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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 4,5 &6 Pathétique [Original recording remastered]

Igor Markevitch Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £34.30
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Product details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Igor Markevitch
  • Composer: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (10 May 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000416A
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,757 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36 - 1. Andante sostenuto - Moderato con anima - Moderato assai, quasi Andante - Allegro vivo18:26Album Only
Listen  2. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36 - 2. Andantino in modo di canzone 9:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36 - 3. Scherzo. Pizzicato ostinato - Allegro 5:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F minor, Op.36 - 4. Finale (Allegro con fuoco) 8:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64 - 1. Andante - Allegro con anima12:31Album Only
Listen  6. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64 - 2. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza - Moderato con anima12:26Album Only

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64 - 3. Valse (Allegro moderato) 5:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.5 in E minor, Op.64 - 4. Finale (Andante maestoso - Allegro vivace)12:58Album Only
Listen  3. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique" - 1. Adagio - Allegro non troppo18:41Album Only
Listen  4. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique" - 2. Allegro con grazia 7:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique" - 3. Allegro molto vivace 9:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.74 -"Pathétique" - 4. Finale (Adagio lamentoso - Andante) 9:54£0.79  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The March of Fate 1 Nov 2011
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
I usually find that performances of orchestral works recorded in the 1960s have a passion and a willingness to be radical that the more recent bland interpretations leave out (with some honourable exceptions). I had hoped that Igor Markevitch's interpretations of Tchaikovsky's last three symphonies - recorded in 1963, 1966, and 1962 respectively - would fall into the former category. Unfortunately, it did not work this time, but that is not to say that the performances are not good. Far from it.

The fourth is vigorous, tight, and disciplined, although a little mechanical in the padding of the second movement. But there is a welcome jauntiness to the same movement's second subject. The sound is good rather than very good; not every aspect of the orchestral score can be heard with the clarity evident in some other recordings from the 1960s on the market. (Compare Mravinsky's)

The sound is better in the fifth, where a speedy second subject in the first movement leads to an impressive transition into the development. This is another disciplined performance. The tuttis are a joy to behold and there are well-managed contrasts of volume. The only disappointment is that some of the tempi are not to my liking. In line with most conductors, Markevitch sees the symphony's coda as a false victory.

The sound is generally good for the sixth, and very good in times of high drama. Markevitch adopts a wide range of dynamics. For example, the opening bars are slower than slow, but the height of the first movement's development is frenzied. (Here, Markevitch fulfils my criteria of a typical 1960s recording.) The repetitive second movement is here refreshingly enlivening, and the third has its effective quirks, especially in the last few minutes. The finale is suitably sombre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky symphonies 4 - 6 Markevitch LSO 25 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These are excellent performances & the recording is good in spite of its age {Between 1962 & 64}. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful performances 14 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I used to have the third and fourth symphonies from this cycle on tape which suffered from great hiss transferred at a low level though I still enjoyed the performances and recently bought this complete set on cd after hearing download extracts. This set has been overshadowed by more celebrated recordings, several of which I own Abbado, Karajan, Muti, Maazel, Jansons included. The 1960s recordings hold up well for their age and demonstrate a rich bass. These are full- blooded powerful performances and I wish I had purchased them when they were first available on cd. The last movement of the sixth is not as elegiac or as spacious as the finest accounts but I found it powerfully gripping in a direct incisive way. The interplay of pizzicato strings in the fourth symphony is a memorable highlight of this disc.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Etheral heights, plain price 4 Jun 2002
By Mark McCue - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I agree with Hurwitz: Markevitch adds a Gallic, feline suavity to these three old goodies and plays them for us like they're new. A lot of the Cyrillic wailing that is inherent in Russian performances is blissfully absent, and every content point, every expression, every luminous point of orchestration is given to us with Markevitch's sophisticated sense of quality. It's all real, no paste here.
This Markevitch Tchiakovsky is like Faberge for the adornment of a Romanoff lady. And yet, look at the price! Congratulations to the producers for a superior reissue that will please everyone!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refined late Tchaikovsky from a maestro not always at his best 15 July 2007
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD
There's no argument that Igor Markevitch, who first emerged as a composing prodigy in the era of Diaghalev, was a great conductor as well. But toward the end of his career his star waned, in large part due to a catastrophic hearing loss that came on suddenly. As a result, his later recordings are often a pale shadow of his earlier ones. Here he seems decidedly less than passionate and committed to Tchaikovksy's last three symphonies, yet thanks to the LSO's excelent playing and the precision of the interpretation, one remains interested.

Sym. #4 -- the first movement is steady, well balanced, and good in execution, but there's no special drama or excitment, and the movement's shape seems loose. The second movement Andantino, however, brings out some lovely solo wind playing, and Markevitch applies a refined touch. The Scherzo begins with drilled precision in the string pizzicatos that still manages to sound spontaneous. Too bad the trio loses momentum and starts to sag. The finale, taken at a clip, avoids sounding frenetic. Markevitch emphasizes the folkloric elements instead of the fireworks, and that works well, assuming ou don't mind the loss of visceral impact.

Sym. #5 -- I expected Markevitch to remain at fairly low temperature for the Fifth Sym., but this works benefits from such an approach more than the Fourth. The themes verge on the banal, and pumping up the rhetoric only makes the Fifth sound empty. One may long for Mravinsky's fiery interpretation, but in the first movement Markevitch shows that refinement and balance are a good alternative. The first horn plays his solo in the Andante cantabile with great stylishness (I assume it's Barry Tuckwell), and Markevitch for his part shapes the orchestral line elegantly. The third movement Waltz needs more energy and flair than it gets here, but there's no doubting Markevitch's ability to shape the line. For me, the finale can easily become vapid -- I don't find that Tchaikovsky's motto theme has as much depth as he thinks it does. Markevitch certainly doesn't whip things up; if an;ything, he's reticent to a fault. If you prefer a reserved, controlled reading a la Dohnanyi, this version will please you more than it did me.

Sym. #6 -- Oddly, the Pathetique starts off with some scrapy ensemble in the woodwinds, and Markevitch seems to proeed without much interest. Phrasing is ordinary, rhythms loose. Given the many great interpretations this work has received, Markevitch's is uninvolving. There are dramatic high points in the first movement, hwoever, and I really admire the way Markevitch digs into the 5/4 waltz -- he finds accents that no one else does. The third movement march has become a regular showpiece for orchestra, but here Markevitch seems to hold back. The clipped phrasing and foursquare handling of rhythm are baffling to me. The poignancy of the Finale is controlled, the phrasing almost cautious. But by then one realizes that this was Markevitch's style at the time, a far cry from some of his most famous recordings from the Fifties (like his blazing Berlioz Damnation of Faust).

Having said all this, Markevitch was a major talent, and anything he has to say about Tchaikovsky is worth hearing. I'd recommend this set at its bargain price and can only praise its cultivaiton and refinement.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your best bet for these three works 25 Sep 2005
By Stan Vernooy - Published on
Format:Audio CD
It's hard to categorize Markevitch's style in these symphonies. He doesn't impose his own ideology or personality on the music. He is fast and furious in those passages where speed and furiousness are the most effective approach. He swoons when the music should swoon, and he plays delicately when delicacy is called for.

A previous reviewer recommended the Mravinsky recordings over this set. I disagree. Mravinsky attacks the music; Markevitch loves it. At every phrase of every movement, Markevitch seems to have immersed himself in the music. He obviously developed a deep understanding of what the composer was trying to communicate, and he is in complete emotional sympathy with every nuance. It's hard to listen to these without feeling that this is exactly what Tchaikovsky himself would have wanted to hear.

This isn't the very best orchestral sound I have ever heard on a recording, but it's certainly nothing to complain about, either.

To get three such superb performances of Tchaikovsky's most famous symphonies for the price of one CD is one of the great bargains in the classical catalog. Grab this!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best version for sym 5 31 Jan 2012
By monsieurms - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Until I heard Markevitch finish off Symphony 5, I'd been happy with a lot of them. His finale swaggers, dragged out and insolent, until it ends in a flurry of exuberance. It's my all time favorite. I can't go back to the others! The sound in this era was not quite as good and the original release was a little shaky. The performance more than made up for it even then.
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Markevitch, y las otras tres sinfonias... 1 Dec 2004
By felipe - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Si el primer CD doble con las tres primeras sinfonias es memorable, este es muy bueno pero definitivamente perdio fuerza y sentimentalismo a la hora de interpretarlas, Markevitch logro con las tres primeras fuerza y sublimidad, ahora en este caso sigue la sublimidad pero falta de sentimientos y la fuerza esta baja en energia.

Son interprtetaciones geniales y sobre la mayoria de sus compañeros directores, pero en estas tres quedo bajo muchas otras versiones, la cuarta sinfonia es vigorosa, tiene un comienzo abrumador y sorprendente, por cierto escuchen a Ormandy o a Abbado (con la Wiener Philharmoniker) grandiosas, la quinta sinfonia es extraordinaria con valse incluida y un final que no acaba, para esta sinfonia Ormandy y Bernstein son geniales.

Para finalizar la extraordinaria, intimista y por cierto extrañamente apesumbrada "patetica", que inicia un movimiento lento para seguir fulgurante y apoteosica, que incluye algo asi como una marcha y termina tan suave y silenciosa como comenzo, es una sinfonia distinta y requiere una vision compleja e intima del autor. Markevitch logra el proposito y denota su buen enlace con su compatriota.

Es un Cd de coleccion porque son interpretaciones extraordinarias pero que pierden mucho frente a versiones inmejorables, Markevitch se esfuerza pero algo le falto.
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