is clearly evident in Barenboim’s own interpretation, and if one sometimes wonders whether an ounce more Mravinskian passion might have been squeezed out, one can also see that the Tchaikovsky stereotype of lachrymose melancholic has been left behind in favour of something far more impressive.

-- Barry Millington, BBC Music Magazine

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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 4 in F minor, Op. 36 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
Date of Recording: 01/1997-02/1997 
Venue:  Live  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 42 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1995 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 19 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1995 
Venue:  Live  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 44 Minutes 4 Secs. 
1812 Overture, Op. 49 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/1995 
Venue:  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 14 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Sonata for Piano no 8 in C minor, Op. 13 "Pathétique" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Daniel Barenboim (Piano)
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797-1798; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Teldec Studio, Berlin 
Length: 18 Minutes 30 Secs. 
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 02/1998 
Venue:  Live  Orchestra Hall, Chicago 
Length: 46 Minutes 29 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

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 Tepid Pathatique August 26, 2016 By allen c. (winfield, IL) See All My Reviews "powerful, with lmited passion." Report Abuse
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