Notes and Editorial Reviews
Pierre Monteux was one of those conductors who could make the most anguished music sound effortless. You might think that this isn't an advantage in the Pathétique Symphony, but it is. His innate musicality keeps the allegro sections of the first movement pressing smartly forward, while the lyrical second subject never turns sticky. Other performances may be noisier, but Monteux's cogency offers its own exciting and perfectly valid argument. Certainly no one would take issue with the idiomatic lilt he brings to the second-movement waltz, or with the rhythmic lift he provides in the ensuing march (this really is Tchaikovsky as his most French, isn't it?). There have been more intense accounts of the finale, but the beautiful playing of the
Boston Symphony and Monteux's refusal to get hysterical remain all of a piece: it's a very satisfying reading by any standard. The 1955 Living Stereo recording still sounds excellent both in stereo and on (two-channel) SACD, without a large enough difference between them to make a significant difference. This is a very welcome reissue.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1893; Russia
Date of Recording: 01/26/1955
Venue: Symphony Hall, Boston
Length: 44 Minutes 14 Secs.
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