Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique" /Romeo And Juliet Blu-specCD
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Symphony 6; Romeo & Juliet
Time was that to make Tchaikovsky a whipping boy for the worst excesses of romanticism, an emblem of "hysteria" and bathetic self-indulgence, became critically fashionable. But with this composer, the court of popular opinion has proved more far-sighted than that of the critics. The power of his finest scores--in the hands of a truly sympathetic interpreter--remains unforgettably gripping, and nowhere more so than in the symphony he premiered just days before his controversial death. Valery Gergiev taps into the theatrical sensibility evidenced by his dynamic Kirov Opera recordings of Mazeppa, Iolanta, and Pique Dame to shape a psychological drama of devastating intensity in his account of the nihilistic Pathétique. He fires up the Kirov orchestra to a fevered pitch of inspiration, summoning a great luxuriance of sound and coloristic detail, from brass chorales as rousing as those on Judgment Day and imaginatively sprung wind solos to the composer's trademark roulades, dispatched with thrilling ensemble. The use of vacuum tube equipment for the recording results in a warm sonic focus, with particularly full-bodied bass, giving the score's blackest moments a vividly frightening presence. Gergiev stresses Tchaikovsky's most provocative shocks (you can hear his own gasps on occasion if you listen closely enough), as in the explosive rupturing of the pppppp in the middle of the first movement. But in addition to dramatic savvy, he grasps Tchaikovsky's radical new concept of the symphonic journey, with its reversal of Beethoven's affirmative model through the Adagio finale's valedictory plunge back into silence (Mahler would follow a similar pattern in his Ninth). Also included is a bracing, epic, and thoroughly convincing performance of the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture showing the Kirov band in terrific ensemble. Stereotypes of Tchaikovsky's music as expressing the "Russian soul" notwithstanding, Gergiev's spectacular, impassioned interpretations give us a composer that is universally moving. --Thomas May
Top Customer Reviews
The hall, where this recording has been made is very small and I think you can sense it while hearing this recording. The sound has no air in it. The percussion sound very odd and too hard and very close. The new recording which Gergiev has made with Vadim Repin has also been recorded at the same hall, but it sounds much better.
My favourite recording of the Pathétique is Sergiu Celibidache's recording. This performance takes an hour!! But it is truly gripping.
After hearing Gergiev's poor recording of Verdi's Requiem, I thought that Gergiev was loosing his touch. But then after hearing his new recordings of The Rite of Spring and Pictures at an Exhibition, I was relieved. They are both magnificent. Gergiev is still my favourite conductor, because he can produce a very personal sound. Some other conductors, like Salonen, Chailly, Rattle and Nagano, all sound the same. Gergiev's style suits for some pieces and for some pieces, like Sibelius and Beethoven, it doesn't. I think it should suit for Tchaikovsky, but this recording proves otherwise. But I hope he will make a new recording some day. Maybe with the Wiener Philharmoniker.
His final composition is - in my opinion - his greatest work, the 6th symphony in B-minor. Subtitled the 'Pathetique'. This is truly a work of dark complexity overshadowed at times by the beauty and passion of its romanticism. There does tend to be, however, a tendency to translate this symphony more in terms of its romantic nature than its brooding, autobiographical stance. However, Gergiev seems to have balanced out the two moods farily equally.
The Kirov's interpretation of Tchaikovsky's masterwork is fluent in power and emotion. A full-on tour de force of melody, and orchestral genius. This is a piece of music not only for the romantics, but also for the brooding. Tchaikovsky's spirit lives on in this composition. It is only fair that the conductor and orchestra in question translate a brooding man's melancholy into the emotion it so richly deserves.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a splendid recording of Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, yet Gergiev doesn't quite probe the emotional depths of this score as successfully as I have heard from others, most... Read morePublished on April 19 2003 by John Kwok
Gergiev has a magical way about his music. I can feel him -- heart and mind -- behind the sound, lashing it together and giving it a sure and sinuous spine of thrilling coherence... Read morePublished on June 29 2000
Other versions provide more into the symphony, but the Romeo and Juliet is excellent. The strings and metals are balanced and with deep tunes
The recording is very good and I... Read more
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