Best Recording for tchaikovsky sympony

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chulheekim
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Best Recording for tchaikovsky sympony

Post by chulheekim » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:27 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to find the best CD of tchaikovsky sympony 4,5, and 6.
Can you recommend a few?

Thank you,
Chulhee

Barry
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Post by Barry » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:39 pm

The most frequently recommended set of these Tchaikovsky symphonies is unquestionably the Mravinsky stereo set on DG. They're very aggressive performances, as one would expect from Mravinsky.

Having said that, of the three recordings in that set, the only one that is a top or near a top choice for me is the fourth.

Other excellent recordings of the fourth are Szell/London Symphony and Karajan/BPO (the 70s recording on DG).

For the fifth, I like Fricsay/BPO and Ormandy/RCA

For the sixth, I like a slow, very sentimental (heart-on-the-sleeve) approach that I know some people think is all wrong for this symphony. But hey, that's what I like. For that approach, my three favorites are Furtwangler/BPO (1938), Fricsay/Bavarian Radio Symphony on Orfeo and Bernstein/NY on DG.
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Post by jbuck919 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:49 pm

All I can say is the when David Zinmann was conducting the Baltimore symphony, he remarked in an interview that he loved Tchaikovsky--because he will bear any interpretation.

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pizza
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Post by pizza » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:23 pm

The Monteux/BSO 4th, 5th and 6th are pretty much tops in my opinion.

If modern sound quality isn't important, the 1944 Koussevitzky BSO 5th is still one of the finest ever recorded.

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Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:31 pm

Fricsay has recorded 4, 5 and 6 (all available from DG plus another 6th from Orfeo) and all are highly recommendable despite mono sound.

4th - Szell/LPO - A white hot performance of this work.

5th - Fricsay for me.

6th - Pletnev - the one on the Virgin label. Avoid the DG

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Post by Ralph » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:28 pm

The whole Jansons Tschaikovsky symphony cycle is excellent. So are symphonies 4,5, and 6 by Gergiev.

For a different take on 5 & 6, Bernstein on DG.
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Post by moldyoldie » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:29 pm

The best combination of performance and modern digital recording for all three has to be Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic, available on both the Chandos and Musical Heritage Society labels. Unfortunately, in my opinion, they're not very economical for the budget-minded unless purchased on the used market.

Leonard Bernstein's 4th with the New York Philharmonic from 1976 will knock you out of your chair!
The older Lenny "wears his heart on his sleeve" in his "super-emotional" 1987 live recording of the 6th with the NYPh on Deutsche Grammophon-- perhaps not a "beginner's" recording of this work.

Igor Markevitch with the London Symphony Orchestra has a long highly regarded low-priced set of all three symphonies on the Phillips label with fine sound -- a great "beginner's" set that's less gruff sounding than the Mravinsky.

I've never heard a truly bad performance of these symphonies...but I certainly haven't heard them all.

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Re: Best Recording for tchaikovsky sympony

Post by Heck148 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:01 pm

chulheekim wrote:Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to find the best CD of tchaikovsky sympony 4,5, and 6.
Can you recommend a few?
the Mravinsky/LenPO/DG set of 4,5 and 6 is really excellent...

however, for #6, my top pick is Reiner/CSO. one of this famous combos very best efforts, which makes it indeed a formidable entry...

#s 4 and 5 are not favorites of mine. I go with the flashy virtuoso treatment - Solti, Bernstein, in addition to Mravinsky...

I much prefer the earlier symphonies of Tchaikovsky - 1-5...beautiful works.

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Post by Lance » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:05 pm

I, too, agree with the Evgeny Mravinsky set on DGG [419.745, 3 CDs] taking primary place, all with the incredible Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, which has never sounded the same since Mravinsky's death in 1988. There's got to be a reason why this set is so coveted by colletors - and it all has to do with the majesty and power of these performances.

But I would also choose any recording of these works by Ferenc Fricsay, Pierre Monteux, or Igor Markevitch. Monteux, being the great Frenchman that he was, simply had a very special way with most Russian music (as did Frenchman Charles Munch and the Russian Serge Koussevitzky before him).

I have enjoyed Stokowski, Ormandy, Reiner, Bernstein and myriad other conductors and orchestras in this repertoire.
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Re: Best Recording for tchaikovsky sympony

Post by val » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:20 am

chulheekim

I'm trying to find the best CD of tchaikovsky sympony 4,5, and 6.
Can you recommend a few?

First, I suggest Mravinski with the Leningrad Philharmonic.

Then, the 4th and 6th by Furtwängler (VPO and BPO), the 6th by Giulini (PHilarmonia), the 5th by Markevitch (LSO).

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:24 am

For the complete set, I'd recommend Muti's 7-CD set, since he also has the seldom performed "Manfred" Symphony, "Romeo and Juliet", "Francesca da Rimini" and orchestral selections from the ballets as well. Nicely played, not too extravagantly.

But for individual ones I'd say Maazel's (Vienna Phil. on London) 4th, 5th and 6th are absolutely tops!

Jack
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Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:56 pm

I agree Mravinsky/Leningrad is best for the 6th. It's a long-standing favourite.

I think that Barenboim/CSO for the 4th and 5th are pretty good.

Alberich
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Post by Alberich » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:59 pm

Agree on the Mravinsky set of 4,5,6 as first choice.

However, and off the subject
a bit - what comments do we
have about the Bernstein/NYPO
Tchaikovsky 6th on DGG. The late (1980s)
performance - one which Maestro Bernstein stretched the
Pathetique to almost an hour's time.
The last movement is almost unbelievably
slow. But for some, its unrequited angst
projects the true feelings of the composer - the pain
and the suffering. Does Bernstein hold it together for you?
Or does the structure of the finale simply collapse at such
tempos?

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Post by moldyoldie » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:33 pm

Alberich wrote:However, and off the subject
a bit - what comments do we
have about the Bernstein/NYPO
Tchaikovsky 6th on DGG. The late (1980s)
performance - one which Maestro Bernstein stretched the
Pathetique to almost an hour's time.
The last movement is almost unbelievably
slow. But for some, its unrequited angst
projects the true feelings of the composer - the pain
and the suffering. Does Bernstein hold it together for you?
Or does the structure of the finale simply collapse at such
tempos?
I just finished listening to it. I thought Lenny and the NYPh held the lines of the last movement very well, almost stretched to the breaking point and with pregnant pauses -- quite affecting! Not once did my concentration waver, though the movement sounds even more detached than usual from the rest of the symphony following the third movement march. In my opinion, it's a most legitimate and unique reading. (I can't say the same for his last "hyper-extended" Sibelius Sym. #2, which I tend to purposely avoid after two previous listens...though I guess it is "unique".)

Of those 6ths I own (and to whose appreciably different final movements I couldn't resist spinning back-to-back following Bernstein's entire performance), these are the listed times for the final movement, probably not accounting for dead space on the end of the CDs:

Haitink 11:36
Mravinsky 9:45
Markevitch 9:45
Jansons 9:46
Bernstein 17:12

Alberich
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Post by Alberich » Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:37 pm

Yes - it's an amazing difference in timings.
For me, the structure of the finale doesn't hold and it
falls apart at such extreme tempos. It loses me somewhere
along the way. But it sure
is interesting to hear.

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Post by RebLem » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:22 pm

IMO, there are two sets of the last 3 symphonies worth getting. One is the Mravinsky/Leningrad set. Many feel it is very exciting, and I do. However, it can also seem more than exciting, really frenetic in a rather overwrought sort of way. For great performances that let the music breathe, try the Monteux/Boston Symphony set.

There are other great performances, too. Dorati/LSO is a good particularly good one.

Someone in this thread recommended the Szell recording of the 4th Symphony. Now, I have said many times that I think George Szell was the greatest conductor who ever lived. That is not to say he didn't have faults or that he always got along with every orchestra. Far from it. The LSO was one he didn't get along with it and he struggled all through the recording of the 4th Symphony. When they finally had it as good as the LSO musicians were willing to make it, someone on the production staff said the record would be out by such and such a date. Szell, whose contract called for his authorization of any release, said, "Over my dead body." Indeed, the recording was issued posthumously.
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Post by anasazi » Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:35 am

I haven't heard half these recommended recordings (if time allows I will) but I would recommend a listen to the Ormandy/Philly stereo recording (on a budget CD now) of the 6th. Especially for the last movement. And to add to timings, it clocks in at 10:55. I've always loved the phrasing in this performance and the intensity. Actually, the entire symphony is very well done here.

I don't have any other favorites except that I just recently got the Chandos budget reissue of the Jansons set, and am currently going through them. I've been mostly quite impressed.
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Post by Holden Fourth » Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:28 pm

RebLem wrote:IMO, there are two sets of the last 3 symphonies worth getting. One is the Mravinsky/Leningrad set. Many feel it is very exciting, and I do. However, it can also seem more than exciting, really frenetic in a rather overwrought sort of way. For great performances that let the music breathe, try the Monteux/Boston Symphony set.

There are other great performances, too. Dorati/LSO is a good particularly good one.

Someone in this thread recommended the Szell recording of the 4th Symphony. Now, I have said many times that I think George Szell was the greatest conductor who ever lived. That is not to say he didn't have faults or that he always got along with every orchestra. Far from it. The LSO was one he didn't get along with it and he struggled all through the recording of the 4th Symphony. When they finally had it as good as the LSO musicians were willing to make it, someone on the production staff said the record would be out by such and such a date. Szell, whose contract called for his authorization of any release, said, "Over my dead body." Indeed, the recording was issued posthumously.
I'll add to that. As alluded, the LSO wasn't quite up to par on the day so when Szell came to listen to the penultimate take the producer (John Culshaw I think), who knew Szell quite well, wound down the levels to make it sound somewhat mediocre. Back to the podium went Szell and true to his reputation as a martinet whipped the LSO into proiducing what is a phenomenal recording of this symphony.

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