Poll

Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?

No. 1 'Winter Daydreams'
3 (6.4%)
No. 2 'Little Russian'
1 (2.1%)
No. 3 'Polish'
0 (0%)
No. 4
6 (12.8%)
No. 5
12 (25.5%)
No. 6 'Pathetique'
21 (44.7%)
'Manfred' Symphony
4 (8.5%)

Total Members Voted: 30

Author Topic: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?  (Read 9501 times)

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Lilas Pastia

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Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2007, 05:22:03 AM »
Manfred recommendations: they come in many coulours and flavours:

- Abravanel: brings the music closer to the Suites and the first 3 symphonies; underplays the melodrama; brings out winds to very nice effect. Slightly undernourished strings; a bit distantly recorded, but boosting the volume brings a very satisfying, natural and panoramic sound.

- Maazel: take all of the above and reverse the comments. If you like your Tchaikovsky in a neurotic, hand-wringing mood, this is the ticket. Sumptuously played and recorded.

- Markevitch: same qualities as in his well-known accounts of the numbered symphonies. Probably a first recommendation despite the 40+ year old recording date. Here's a Classicstoday review (by Dan Davis, not Hurwitz) that really sums it up very nicely: http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5277

- Muti: a very safe version, in the best sense: superbly played, very well recorded. I find it a bit overcontrolled, but if you enjoy Muti's Tchaikovsky, he certainly makes this Manfred proud. I'd say this is the most 'symphonic' Manfred around.

- Svetlanov: recorded it twice. I didn't hear them, but apparently the 1992 is exhilarating (French critics are lost in admiration for this version). He omits the organ choral at the end though ???.

- Toscanini: 3 extant recordings. The NBC from 1953 is widely available. AT maked a big cut in the finale :-\. But you'll be shaken all the same: it's hugely dramatic and played to the hilt by the orchestra.

There are other versions by Chailly, Masur, Pletnev,  Janssons, Rozhdestvenski, etc. From reviews I've read, the Rozh accounts are the most exciting around, bar none. But they're hard to find and in raw sound. I've heard the Pletnev and Janssons and they're not in the running despite superb playing and sound.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2007, 05:25:24 AM by Lilas Pastia »

Offline Que

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Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2007, 05:37:23 AM »
- Markevitch: same qualities as in his well-known accounts of the numbered symphonies. Probably a first recommendation despite the 40+ year old recording date. Here's a Classicstoday review (by Dan Davis, not Hurwitz) that really sums it up very nicely: http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5277

Wholeheartedly seconded. Sounds very good for its age, I think.
I haven't heard Svetlanov either - might be an interesting alternative take.

Q

Offline Bogey

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Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2007, 05:37:39 AM »
Manfred recommendations: they come in many coulours and flavours:

- Maazel: take all of the above and reverse the comments. If you like your Tchaikovsky in a neurotic, hand-wringing mood, this is the ticket. Sumptuously played and recorded.


Good to hear this.  Thanks!
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

George

  • Guest
Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2007, 05:39:47 AM »
Manfred recommendations: they come in many coulours and flavours:

- Abravanel: brings the music closer to the Suites and the first 3 symphonies; underplays the melodrama; brings out winds to very nice effect. Slightly undernourished strings; a bit distantly recorded, but boosting the volume brings a very satisfying, natural and panoramic sound.

- Maazel: take all of the above and reverse the comments. If you like your Tchaikovsky in a neurotic, hand-wringing mood, this is the ticket. Sumptuously played and recorded.

- Markevitch: same qualities as in his well-known accounts of the numbered symphonies. Probably a first recommendation despite the 40+ year old recording date. Here's a Classicstoday review (by Dan Davis, not Hurwitz) that really sums it up very nicely: http://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=5277

- Muti: a very safe version, in the best sense: superbly played, very well recorded. I find it a bit overcontrolled, but if you enjoy Muti's Tchaikovsky, he certainly makes this Manfred proud. I'd say this is the most 'symphonic' Manfred around.

- Svetlanov: recorded it twice. I didn't hear them, but apparently the 1992 is exhilarating (French critics are lost in admiration for this version). He omits the organ choral at the end though ???.

- Toscanini: 3 extant recordings. The NBC from 1953 is widely available. AT maked a big cut in the finale :-\. But you'll be shaken all the same: it's hugely dramatic and played to the hilt by the orchestra.

There are other versions by Chailly, Masur, Pletnev,  Janssons, Rozhdestvenski, etc. From reviews I've read, the Rozh accounts are the most exciting around, bar none. But they're hard to find and in raw sound. I've heard the Pletnev and Janssons and they're not in the running despite superb playing and sound.

Thanks a lot for that!  :)

How's the Pletnev?

Lilas Pastia

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Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2007, 05:53:17 AM »
I didn't think much of it. It is rather disjointed. There are impressive bits, but it never coheres into a satisfying whole. If you google Manfred Pletnev and check the reviews on the Amazon sites you'll find a lot of reviews, and they're all over the place. Count me among the unimpressed. Same with Janssons: some find him terrific, others boring. I hear a taut but timid reading. Some exhilaration, very little emotion, it's rather constipated.

lukeottevanger

  • Guest
Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2007, 07:04:31 AM »
The Fifth for me, though I find it hard to say why (apart from the fact that it was the first Tchaikovsky symphony I heard as a boy). It might be something to do with the fact that the second movement is so strong, and that I relish the relative poise, clear-headed thinking and classical balance of the first movement; like much of the music in the later symphonies it is obviously rooted in ballet and perhaps uncomfortably so, but it wears this more lightly than its fellows....I find it hard to put into words, as you can see. However, I'm sure the Sixth is a finer piece, and my own personal definition of 'great melody' always goes straight to the main subject of the slow movement of the Fourth - a tune so strong it needs no rhythmic differentiation to sear itself on the mind.

Danny

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Re: Your favourite Tchaikovsky symphony?
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2007, 05:57:59 PM »
I also say the Fifth; I think it has the best elements of Pyotr (deep emotion, beautiful melodies with excellent shades of feeling) that is mature and concise.  His earlier works all hit or miss the mark for me, generally, but the Fifth has never failed to satisfy.  Perhaps the Sixth is his most moving and intense work (for all the reasons involved), but I say Tchaikovsky reached a balanced perfection with the Fifth.