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Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies / Haitink, Concertgebouw [6-CD Collector's Edition]


Release Date: 10/22/2013 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001915402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Number of Discs: 6 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Unlike his endless Bruckner and Mahler remakes, Haitink recorded only one Tchaikovsky cycle, and he did it splendidly. The word “beautiful” is hugely overused in this business, but it really does describe these performances. Not only is the playing of the Concertgebouw simply scrumptious, the sonics are some of the finest to come from Philips (even if this box is nominally now on Decca). Just listen to the solo clarinet and violins in the first movement of the First Symphony (sound clip). Every melody has a shapely sense of line and purposeful phrasing at an unfailingly sensible tempo. You never feel that Tchaikovsky’s handling of form lacks confidence.

Granted, there are moments where we could do with a tad more excitment:
Read more the finales of the Second and Fourth Symphonies, for example, or the march in the Sixth, but Haitink still has a few tricks up his sleeve. This Manfred, for example, is surprisingly successful. When Tchaikovsky goes completely insane at the end of the first movement, Haitink and his players oblige him with a will (second clip). If only they had done the same in the accompanying tone poems. Romeo and Juliet and the 1812 Overture aren’t going to win any awards for passion or impact, but the Capriccio italian is aptly ebullient, and Francesca da Rimini packs an impressive punch. It’s also nice to have the rarely performed The Storm in such an attractive and probing interpretation. It sounds like great music here.

These may not be the most high-tension Tchaikovsky symphony performances, then, but they are very, very good: easy on the ear, gorgeously played, and always warmly satisfying. Haitink highlights the music’s strengths, and the result is an enduring set that would grace any collection.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in G minor, Op. 13 "Winter daydreams" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866/1874; Russia 
2.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
3.
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
4.
Symphony no 4 in F minor, Op. 36 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
5.
Symphony no 3 in D major, Op. 29 "Polish" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Russia 
6.
Symphony no 2 in C minor, Op. 17 "Little Russian" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
7.
Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1885 
8.
1812 Overture, Op. 49 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1972 
9.
Capriccio italien, Op. 45 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1972 
10.
Marche slave, Op. 31 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1961 
11.
Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 09/1972 
12.
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 

Sound Samples

Symphony No.1 in G minor, Op.13 "Winter Reveries": 1. Allegro tranquillo
Symphony No.1 in G minor, Op.13 "Winter Reveries": 2. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto
Symphony No.1 in G minor, Op.13 "Winter Reveries": 3. Scherzo (Allegro scherzando giocoso)
Symphony No.1 in G minor, Op.13 "Winter Reveries": 4. Finale (Andante lugubre - Allegro maestoso)
Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 "Little Russian": 1. Andante sostenuto - Allegro vivo
Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 "Little Russian": 2. Andantino marziale, quasi moderato
Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 "Little Russian": 3. Scherzo. Allegro molto vivace - Trio. L'istesso tempo
Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 "Little Russian": 4. Finale. Moderato assai - Allegro vivo - Presto
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.29 "Polish": 1. Introduzione e Allegro
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.29 "Polish": 2. Alla tedesca (Allegro moderato)
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.29 "Polish": 3. Andante elegiaco
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.29 "Polish": 4. Scherzo (Allegro vivo)
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.29 "Polish": 5. Finale (Allegro con fuoco)
Slavonic March, Op.31
Francesca da Rimini, Op.32

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Terrific Tchaikovsky from Haitink November 15, 2013 By V. Guernon (South Kingstown, RI) See All My Reviews "Bernard Haitink, deservedly or not, has always had the reputation of being a very musical conductor, but not one who gets strongly involved in the emotion of the music. With that reputation, you would think that he would not be a good fit for Tchaikovsky, but nothing could be farther from the truth. These are beautifully played, strongly emotional accounts of Tchaikovsky's six symphonies, as well as the Manfred Symphony. The other orchestral pieces in this set are also beautifully played, but there are more extroverted recordings of these showpieces elsewhere. The sound on all these recordings is exemplary- analog sound at its very best. Probably nobody produced a more natural image of an orchestra in a great hall than did the Philips engineers at the Concertgebouw in the 1970's. I can't recommend this set strongly enough." Report Abuse
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