Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Have Recording of Pathetique!, 9 Dec 2007
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This review is from: Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4, 5 & 6 (Audio CD)
Of all official Karajan recordings of Symphony Pathetique, if you are Karajan fan or not, the outstanding ones are, 1954 recording with NHK (Japan Broardcast Corporation) Symphony (DG Japan), 1971 BPO(EMI), 1974 BPO(DG), and this 1964 DG recording again with BPO. Most critics agree the 74 version is his best, but truth is that every one of them has something to marvel at.

NHK version is the wildest interpretation by Karajan as if trying to experiment with the limit of emotional intensity, mono recording with enormous dynamic range. '71 EMI recording has huge emphasis on bass on the outer movements with explosive climaxes, recorded in spacious acoustics of Jesus-Christus Kirche. '74 DG version has the most powerful driving force in the first movement.

The '64 recording in this set is my favourite, as interpretation-wise this is the most finely balanced and natural without losing emotional intensity. The openig bass is the darkest and most sinister on record since the legendary Cairo Live by Furtwangler. The second theme is introduced with utmost tenderness and sung beautifully. The explosion is no less overwhelming than the '74 version. What I like most in this movement is the way lyrical theme returnes with slightly measured tempo in larger scale.

Second movement is the best rendition by Karajan. He does not slow down the second melancholic theme like he does in other recordings, which I can not stand! In the third movement Karajan masterfully builds up the excitement up to the very last moment. The last movement is as devastating and relentless as can be. 60s stereo recording is warm and natural. Coupled with equally outstanding 4th & 5th, this is the Must for anyone who loves Tchaikovsky's symphonies played with dignity and deepest feelings.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Apr 2012 14:36:09 BDT
Gps Rogers says:
When playing these CDs on my computer the sleeve shown is
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Composer: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
Audio CD (12 May 1997)
SPARS Code: ADD
Number of Discs: 2
Label: DG
ASIN: B000001GYJ
Which is the DG with a cut out 2 onthe sleeve.

Posted on 11 Mar 2014 22:13:57 GMT
Last edited by the author on 12 Mar 2014 10:41:40 GMT
Hello Scriabinmahler,
I am a little confused when it comes to
these recording dates.

You wrote : "the critics agree the
74 version is his best".

Are you sure it was 1974?
I have the Karajan Symphony
edition Box set, wich also contains
the first Three Symphonies.

On the back of the Box it says :
1967/1976/1977/1979
Could it be that the recording you refferred
to, is actually a 76 or 77 recording?

I Bought this 1964 set also, based
on Your recommendation.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014 15:59:14 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 19 Mar 2014 16:02:18 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014 16:02:31 GMT
This happens all the time when I rip cd's to my computer. I usually
have to correct most of it myself. If you rip it to the Windows media
player, you can edit the information and change the Picture. If you
copy the Picture on this cd, here on this page, then you can
click on the Picture on Your computer, and update album Graphics.
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