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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boxset For Life & Fantastic Music
A hard to beat boxset when you consider what you get for your money. A 1st class performance full of firepower and lightness of touch in abundance (i really love the rasp the brass produces throughout symphony no5, full volume for this one i say!). The sound quality is marvellous, playback sounds just as good on headphones as it does on tower-speakers or even a micro...
Published on 21 Oct 2011 by Robin Hood

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the white noise.
I purchased this set and the performances are excellent. HOWEVER, I find the continual wash of "white noise" or hiss throughout EVERY second of every track very aggravating. Obviously these recordings were made before the advent of digital recording and the record company cannot remove the layer of "white noise". On the other hand, I have to admit, that after about 10...
Published on 24 Aug 2011 by Skylark


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boxset For Life & Fantastic Music, 21 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
A hard to beat boxset when you consider what you get for your money. A 1st class performance full of firepower and lightness of touch in abundance (i really love the rasp the brass produces throughout symphony no5, full volume for this one i say!). The sound quality is marvellous, playback sounds just as good on headphones as it does on tower-speakers or even a micro stereo system!. I rate Rostropovichs boxset of Tchaikovskys symphonies to be one of the best if not the best available?.Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vastly underated, 1 Mar 2011
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Peter CLARK (Epsom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
I too, had this set originally on vinyl and also saw #6 at the Festival Hall, London.
The set is almost Brucknerian in its splendour; quite different and much better than the usual suspects. By now all the labels knew how to record at the various locations and these are EMI at its best. Natural balance, image, perspective, allowing full appreciation on the performance. (ie. before the technology took over).
I think this set got poo-poo'd initially because of a "Stick to the cello, mate!" attitude. If it were labelled someone else, this would be one of the top sets; it seems Rostropovich was not taken seriously as a conductor, a bit like Ashkenazy, whose short set for Decca (4-6, Manfred) is also excellent, if more conventional.
Even if you've got these by others, this Rostropovich set is hardly going to break the bank, is it? Try it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Box Set of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies!!!, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
Although I love the 1970's Herbert Von Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies this box set released by EMI around the same time is also exceptional. The Orchestra in this case is the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich and they perform all of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies ( including the "Manfred" ) like they are the finest Orchestra and conductor in the world. In particular the early Tchaikovsky Symphonies are excellent readings indeed, as well as his 4th and 5th Symphonies. The 6th or "Pathetique" is very good as well but I do feel Rostropovich takes the beautiful final movement too fast unlike Karajan/BPO. Something Herbert von Karajan and his Berlin Philharmonic didn't record though was the "Manfred Symphony" but Rostropovich and his LPO players had no misgivings about this fine work. They give a powerful and moving performance of it with all sections of the LPO on top form. Also included apart from Tchaikovsky's seven Symphonies are excellent recordings of Romeo and Juliet and Francesca Da Rimini. For all who love Tchaikovsky's music, this box set is a must.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky-discover the other side, 3 Feb 2010
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R. J. Knight (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
For a long time, to me, Mozart was always lively, spirited tunes tumbling over one another. He was allegro, vivace and presto. It was some time before I realized the masterful melodic development and beauty of his slower movements. Likewise with Tchaikovsky who, to my mind, was always soaring, yearning crescendos and barnstorming finales. At least that was the case until I listened to this set of his symphonies by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Mstislav Rostropovich. Yes, the heartfelt, chest thumping passions are well performed here and the blistering finales, especially that of the fifth symphony, are always given a thorough workout but the understated elegance, smouldering beauty and tunefulness of the slower movements was what caught my attention for the first time. If you want excellently versatile performances that bring out the versatility of Tchaikovsky, at a bargain price, I might add, then you will not be disappointed by this boxed set of his symphonies.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pandora's box-set, 5 April 2010
By 
John Ferngrove (Hants UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
Open the lid of this little box and out will swirl a maelstrom of terror, woe and anguish. Of course, Tchaikovsky being a major composer, there is much more besides to these epic works. But, wrong-headed as I am, it is the terror, woe and anguish that has most gripped and overwhelmed me on my first encounters with them. Just now, having just discovered them, I don't think anybody does these things with the same intensity and vehemence as Tchaikovsky. His is music of ultimate seriousness, as serious as a hole in the head as they say. Other composers may portray and convey these blackest of emotions, deploying them as part of their narrative pallettes, but with Tchaikovsky one cannot help but feel that he has ripped out his own heart for the listener's inspection. I have seen it argued that this morbidity of ethos is rather unseemly, defeatist perhaps, degenerate even. But sages from Gautama to Schopenhauer have been telling us for centuries that the fundamental nature of existence is sorrow, and only the truth will set us free. I for one, being blessed with a little more than my fair share of bad brain chemistry and faulty wiring, am profoundly glad to have at last found the composer who most vividly portrays reality as some of us are obliged to experience it. I just don't know how it has taken me so long to find my way to him.

When I made my purchase I had no great expectations of either the recordings or the performance, particularly as I am no great fan of Rostropovich's cello playing. However, these recording are magnificent, with an orchestra whose mass perfectly fits its surrounding acoustic space. And Rostropovich commands the pace and dynamics with absolute mastery throughout. These discs demand to be played on a decent hi-fi, as loud as the house can take, most likely when the rest of the family are out.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The library set..?, 1 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
This is the set for the first time Tchaikovsky listener to get hold of all the Symphonies, plus Manfred and some little extras as well. These are scintillating performances, from the heart of a truly 'Russian' musician and give full-throated advocacy to the Tchaikovsky cause. At the time of writing (October 2010) this set is available for 10 and I couldn't imagine a better way to spend my money.

Nick's wonderful review (below) suggests that this might not be the 'library' choice... this is the only area in which I would respectfully disagree. For years, Karajan's set was considered the best and therein is a sea of wonderful orchestral playing and great washes of sound, but no real Tchaikovskian spirit. In these recordings it is there in abundance. Rostropovich inhabits the music. It's as if he's hearing it himself for the first time and he's in awe and admiration of it. But he also loves it to his core and that's what is so rare about these performances.

Just one small niggle... we're not in the world of 78s any more so why do we have to have some of these symphonies over two CDs? In the middle of the extraordinary 6th we have to get up and put another CD in the machine. I suppose people have iPods these days and I assume it's fine for them but for those of us who prefer to listen at home, on a decent stereo, it is annoying.

A warning about the 6th... it's devastating. It's the only Tchaikovsky symphony not to have a happy ending. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with it, I would recommend (seriously) that you listen to one movement at a time with a break for some diversionary activity in between. And when it's played as heart-breakingly and excoriatingly as it is here, the effect is completely overwhelming. Rarely has a composer let us into his darker (but completely sincere) feelings. Surely it can't be a coincidence that after Tchaikovsky conducted the first performance in October 1893, he was dead 10 (or 9) days later. This music is so rich in emotion and so rare. It really is a unique experience.

Worth every penny (and much more besides) I cannot recommend this highly enough. Enjoy..!
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic performances, 14 Feb 2010
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J. oconnor (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
I have enjoyed these recordings for many years on LPs, the CD transfer is excellent and thus equally enjoyable with more convenience. It really takes a Russian to fully present a Russian.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent recordings, 26 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
i am filling in some gaps in the cd collection having got to the point where the record player has finally been retired. While there are individual recordings of each of these symphonies which I have on record and which I think are often better, as a whole this collection is a very good buy at the price.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the white noise., 24 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred (Audio CD)
I purchased this set and the performances are excellent. HOWEVER, I find the continual wash of "white noise" or hiss throughout EVERY second of every track very aggravating. Obviously these recordings were made before the advent of digital recording and the record company cannot remove the layer of "white noise". On the other hand, I have to admit, that after about 10 minutes of listening to any of the CDs in this set I find my ear has adjusted and my hearing has filtered out, does not listen to, the wash of the white noise, although, of course, it is still there.

Had I known about this, I would have spent the extra money required by a fine recent recording.
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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-6/ Manfred by Mstislav Rostropovich (Audio CD - 2008)
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