Bernstein: Tchaikovsky - The Complete Symphonies (5 CD box set, FLAC)
Bernstein: Tchaikovsky – The Complete Symphonies (5 CD box set, FLAC)

Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
Composer: Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
Audio CD
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 5 CD box set
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Sony
Size: 1.62 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01 Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Winter Daydreams, Op. 13
01. Wintertraume (Allegro tranquillo)
02. Land of desolation, Land of Mists. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto
03. Scherzo. Allegro scherzando giocoso
04. Finale. Andante lugubre – Allegro moderato – Allegro maesto
Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17
05. Andante sostenuto – Allegro vivo
06. Andantino marziale, quasi moderato
07. Scherzo. Allegro molto vivace – Trio. L’istesso tempo
08. Finale. Moderato assai – Allegro vivo

CD 02 Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op. 29
01.Introduzione. Moderato assai – Allegro brillante
02. Alla tedesca. Allegro moderato e semplice
03. Andante elegiaco
04. Scherzo. Allegro vivo
05. Finale. Allegro con fuoco (Tempo di Polacca)
06. Romeo et Juliette, Ouverture-fantaisie d’apres Shakespeare

CD 03 Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36
01. Andante sostenuto – Moderato con anima – Moderato assai, quasi Andante – Allegro vivo (F minor)
02. Andantino in modo di canzona
03. Scherzo. Pizzicato ostinato. Allegro
04. Finale. Allegro con fuoco
05. Francesca da Rimini op.32 Fantaisie symphonique d’apres Dante

CD 04 Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64
01. Andante-Allegro con anima
02. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza
03. Valse. Allegro moderato
04. Finale. Andante maestoso-Allegro vivace
05. Slavonic March, Op.31
06. Ouverture solennelle ‘1812’, Op.49

CD 05 Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, Pathétique
01. Adagio – Allegro non troppo
02. Allegro con grazia
03. Allegro molto vivace
04. Finale. Adagio lamentoso – Andante 05. Hamlet op. 67

AGREEMENT! This is one of the best Tchaikovsky cycles out there and it can’t be beat for the price!

Currently this set is selling for under $20 in the used listings – at that price it’s a steal and should be grabbed.

Bernstein is a vastly under rated conductor these days. Perhaps his later eccentricities with tempi in performance and on recordings has colored most memories. Pity – as Bernstein’s emotional flamboyance and his way with rubato revivified many warhorse scores – including the symphonies of Peter Ilyich.

I am in general agreement with the previous reviewers that Bernstein fares best in numbers 1,4,5,6. But then again, it can be persuasively argued that Tchaikovsky himself fared best in numbers 1, 4,5,6. It should be noted that this recording of #4 was made with the NYP in 1974 – its only CD release as far as I know. (The Royal Edition went for the 60s recording) This ’74 recording brims with fire and passion and belongs in every library. The 5th and 6th are fiery interpretations that are most enjoyable. Sound throughout is average Columbia quality for this era.

Much has been written about Bernstein’s final DG recording of the 6th symphony for DG Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 (Pathétique). It deserves to be heard at least once. Bernstein wrings every single drop of sweat and angst out of the first movement, the third movement blazes away in brass glory, and the finale movement takes the listener to the edge of an emotional abyss. There really is nothing like it. While it is certainly not the only version of the 6th symphony one should have, it should certainly be heard – just to show how a conductor can make a work his own. I was fortunate enough to have heard Bernstein conduct this live, and I can honestly say I have never heard a more formidable silence in a concert hall as I did that night when the symphony drew to a close. There were some patrons in tears – it is that powerful.

That said – these FIVE (!) discs will provide many hours of enjoyment and are the cornerstone of a basic classical library. For less than the price of two regular discs.

Put on the 1812 Overture and have a party!

15 Comments

        1. Thks, I bought them some time ago.
          Bernstein didn’t make many recordings with the New York Philharmonic after he left them in the seventies (some Mahler for DGG).

          Kind regards
          Bo

  1. Thank you;
    Whether ADD or DDD, it’s the NYPO & Bernstein.

    My gratitude.

    Bob

  2. I have the Dorati Living Presence set. I look forward to comparing them to this Bernstein set. Thanks

  3. This is gorgeous – heard part of it at a friend’s house. Thank you!

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