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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4 5 & Original recording remastered, Import

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 24 2007)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000NPCMJ4
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Disc: 1
1. I. Andante sostenuto_Moderato con anima
2. II. Andantino in modo di canzone
3. III. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato, allegro
4. IV. Allegro con fuoco
5. I - Andante - Allegro con anima
6. II - Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza
Disc: 2
1. III - Valse: Allegro moderato
2. IV - Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace
3. Adagio - Allegro con troppo
4. Allegro con grazia
5. Allegro molto vivace
6. Finale - Adagio lamentoso

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6d02bd0) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6d2c69c) out of 5 stars Death and Dissolution Jan. 13 2011
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Everyone trumpets the glories of the 1976 Herbie / BPO performance but the Minority Report, penned by yours truly, says the following: this September 1971 recording of the Sixth is the best on the market. One advantage it enjoys over 1976 is the acoustic itself: it was recorded in the Jesus Christus Church rather than the dreaded Philharmonie; there is more air around the orchestra, and how well they play and staggeringly so. Oh, that's right: it comes with 4 and 5 which are lesser symphonies in every way. For what they're worth, they are exceedingly well played. Treat them as entrees to the main course of darkness.

There is a saying: anyone can stand on the edge of the Abyss and summon the spirits but will they come? In this performance of the Pathetique, they do: a dark plutonic god arises in development section of the first movement - a Devourer of Colour and Life. It's no wonder that one of Karajan's daughters once thought her father would die onstage during such a performance. Indeed, if you have experienced grief, avoid this performance: it will enviscerate you further. You do not need it. I jest not.

From the Apocalypse of the First Movement to the Requiem in the last, this performance is equal to the score itself. This is not normal music making: it's a one-way ticket to the Underworld, the abode of Shades and irreparable loss.

PS - the booklet on page 2 categorically states that all three works were remastered in 2007.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6d2c8e8) out of 5 stars A brief overview of the three 'twofer' Karajan options available of these 3 symphonies Dec 16 2013
By I. Giles - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is the set made for EMI with analogue recording equipment in the early 1970's. They were recorded, like the 1960's analogue set on DGG, in the Jesus-Christus-Kirche. Both of these sets have been remastered, the DGG one using 24 bit technology as opposed to the Original Bit Imaging favoured on other DGG discs and the EMI one using there own methods.

On the face of it, one would expect the EMI recording to have the edge as sound simply because it is the later recording done in the same venue and also being analogue. That is not the case as the EMI recording becomes uncomfortably edgy on the top range at climatic points (the start of the fourth symphony will suffice) and with a strange tendency to 'glassiness' (check the timpani roll before the final section of the fifth symphony for this)on some textures including the timpani and trumpets when played loudly. Additionally, the EMI recording allows far more of the church echo to intrude and this results in too much resonance on the lower strings in particular with a consequent loss of detail as regards notes played (pitch). In all of these respects they remind me of the LP set I once owned of these recordings which had the same characteristics.

The DGG remastered discs are far clearer and truthful in all of these respects and this applies throughout the two sets despite the disparity in their recording ages and venues. I have spent two weeks doing A/B comparisons of these three sets to attempt a reasonable and secure evaluation of their relative merits. I is worth noting that all three have received conflicting opinions from reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic as regards preferences ranging from highly enthusiastic to dismissive.

The performances themselves are surprisingly different bearing in mind usual Karajan's consistency. The EMI recording offers far more driven and dramatic performances that, in a way, suit the closer recorded balance. However this can also be accumulatively over-bearing however and certainly larger than life. At the same time the recordings lack internal detail especially when compared to the more natural balances of the earliest DGG set from the 1960's. That set, while still rising impressively to climatic moments, offers a far more balletic view at times such as in the third movement of the sixth symphony.

The other option is the analogue set of the 1970's DGG recording of the symphonies. As a set of performances it falls between the other two described above and is a fair example of the Philharmonie venue as regards sound. This is not to everyone's taste although I personally have not found the recording to be a problem to that enjoyment.

My conclusion is that all three sets have much to offer as regards performances. The EMI set is the most driven and the earlier DGG set has a touch more of the dance about it. The !970's DGG recording comes between those two. The EMI recording offers sound that is very 'present' to the point of being strident at climatic points and lacking bass detail. The first DGG recording is arguably the most realistic, greatly aided by the venue, an early favourite with DGG. The later set is very clear with plenty of weight but some find it lacking in bloom.

This is not the only attempt to describe the options for collectors but I offer the above comparisons to try and give further objective reasons for making a choice based on direct comparisons after extended A/B checking.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6d2cb28) out of 5 stars The best of Karajan in a favourite composer Jan. 29 2015
By Ralph Moore - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I'm not quite sure why Karajan felt such an affinity with these later Tchaikovsky symphonies, to the extent that he made half a dozen studio recordings of them over his long career but he certainly had a way with Russian music, as evinced by his Mussorgsky "Boris Godunov" and "Pictures", the live Shostakovich Tenth Symphony that he took to Moscow and his "Sheherezade". Perhaps Tchaikovsky's orchestration and overt emotionalism allowed him to exploit both the virtuosity of his orchestras and the showman side of his personality; certainly you could not hear better playing than that of the greatest orchestra in the world in 1971 in the most grateful acoustics provided by the recording location of the Jesus-Christus-Kirche; the BPO purr like tigers before applying serious reserves of power in the big moments.

The 2007 remastering has polished what was already superb analogue sound, preferable to any other set for its depth and warmth. There is a glorious sweep to Karajan's way with these works: in the opening movement of the Fourth we waltz blithely into oblivion before being consumed by the manic, screaming power of the last minute. The silky smoothness of the horn solo in the opening of the Fifth is emulated nowhere else but it is the performance of the Sixth which is the real marvel: how anyone could accuse Karajan of shallowness having heard this swirling descent into annihilation is beyond me.

I remain attached to the tauter Mravinsky set but the early 60's sound is hissy and brittle compared with the sumptuousness here; for individual recordings of the Fourth and Fifth, a young Abbado with the VPO and Shipway with the RPO remain first recommendations but Karajan's Sixth is in a class of its own.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6d2cda4) out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky's Symphonies 4, 5, and 6 Oct. 26 2012
By Anne Gavigan - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The recording of Tchaikovsky's last three symphonies is a faithful reproduction of Herbert von karajan's performance with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. The sound is excellent, with a wide dynamic range. The set of two CDs includes program notes by David Nice and a track for every movement of each symphony. I have read other favorable reviews online, and I would like to add that this is a collector's item at a reasonable price.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6d2cc3c) out of 5 stars A Bobsled Run Feb. 21 2015
By Robert B. Howig - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The finale to Symphony #4 here alone is worth the price of admission. Karajan takes this a full one minute faster than anyone else I've discovered, except for Maazel/Cleveland/Sony, who come within 10". The effect is just breathtaking, a real "Short Ride In A Fast Machine". Is it the way one should play this movement? No. It's crazy. But if you want the depressed anonymous protagonist of this symphony to be off the wall disturbed, then this is the performance for you. The sound is immediate, up-close and full. The orchestra is The Greatest Orchestra In The World here. This is like being dragged behind a horse with your foot caught in the stirrup. At the close, you're not particularly exhilarated, but you're plenty glad you survived.