Thousand thanks to our friend Mats for this gem
I am in no doubt that this is one of Karajan’s greatest recordings. He recorded this bleakest of symphonies many times and there is undoubtedly merit in the 50’s versions with the Philharmonia and the VPO, and the two accounts made with the BPO for DG in the 60’s and 70’s, but for many the finest remains this 1971 recording, also with the BPO, made in the warm acoustic of the Jesus-Christus Kirche in September 1971. It was originally released on LP in quadrophonic sound; the violins are still a bit shrill but otherwise we hear a deep, golden acoustic ideally suited to the sound Karajan’s orchestra made back then.
Audiophile factor: High!
# Composer: Peter Tchaikowsky
# Orchestra: Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra
# Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Number of Discs: 1
DR-Analysis: DR 12
Size: 916 MB
While the sound may be all-enveloping, there is nothing cosy or slick about the way Karajan drives the music urgently on and every movement reflects his grip of the Tchaikovsky’s psychological narrative. The first movement encompasses despair, heroic resistance and resolve, yearning and nostalgia for lost love, and ultimate annihilation within the variations of the main theme, ending half way through with the lament from the solo clarinet before the emotional cataclysm and a hurtling towards the truly terrifying orchestral din 13 minutes into the Allegro non troppo, followed by a heart-breakingly tender reprise of the love theme.
The Gemütlichkeit of the famous, limping, 5/4 pseudo-waltz emerges as tauntingly ironic, especially when a note of threat insinuates itself into the superficially comforting melody. The Scherzo is played with feather-light, Mendelssohnian fleetness, delicacy and bravura, demonstrating that the BPO was not just a shiny steamroller. Their feverish, frenetic concentration so aptly portrays a soul on the edge.
But is the final movement which puts the seal on this triumphant performance and it is noteworthy how Karajan makes the listener apprehend the carefully devised symmetry of structure: it is divided into four distinct sections delineating mental breakdown. The first quarter depicts a spiralling down into despond, then a ray of hope breaks through in a consolatory theme suggesting a courageous struggle against the demons until the half-way mark; the third quarter destroys that hope and returns the listener to crisis and despair; the final section is a funereal dirge charting a descent into black nothingness.
What a symphony; what a recording.
Analyzed folder: /96k(MFSL) Peter Tchaikowsky – Symphony No. 6 – Karajan
DR Peak RMS Filename
DR12 -1.49 dB -19.42 dB A1 Symphony No. 6 In B Minor Op. 74 ‘Pathetique’ I. Adagio-Allegro Non Troppo.aif
DR13 -5.58 dB -22.58 dB A2 Symphony No. 6 In B Minor Op. 74 ‘Pathetique’ II. Allegro Con Grazia.aif
DR11 -0.99 dB -15.69 dB B1 Symphony No. 6 In B Minor Op. 74 ‘Pathetique’ III. Allegro Molto Vivace.aif
DR12 -0.86 dB -18.99 dB B2 Symphony No. 6 In B Minor Op. 74 ‘Pathetique’ IV. Finale (Adagio Lamentoso-Andante).aif
Number of files: 4
Official DR value: DR12
- Art Direction – Marvin Schwartz
- Composed By – Peter Tchaikovsky
- Conductor – Herbert von Karajan
- Coordinator [Editorial] – Janice May (2)
- Design – Tri-Arts
- Engineer – Wolfgang Gülich
- Mastered By – Stan Ricker
- Orchestra – Berliner Philharmoniker (tracks: Berlin Harmonic)
- Photography [Cover] – Christian Steiner (6)
- Producer – Michel Glotz
- Sleeve Notes – John Davidson
Originally released from Angel Records, cat. # S-36886
- RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
- TT: Vintage (1982) Yamaha PX-3
- Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
Cartridge: ZYX 50R Bloom
- Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
- ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC
- Pre Amp: Große Vorstufe, Erste Frankfurter Röhrenmanufaktur (Tube)
- Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
- Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
- Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
My rips are almost rough rips.
- Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
- Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
- DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
- Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
- Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5
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