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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky- 'nuff said.
I love the music of Tchaikovsky,especially the 5th symphony, but I have always been very lukewarm as it pertains to Herbert von Karajan. I have felt that Karajan would almost "sleepwalk" through some of his recordings- they were without any warmth or emotion- like he was just going through the motions. To my surprise, however, Karajan and his Berlin Philharmonic really...
Published on 19 Aug 2002 by Victor Zuniga

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Minority Report
Well here goes another Minority Report. Let's hire a lorry to collect the Unhelpfuls.

I am not going to bother overly with the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Subjectivity is king. With eleven exceptions . . . . . I find them to be the most over-recorded works in the repertoire. Tell me: is there anyone out there who really gets their jollies from these two...
Published on 24 Dec 2012 by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky- 'nuff said., 19 Aug 2002
I love the music of Tchaikovsky,especially the 5th symphony, but I have always been very lukewarm as it pertains to Herbert von Karajan. I have felt that Karajan would almost "sleepwalk" through some of his recordings- they were without any warmth or emotion- like he was just going through the motions. To my surprise, however, Karajan and his Berlin Philharmonic really hit their stride in these performances of Tchaik's 4th through 6th symphonies. Karajan takes the 1st movement of the 4th a liitle too slow for my taste,but the tension and emotion is there,and the rest is brilliantly played especially the Finale.
The Fifth is OK, but then again I'm very partial to the 1959 recording of George Szell w/ the Cleveland Orchestra. The fact that the Fifth is split on two disks does not help, but one can certainly do worse. However, Karajan and his orchestra are masterful with No.6. The final climax in the 1st movement is very powerful and moving, and the 2nd and 3rd mvmnts are top notch as well, but it is the slow Finale that makes the biggest impact. All the pathos and despair that Tchaikovsky meant to express are brought forth,yet without going overboard. One can not help but be moved and come away sad after hearing it. With the exception of the Fifth, this is one of the best versions of Tchaikovsky you'll find at this price with these names. Buy it.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended CD, 4 Dec 2001
By 
petermiwebb@hotmail.com (Warrington, Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
I bought the CD on the back of a magazine recommendation for the recording of the 6th symphony. The CD features 3 symphonies in all nos. 4,5 & 6. For those fans of the 5th symphony the disc is not recommednded as two movements appear on disc one, and the last two movements appear on disc two, thus losing some continuity. Having said that both symphonies 4 & 5 are played as one would expect Karajan to play them. The 6th is my real favourite, The long opening movement of the piece I always feels drags a little but then we come to the second movement which is played with great feeling. On to the third movement and we hear the Berlin Philharmonic at its very best with some very invigorating moments and finally the 4th movement with its downward trend. I do not own a copy of Jannsons recording with the Oslo Philharmonic to compare the two but for me the Karajan version will be very close to being "the best". Only the splitting of symphony 5 onto two discs prevents this disc being a 5 star.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Tchaikovsky!, 13 Dec 2011
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I love all of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies, particularly the 5th and 6th, and certainly played by Herbert Von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. I have the 6th [Pathetique] on one CD by Penguin Classics [1977] and I know many people, including critics, think that that recording is the finest version Von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic did. This famous recording is also on this 2 CD set for DG along with the 4th and 5th Symphonies that I am now reviewing. I like their recording of the 4th symphony here, which they also did in 1977 along with the 5th Symphony which is good but not in the same league as the 4th or 6th Symphonies in this set. In my opinion Von Karajan/BO's best recording of the 5th Symphony was done in 1972 and is on a 2 CD set recording for EMI that I have also reviewed. But if you are looking for classic recordings of Tchaikovsky's 4th and 6th Symphonies, then this 2 CD set is for you. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best orchestra in the world., 7 May 2013
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Favourite conductor and orchestra. This is a perfect performance of these wonderful symphonies. Couldn't ask for anything better. Sheer bliss!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great production, 14 Oct 2014
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Prospero77 "Prosp77" (Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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Wonderful textures to these symphonies. They perhaps don't get the play of Mahler and Beethoven on national radio but I thoroughly enjoyed exploring these sets.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky late symphonies, 2 July 2009
By 
Mr. B. Reed - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
These are full blooded performances of Tchaikovsky's symphonies Nos 4,5&6.
Herbert von Karajan was a natural Tchaikovsky conductor with unsupassed playing by the Berlin Philharmonic. Karajan in recent years has been much but unjustly critised for thing not necessarly to do with music. However he remains one of the few really great conductors of the 20th Century.

Brian Reed
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Sep 2014
The box set of CD's arrived in excellent condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music, 8 Sep 2014
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Wonderful music!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Minority Report, 24 Dec 2012
By 
Well here goes another Minority Report. Let's hire a lorry to collect the Unhelpfuls.

I am not going to bother overly with the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies. Subjectivity is king. With eleven exceptions . . . . . I find them to be the most over-recorded works in the repertoire. Tell me: is there anyone out there who really gets their jollies from these two humdrum and noisy works? Is there anything more banal in the world than the Finale of the Fifth? It's mindlessness in its purest state.

To my mind, symphony-wise, the Pathetique is Tchaikovsky's calling card on Eternity.

Over time, Herbie repeatedly went back to the well to measure himself against this colossal work. This 1976 performance is a high-powered reading which the DG engineers captured faithfully enough in the dreaded Philharmonie (though the bassoon is nebulous at the start of the finale). I can well imagine that come its closure, there were slaps on the back all round. Coffees and biscuits awaited in the foyer. Herbie chatted to a few musicians and cronies before buggering off in his Porsche. All in all, it was an excursion into excellence. That's about it.

Contrast is offered by the earlier performance from September 1971 on EMI (Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4, 5 & 6 'Pathetique'). It was recorded in the Jesus Christus Church so the sound is better aerated. Come its closure, the musicians and the conductor must have looked at one another in amazement and alarm: what in the hell have we just unleashed? Are we safe?

In 1976, the listener is treated to a `meridian' performance of the Sixth by virtuosos at the top of their game.

In 1971, all and sundry `bet the house'. Every chip is in the middle. Oblivion sits on the other side of the table. The endgame is not in doubt.

If you live long enough, sooner or later you will lose all your loved ones. Like Billy Bones and the Black Spot in Treasure Island, encountering this Sixth could be an omen.

For what they are worth, the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies are more intense in 1971 too.

If you are looking for something more than mere virtuosity, go the Red Label rather than Yellow in this instance.
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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos.4, 5 & 6 "Pathétique" (2 CD's)
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos.4, 5 & 6 "Pathétique" (2 CD's) by Berliner Philharmoniker and Herbert von Karajan
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