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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No gooey sentimentality of unbridled hysteria here., 21 July 2001
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John Austin "austinjr@bigpond.net.au" (Kangaroo Ground, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony No.6, Pathétique, Capriccio Italien (Audio CD)
I obtained this CD recently and listened, for the first time, to the much-praised performance of the "Pathétique", recorded at the Broadwood Hotel, Philadelphia on one day in 1960. Perhaps the best recommendation that I can give is to report that I immediately wanted to play it all over again. Anyone reading this will know that recordings of the "Pathétique" do not usually produce this effect. The usual 45 minutes of gooey sentimentality mixed with hysteria can leave the listener exhausted. Not so with this performance! There is drama aplenty, especially in the middle section of the first movement, and excitement in the march movement, but overall there is steadiness and control. The music is left to speak for itself. The orchestra plays with perfect ensemble, and the recording quality is excellent. The symphony is coupled with other Tchaikovky items, recorded in the mid-1960s, providing 75 minutes of great value.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drama and Passion Fully Expressed, 25 Nov. 2011
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Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Symphony No.6, Pathétique, Capriccio Italien (Audio CD)
I've recently been playing all my Tchaikovsky discs, and it has become clear to me how those recorded in the 1960s consistently come out on top in terms of performance. (I was born in 1965, so it is not that these were the first Tchaikovsky discs I heard; rather I was brought up on the likes of Jansons and Karajan.)

Eugene Ormandy's 1960 interpretation with his Philadelphia Orchestra on this CD makes the music come alive, with the drama and passion fully expressed. Even the usually banal `allegro con grazia' is inspirational. The sound quality is excellent. The same can be said of the `Capriccio Italien'. Ormandy's 1966 recording knocks spots of some modern recordings.

This is a very generous disc with almost seventy-five minutes of music. The remaining space is filled with two popular extracts from Tchaikovsky's `Eugene Onegin' opera, namely the waltz and the polonaise.

All in all then, a first class collection and worth five stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A TRULY 'CLASSIC' "PATHETIQUE", 13 July 2012
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This review is from: Symphony No.6, Pathétique, Capriccio Italien (Audio CD)
I have a number of well-reviewed recordings of the 'Pathetique' in my library, - but not one of them eclipses this truly great performance!
Ormandy and the Philadelphia were deservedly acclaimed in this 'classic' period of recording, -and this particular disc must rate as one of the very finest they produced.
Whilst never self-indulgent or sentimental, this performance surely gets to the the true 'heart' of this famous symphony in a manner which eludes many famous partnerships since.
The devastating onslaught of the development in the first movement still catches me unawares no matter how many times I've played it; the 3rd movement is as an ever-bourgeoning triumphant march, -whilst the final Adagio movement somehow eclipses it all in it's truly heart-rending intensity, before dying away as if as life itself.
Admittedly the 1960's recording cannot claim to compare with the immediacy or transparency of many later recordings -but this is a 'vintage' performance in the truest sense of the word.
Prepare to be moved!
With the other equally well-played tracks, this is a 'classic' disc at any price. (However, do note that this is not to be confused with the later RCA release which is in no respect its match.)
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Symphony No.6, Pathétique, Capriccio Italien
Symphony No.6, Pathétique, Capriccio Italien by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (Audio CD - 2002)
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