Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies (7 CD box set, FLAC)
Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies (7 CD box set, FLAC)

Composer: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 7 CD box set
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 1.94 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
Symphony No.1 in G minor, Op.13 “Winter Reveries”
01. I. Allegro tranquillo
02. II. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto
03. III. Scherzo (Allegro scherzando giocoso)
04. IV. Finale (Andante lugubre – Allegro maestoso)

05. Slavonic March, Op.31

06. Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem op.15

CD 02
Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 “Little Russian”
01. I. Andante sostenuto – Allegro vivo
02. II. Andantino marziale, quasi moderato]
03. III. Scherzo. Allegro molto vivace – Trio. L’istesso tempo
04. IV. Finale. Moderato assai – Allegro vivo – Presto

05. Fatum, Op.77

06. Ouverture solenelle “1812”, Op.49

CD 03
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.29 Polish
01. I. introduzione e Allegro
02. II. Alla tedesca (Allegro moderato)
03. III. Andante elegiaco
04. IV. Scherzo (Allegro vivo)
05. V. Finale (Allegro con fuoco)1]

06. Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture

CD 04
Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36
01. I. Andante sostenuto – Moderato con anima – Moderato assai, quasi Andante – Allegro vivo]
02. II. Andantino in modo di canzone
03. III. Scherzo. Pizzicato ostinato – Allegro
04. IV. Finale (Allegro con fuoco)

05. Francesca da Rimini, Op.32

CD 05
Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64
01. I. Andante – Allegro con anima
02. II. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza – Moderato con anima
03. III. Valse (Allegro moderato)
04. IV. Finale (Andante maestoso – Allegro vivace)

Also available:  Pletnev plays Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shchedrin (24/96 LP APE)

05. Hamlet – Overture-Fantasy after Shakespeare, Op.67

CD 06
01. The Voyevode, Op.78

02. Capriccio italien, Op.45

Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -“Pathétique”
03. I. Adagio – Allegro non troppo
04. II. Allegro con grazia
05. III. Allegro molto vivace
06. IV. Finale (Adagio lamentoso – Andante)

CD 07
01. The Tempest, Op.18

Manfred Symphony, Op.58
02. I. Lento lugubre – Moderato con moto – Andante
03. II. Vivace con spirito
04. III. Andante con moto
05. IV. Allegro con fuoco

Excellent set.

I didn’t need additional recordings of these pieces but I’m glad I bought this set. The performances have an elegance somewhat lacking in some of my other versions. The recording quality is very good; atmospheric, transparent and very dynamic. I’m glad they included the less familiar pieces.

Excellent in every way.

The orchestral playing is extremely virtuosic, from inward ppp to the loudest passages with striking brass; and it is very well recorded, delivering the full spectrum of sound in detail yet with massive weight in the climaxes. The Penguin Guide praised the tone poems but not the symphonies (except for no. 6 apparently). It singled out no.1 for the harshest treatment mainly the rather slow and dreamy first movement. I don’t agree. After listening to it I put on the widely acclaimed Jurowski performance and found the opening almost rushed in comparison. Indeed Jurowski tends to be consistently quicker in the other symphonies too. Symphonies 2 and 3 are not the greatest Tchaikovsky but the refined playing and interpretation cannot be seriously faulted. Symphony 4 is very refined but not cold at all. Pletnev delivers a different kind of Romanticism from, say, Gergiev, but it is Romantic nevertheless. Symphony 5 reminded me of the Gergiev Vienna performance and in 3 of the 4 movements the timings are within two or three seconds of each other. In the first movement of no.6 Pletnev delivers an overwhelming climax which is quite unforgettable. Although the detail and refinement is apparent throughout throughout this generous set of the symphonies and tone poems, just occasionally at the expense of spontaneity, the climaxes are all fully delivered. Less gruff and edgy than Gergiev I feel Pletnev is more consistent in his sensitive view of the composer. Unlike Gergiev he never slips over into mere violence. The challenginges are all inward though fully realised. All in all this set is wonderful value and well worth having, whatever other versions you may have. A great set to live with.

The Russian Sound – Tchaikovsky recordings, in excellent sound quality.

Excellent set of Tchaikovsky symphonies from Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra. The orchestral playing is strongly focused on the brass, which is typical of a Russian orchestra, and there is plenty of deeply felt emotion, and intellectual seriousness isn’t in short supply – it’s easy to be dismissive when it comes to Tchaikovsky. Many listeners consider him to be an intellectual lightweight, but Tchaikovsky’s genius for melodic invention has few rivals, and his music has remained popular for good reason… Tchaikovsky is never trying to outthink the listener: he’s not clever, like Mahler, not cerebral, like Bach and doesn’t preach, like Brahms – there is great honesty in Tchaikovsky’s music; a composer bearing his soul, tearing himself apart and trying to make sense of the world, and his position in it! This set of recordings will never replace classic Tchaikovsky recordings from the likes of Mravinsky and Markevitch, but Mikhail Pletnev and his orchestra deliver passionate performances that are thoroughly convincing, and in very good digital sound quality. Recommended.

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