GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: tjguitar on April 16, 2007, 12:54:11 PM

Title: Tchaikovsky
Post by: tjguitar on April 16, 2007, 12:54:11 PM
I got this 8 disc set off CDUniverse some months ago for only $16.97 plus shipping!  I'm not sure how they did it for so cheap, it was a pre-order, and once it was released it took a huge jump in price, but its some fantastic music, I had not had much exposure to Tchaikovsky prior outside of the obvious (Nutcracker, 1812, etc), but I thought this was a really good set, but I haven't really heard any recordings to compare it to.  It's mostly Abbaddo, but there's a few discs of Tilson Thomas with some Zubin Mehta here and there.


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000I2JHJA.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45372131_AA240_.jpg)(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000I2JHJA.01.BACK._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45372131_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brewski on April 16, 2007, 01:25:14 PM
That's certainly a great price for 8 discs, and if you've never heard the symphonies...they are great, aren't they!  At some point you may want to investigate some other individual recordings, such as some of Mariss Jansons' work with the Oslo Philharmonic, or one of my favorites, Leonard Bernstein's recording of the Sixth Symphony, one of his last projects with the New York Philharmonic. 

I just heard the Met's recent Eugene Onegin yesterday for the umpteenth time, and it's quite a superb opera if you are inclined toward the genre.  The vocal writing is tremendously moving, and the score also includes some exciting dance sequences for the orchestra.  I don't know where you're located, but here in NYC they're showing it again next week on public television, on Thursday, April 26.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: david johnson on April 17, 2007, 12:32:44 AM
the few i've heard from that box are really good.
good price.

dj
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Wanderer on April 24, 2007, 12:27:09 PM
Despite my initial expectations upon obtaining this box, I enjoyed Tilson-Thomas' contributions more than Abbado's. For the price, a great bargain for sure.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Steve on April 24, 2007, 02:13:40 PM
That is a wonderful price. With the exception of the Jansons, I generally avoid reccomending Tchaikovsky Symphony Sets. For the early symphonies, my preference is Abbado, for the the 4th and 5th, Karajan or Ormandy.  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Michel on April 24, 2007, 10:39:57 PM
Muti on brilliant classics is cheap and well regarded. You can also get Mvarinsky quite cheap sometimes, which is 4-6 and is amazing, especially the 5th. I know BBC Radio 3 recently picked it out as their favourite and I can understand why. I personally don't like Abbado in Tchaikovsky, there is loads better out there! I know even Karajan haters say they like his Tchaikovsky, but I love Karajan and never listen to it. But that, if you are interested, is really cheap.

Gergiev was listed in a similar vain as a modern alternative to the 5th.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Danny on April 24, 2007, 11:01:18 PM
Muti is cheap and a great place to begin.  Markevitch's set is also superb and warmly recommended.  For Karajan, I love his Sixth, and is my personal favorite of the symphony.  Still need to get Gergiev's set.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on April 25, 2007, 01:57:12 PM
Muti's set has ups and downs; I think the ups are 1, 2, and 4, and the downs are 5 and 6. His Sixth bores me, except the final movement...

My CD of the year last year was an utterly stunning reading of 5 and 6. I don't know how it compares to Mravinsky or Markevitch, but this recording just blows me away every time: Matacic and the Czech Philharmonic on Supraphon (couldn't find a good image of it). Once I dimmed the lights, put on headphones and No. 6, and closed my eyes; when I was interrupted I couldn't believe the world I'd left was still around me. It was a stunning journey.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on April 25, 2007, 03:02:29 PM
Tchaikovsky is a decent composer.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Don on April 25, 2007, 03:36:49 PM
Tchaikovsky is a decent composer.

That's what is often said about Dittersdorf.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 25, 2007, 03:52:29 PM
That's what is often said about Dittersdorf.

I thought what they say about Dittersdorf is: I-V-I and I-IV-V-I?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on April 25, 2007, 03:56:05 PM
I thought what they say about Dittersdorf is: I-V-I and I-IV-V-I?

Dittersdorf is a great composer if it weren't for the existence of all other classical era composers.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: op.110 on April 25, 2007, 05:18:49 PM
Tchaikovsky is a decent composer.

An understatement and blasphemous.
PC 1, VC, Symph 5, Symph 6, Symph 1. Enough said.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: op.110 on April 25, 2007, 05:25:00 PM
and those are decent pieces.

Haha, and you are a fool.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: op.110 on April 25, 2007, 06:00:20 PM
perhaps, I still think Tchaikovsky is a decent composer, not Great, decent.

PC1- decent, very catchy i can still whistle the opening theme

Symphony 5- well, minor-major, mmm, who else has done that in his 5th symphony?

Symphony 1- i think i looked at the scores, not very impressive.

symphony 6- perhaps most impressive of all of his works, but still, i felt that he had a "miscarriage" in the third movement. I can swear that it felt as if the symphony was over when that movement ended, but then, there is the slow movement.... he should've rewritten the scherzo, i guess he didn't really have the time, too bad.

PC-1 Not decent; probably, technically, arguably the most difficult piano concerto ever written, from the fast cadenza octave passages, to the technically demanding passages of the first and last movements; there's also GREAT melodic material, which is why you've admitted to "whistl[ing] the opening theme." I admit the trombone fanfare and the piano's banging of chords in the opening of the PC is very catchy, but you're not thinking about the rest of the PC.

Symph 5: Beethoven to answer your hypothetical q. Of course Tchaik goes from minor to major; Tchaik, arguably, conquers his introversive (homosexual?) struggle in the last movement with his FOUR trumpets (and changing thematic/melodic material from minor to major is a common way of showing such triumph. To undermine Tchaik's fifth because of similarities between his and Herr B's Fifth doesn't hold as an argument. That same argument would apply to Brahms; and to call Brahms decent deserves nothing short of a torturous death.
  And you can't knock that beautiful french horn in the second movement.

Symph 1: You can't just look at a score to see whether or not a piece is impressive. Tchaik really captures the mystery (for lack of a better word) of winter.

Symph 6: I would not say that Tchaik's 6th is his  most "impressive of all his works." I see what you mean with your comment about the "'miscarriage' in the third movement," but what a finale, and what a dramatic opening (even though it's very similar to his fifth).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on April 25, 2007, 06:14:49 PM
symphony 6- perhaps most impressive of all of his works, but still, i felt that he had a "miscarriage" in the third movement. I can swear that it felt as if the symphony was over when that movement ended, but then, there is the slow movement.... he should've rewritten the scherzo, i guess he didn't really have the time, too bad.
Wow, I couldn't disagree more. The Sixth is built around an idea in my opinion which Tchaikovsky sketched in one of his other symphonies: "No, no, there is no hope." The first movement's intro-expo-development acts as a sort of overture for the whole work (again purely opinion): expression of profound emotional turmoil, followed by an expression of hope (the second subject) which is built and built until it seems to be winning the day with its lyrical consolation - only to be cut off by a reminder that fate will conquer all, in the most mortifyingly powerful of development sections.

This pattern encompasses the whole symphony: the first movement can be seen as a mirror of its own opening, full of turmoil and despair; the second and third movements as the return of hope and consolation. Eventually we seem on the road to triumph, to success. Our hopes build up - our fortunes rise - as in the first movement's second subject - and we reach a final shatteringly joyous climax, sending us up to the heavens - and then!

There are only two moments like it in musical history, I think: the first movement of the very same symphony (by design!) and the conclusion of Brahms' Fourth. What makes the irony of the double-pattern of the Tchaikovsky Sixth - the way that the entire symphony's emotional range and content is structured in precisely the same way as the opening half of the first movement - is that unlike in the first statement of the work's structure, when the final return of Fate is the loud, apocalyptic first-mvt. development, in the full work itself the final return of Fate is impassioned, yes, but soft, bittersweet, even more desperate and alone, not in anger but in the sorrow of loss and acceptance of the tragic destiny which awaits ...

- - -

My idea on the Fifth Symphony is similarly strange. I've always felt the final coda seems fake not because it is, but because it's ironic. To my mind the finale has always been the most tragic part of the symphony, because of some sort of unstated loss, some sort of feeling that this is not really the end.

Maybe it's just in my head.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on April 29, 2007, 05:06:13 PM
I didn't mean to kill the thread!  >:D  :-[
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Mark G. Simon on April 29, 2007, 07:02:21 PM
symphony 6- perhaps most impressive of all of his works, but still, i felt that he had a "miscarriage" in the third movement. I can swear that it felt as if the symphony was over when that movement ended, but then, there is the slow movement.... he should've rewritten the scherzo, i guess he didn't really have the time, too bad.

No, that's the brilliant thing about it. You've got this incredible downer of a finale, which is made all the more depressing by utter triumph it negates.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marc on May 01, 2007, 01:31:20 PM
Symphony 6- perhaps most impressive of all of his works, but still, i felt that he had a "miscarriage" in the third movement. I can swear that it felt as if the symphony was over when that movement ended, but then, there is the slow movement.... he should've rewritten the scherzo, i guess he didn't really have the time, too bad.

Wow, I couldn't disagree more.

Me no understand either. :)
Those two movements (3 and 4), and the few seconds of silence in between .... twenty of the most thrilling and moving minutes I ever experienced in music. (And thanks to the CD I can repeat that experience!)
On stage however, a lot of people unfortunately keep thinking that the 3rd is the Finale. A lot of cheering and applauding, some annoyance and some laughter: not the ideal mood to begin the fourth movement.
Great symphony though, already twenty years one of my favourites.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: zamyrabyrd on May 01, 2007, 08:57:38 PM
The Naxos recording of the two Suites for Orchestra was a nice surprise, especially in discovering where two of the pieces in the film "Music Lovers" came from. The "Scherzo Burlesque" from the 2nd Suite was quoted at length in the beginning, an amazing little composition inself with the rest of them eminently danceable. Tschaikovsky, no less than Johann Strauss Jr., was a competent and melodious craftsman of the Waltz. There are beautiful exemplars in the 2nd Suite, the Piano Trio and the Serenade for Strings. The Waltz in the Pathetique is ingenious in its 5/4 rhythm and as a matter of fact IS the "Scherzo".

ZB

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 02:58:59 AM
Tschaikovsky, no less than Johann Strauss Jr., was a competent and melodious craftsman of the Waltz.

No less a waltz artist, at all, ZB!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 03:00:30 AM
The Naxos recording of the two Suites for Orchestra was a nice surprise, especially in discovering where two of the pieces in the film "Music Lovers" came from.

Oh! And which two Suites (of the Opp. 43, 53, 55 & 61)?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Harry on May 02, 2007, 04:20:16 AM
Yesterday I saw on DVD "Anna Karenina" with beautiful music from the 6th symphony, and some balletmusic, and then I realize why I have him as a Avatar, Suites and all. ;D
For me personally he is almost the greatest........... ::)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on May 02, 2007, 01:14:13 PM
Oh! And which two Suites (of the Opp. 43, 53, 55 & 61)?
A quick look at Naxos.com says it's Op. 53 which contains the Scherzo Burlesque, and that ZB's CD has 43 as well. I would take a listen, but at the moment I am being enveloped by the surprising late-romantic soundworld of Manolis Kalomiris...
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: zamyrabyrd on May 04, 2007, 09:32:10 AM
No less a waltz artist, at all, ZB!

Yes, imagine dancing a 5/4 Waltz (1-2-3,1-2...)!!

But seriously, by the time Tschaikovsky came along the Waltz could afford to be stylized. And of course those by Richard Strauss and Ravel enter the realms of super sophisticated.

Zb 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 06:12:05 AM
The Naxos recording of the two Suites for Orchestra was a nice surprise, especially in discovering where two of the pieces in the film "Music Lovers" came from. The "Scherzo Burlesque" from the 2nd Suite was quoted at length in the beginning, an amazing little composition inself with the rest of them eminently danceable. Tschaikovsky, no less than Johann Strauss Jr., was a competent and melodious craftsman of the Waltz. There are beautiful exemplars in the 2nd Suite, the Piano Trio and the Serenade for Strings. The Waltz in the Pathetique is ingenious in its 5/4 rhythm and as a matter of fact IS the "Scherzo".

ZB



I need to log on and listen to these.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: marvinbrown on May 07, 2007, 05:50:38 AM
Tchaikovsky is a decent composer.

  That's what I think of Mahler.   Hey to each his own.


  marvin
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on May 07, 2007, 08:44:40 AM
  That's what I think of Mahler.   Hey to each his own.


  marvin

Mahler is a decent composer too.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2007, 09:23:11 AM
Mahler is a decent composer too.

Only decent?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: marvinbrown on May 07, 2007, 01:51:58 PM
Only decent?


  Yes if Mozart, Wagner and Bach are impressively decent and Beethoven, Verdi and Tchaikovsky are quite decent then I'm afraid that Maher will only be decent.

  marvin 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 01:57:26 PM
The Romance from Shostakovich's The Gadfly is exquisitely Tchaikovskyian.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on May 07, 2007, 02:55:12 PM

  Yes if Mozart, Wagner and Bach are impressively decent and Beethoven, Verdi and Tchaikovsky are quite decent then I'm afraid that Maher will only be decent.

  marvin 

Verdi? I am afraid that he is not even good enough to be rated, for he is not a composer of austro-german tradition.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on May 07, 2007, 02:58:20 PM
Only decent?
marvinbrown tries to retaliate by saying "Mahler is decent", well, i couldn't agree more. Atleast he didn't say "hey mahler sucks! or Dittersdorf is better or something 71db-ish", so "decent" is a huge improvement, in fact, i'll take "Mahler is decent" any day.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: 71 dB on May 07, 2007, 03:17:13 PM
marvinbrown tries to retaliate by saying "Mahler is decent", well, i couldn't agree more. Atleast he didn't say "hey mahler sucks! or Dittersdorf is better or something 71db-ish", so "decent" is a huge improvement, in fact, i'll take "Mahler is decent" any day.

I haven't said Mahler sucks. I consider him a good symphonist but not "the greatest". Dittersdorf may be a little more interesting composer in my opinion but I regard him in very high esteem.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on May 07, 2007, 03:46:41 PM
I haven't said Mahler sucks. I consider him a good symphonist but not "the greatest". Dittersdorf may be a little more interesting composer in my opinion but I regard him in very high esteem.

I would gladly take "Mahler sucks" than " Dittersdorf is more interesting composer", the latter is far worse, and i believe that there are people who agree with me
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Don on May 07, 2007, 03:56:31 PM
I would gladly take "Mahler sucks" than " Dittersdorf is more interesting composer", the latter is far worse, and i believe that there are people who agree with me

Why do some folks like Dittersdorf?  I find his music architecturally sound but woefully lacking in artistry.  In a contest with Mahler, I'd say Dittersdorf should restrict his activities to doing Mahler's laundry.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on May 07, 2007, 04:40:36 PM
Now maybe we can talk about *cough* Tchaikovsky!!!

Comparing Mahler to Dittersdorf, by the way, is something I'd never have thought of.   ;D   
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2007, 06:36:02 PM
marvinbrown tries to retaliate by saying "Mahler is decent", well, i couldn't agree more. Atleast he didn't say "hey mahler sucks! or Dittersdorf is better or something 71db-ish", so "decent" is a huge improvement, in fact, i'll take "Mahler is decent" any day.

Alright, that makes some sense.

Alright that makes some sense now.
I haven't said Mahler sucks. I consider him a good symphonist but not "the greatest". Dittersdorf may be a little more interesting composer in my opinion but I regard him in very high esteem.

At first, I wasn't going to say anything, but... Why was Dittersdorf more interesting than Mahler?

Verdi? I am afraid that he is not even good enough to be rated, for he is not a composer of austro-german tradition.

Are you referring to his orchestra output? If so, then there is, of course, very little to speak to, but if we take into consideration his numerous sacred works and operas, well, its another story entirely.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on May 07, 2007, 07:30:16 PM
Are you referring to his orchestra output? If so, then there is, of course, very little to speak to, but if we take into consideration his numerous sacred works and operas, well, its another story entirely.

well, we judge the achievements of composers  base on their symphonies. Verdi was a great Opera composer, so it is only appropriate to compare him with other Opera Composers, not with symphonists.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 08, 2007, 02:52:33 AM
I strongly prefer the original sextet to the string orchestra arrangement of Pyotr Ilyich's Souvenir de Florence.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: lukeottevanger on May 08, 2007, 03:07:04 AM
well, we judge the achievements of composers  base on their symphonies.

Oh boy  ::)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 08, 2007, 03:07:33 AM
No, Luke, I didn't want to go there, either  8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on May 08, 2007, 04:05:13 AM
I strongly prefer the original sextet to the string orchestra arrangement of Pyotr Ilyich's Souvenir de Florence.

Is the counterpoint clearer maybe?

Do you have the same opinion for Schoenberg's  Verklärte Nacht ?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 08, 2007, 04:09:26 AM
Is the counterpoint clearer maybe?

Do you have the same opinion for Schoenberg's  Verklärte Nacht ?

Maybe I just like the lighter tread of the sextet in the Tchaikovsky.

Not sure that I prefer either form of the Schoenberg to the other . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Israfel the Black on May 08, 2007, 12:11:19 PM
well, we judge the achievements of composers  base on their symphonies. Verdi was a great Opera composer, so it is only appropriate to compare him with other Opera Composers, not with symphonists.

Chopin achieved nothing then.  :(
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 08, 2007, 12:39:54 PM
Why do some folks like Dittersdorf?  I find his music architecturally sound but woefully lacking in artistry.  In a contest with Mahler, I'd say Dittersdorf should restrict his activities to doing Mahler's laundry.

Bravo Don ! At least someone with some sanity here.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on May 08, 2007, 02:18:04 PM
Chopin achieved nothing then.  :(
that's not what i meant, we compare opera composers with opera composers, Verdi was a great "Opera Composer", same with instrumental composers, Chopin was a great "Piano Composer".
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: scottscheule on August 06, 2007, 09:29:16 AM
I've been listening to the Haitink symphony cycle (which also has, of course, some of the tone poems).

The first three symphonies were all new to me, and I'm growing to love them, if not as much as the latter three.  Eminently tuneful, attractively scored, quite colorful, lacking the depth of the final 4-6, but always fun.

Four, however, remains my favorite, as close as music gets to perfection.

I put Tchaikovsky firmly in the realm of the greats--his occasional problems with form notwithstanding.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 06, 2007, 09:30:35 AM
Splendid, Scott!

What tone-poems are furnished as "filler"?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: scottscheule on August 06, 2007, 09:40:26 AM
Splendid, Scott!

What tone-poems are furnished as "filler"?

Looking them over now, I see none are officially called tone poems.  The old R&J, of course, along with Francesa da Rimini and the Storm (both new pieces to me), and all the guilty pleasures: the Slavonic March, the Capriccio Italien, and the 1812 Overture.

The set's rounded off with the Manfred Symphony--not sure what to think of it as of yet.  A bit messy and bloated is my current take.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 06, 2007, 09:48:50 AM
Oh, I think Francesca qualifies as a tone-poem (a one-movement symphonic fantasia by any other name . . . .) :-)

Is The Storm the 1864 overture published posthumously as Opus 76?  I should go back and listen to that again . . . .

Don't give up on Manfred! It's better than, perhaps, Haitink sets it forth . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: scottscheule on August 06, 2007, 09:54:54 AM
Oh, I think Francesca qualifies as a tone-poem (a one-movement symphonic fantasia by any other name . . . .) :-)

Is The Storm the 1864 overture published posthumously as Opus 76?  I should go back and listen to that again . . . .

Don't give up on Manfred! It's better than, perhaps, Haitink sets it forth . . . .

Yes, that's the Storm.  Not much to say about it. 

And because I value your opinion (and Piotr), I will have patience with Manfred.

Apropos of nothing, one thing I find characteristic of Tchaikovsky is an excellent ability to have multiple, distinct ideas occuring simultaneously.  The most ready example is the Waltz of the Flowers, during one of the occurences of the long horizontal theme, the woodwinds are constantly piercing it with descending and ascending chromatic scales.  Now surely other composers do this, but Tchaikovsky certainly has a talent for keeping the lines (long lovely melody paired with scales running up and down) quite different from one another, and yet weaving them together as a whole.  Something similar goes on in the movement II of the Fourth.  It's a delightful effect.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on August 06, 2007, 09:59:50 AM
Oh, I think Francesca qualifies as a tone-poem (a one-movement symphonic fantasia by any other name . . . .) :-)

Is The Storm the 1864 overture published posthumously as Opus 76?  I should go back and listen to that again . . . .

Don't give up on Manfred! It's better than, perhaps, Haitink sets it forth . . . .

The Storm has some nice stuff, especially in the middle, but falls short of the greatness of Francesca, and the absolute greatest performance of this work is by Stokowski in the early 1970's: it is atomic!!!

And I have always thought Manfred to be Tchaikovsky's greatest symphony, ever since I heard a truncated version in the 1950's by Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: scottscheule on August 06, 2007, 10:06:23 AM
Rimini is impressive.  I'm generally suspicious of such long works, but it coheres well.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mahlertitan on August 06, 2007, 02:28:46 PM
goodness! what a misunderstanding!

well, we judge the achievements of Symphonists base on their symphonies. Verdi was a great Opera composer, so it is only appropriate to compare him with other Opera Composers, not with symphonists.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: david johnson on August 06, 2007, 11:47:15 PM
ballets, guys.  i think he was a ballet composer who could write other stuff.  :)

dj
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Harry on August 07, 2007, 12:14:50 AM
Tchaikovsky is the most versatile composer around.
Apart from his beautiful opera's, I love most fervently what he wrote.
Number one for me.
His gorgeous ballet music is life enhancing. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Gabriel on August 07, 2007, 06:04:02 AM
When I consider Tchaikovsky's piano trio, I guess I cannot qualify him as a "decent" composer. Some of his works might just be "decent", but some of them are first rate.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 07, 2007, 06:13:53 AM
When I consider Tchaikovsky's piano trio, I guess I cannot qualify him as a "decent" composer. Some of his works might just be "decent", but some of them are first rate.

The Piano Trio and the string sextet Souvenir de Florence are magnifique.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: scottscheule on August 07, 2007, 07:13:52 AM
The Piano Trio and the string sextet Souvenir de Florence are magnifique.

And unforgiveably, I know neither.  The only piece of chamber music I'm familiar with is the first string quartet (lovely little thing).

Went over Manfred again last night.  Takes a lot of concentration--but the first movement is quite enjoyable.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brewski on August 07, 2007, 07:22:00 AM
For Manfred, you might try either Chailly or Muti - I like both.  Here's an article by Andrew Clements (http://arts.guardian.co.uk/keynotes/story/0,11111,777873,00.html) about the piece, and he recommends Pletnev's version. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: scottscheule on August 07, 2007, 07:26:59 AM
Thanks for the hint.  I have no complaints with the Haitink thus far, but when I return to it, I'll check out one of those recordings.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Que on August 07, 2007, 08:04:01 AM
When I consider Tchaikovsky's piano trio, I guess I cannot qualify him as a "decent" composer. Some of his works might just be "decent", but some of them are first rate.

The Piano Trio and the string sextet Souvenir de Florence are magnifique.

The piano trio is a masterpiece - no kidding.

Q
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Gabriel on August 07, 2007, 11:42:06 PM
The piano trio is a masterpiece - no kidding.

Q

I agree totally, Q. A masterpiece of such a value that, in my opinion, no one who hasn't listened to it knows Tchaikovsky's impressive genius. It is difficult to find more painful music in all literature than the first movement, Pezzo elegiaco. I feel it as what the first movement of the Eroica is for Beethoven: the composer totally exposed in the greatest sincerity for the sake of art.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: JoshLilly on January 07, 2008, 01:47:47 PM
Want to hear Tchaikovsky? He, along with Anton Rubinstein, were recorded by an Edison Wax Roll:

Click here (http://www.raff.org/other/Tchaikovsky.m3u)

Not only can you hear him speak, but also whistle!

Attempted English translation: "This trill could be better ... Block is good, but Edison is even better ...Who just spoke? It seems to have been Safonov ... ((whistles))"

The translation is from the liner notes in the Koch Schwann Tchaikovsky piano CD set (Hoteev at the piano).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Norbeone on January 07, 2008, 03:09:33 PM
Every time I listen to the 1st Symphony, I get closer and closer to believing it is just as good as the 4th, 5th and 6th. In fact, in a way, it is much more unique than any of those symphonies, IMO.

The 1st has a few weak moments, particularly the closing of the last movement and a few ackward hiccups in the more contrapuntal sections, but it is completely un-boring music and is really beautiful. Really beautiful.

 :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Bonehelm on January 07, 2008, 05:47:22 PM
Every time I listen to the 1st Symphony, I get closer and closer to believing it is just as good as the 4th, 5th and 6th. In fact, in a way, it is much more unique than any of those symphonies, IMO.

The 1st has a few weak moments, particularly the closing of the last movement and a few ackward hiccups in the more contrapuntal sections, but it is completely un-boring music and is really beautiful. Really beautiful.

 :)
What's your recommended recording for the 1st? I have sets but I want a seperate 1st if you have a strong preference.  8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on January 07, 2008, 10:36:10 PM
What's your recommended recording for the 1st? I have sets but I want a seperate 1st if you have a strong preference.  8)

I would recommend Smetacek (Prague Symphony Orchestra). In my opinion really beautiful playing.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Mark G. Simon on January 14, 2008, 05:17:00 AM
Every time I listen to the 1st Symphony, I get closer and closer to believing it is just as good as the 4th, 5th and 6th. In fact, in a way, it is much more unique than any of those symphonies, IMO.

The 1st has a few weak moments, particularly the closing of the last movement and a few ackward hiccups in the more contrapuntal sections, but it is completely un-boring music and is really beautiful. Really beautiful.

 :)

The first three symphonies are all delightfully charming and unpretentious. I feel that Tchaikovsky is being more himself in these works. The later symphonies have a feeling of effort. He's trying to write great symphonies, and of course he succeeds. But there's something refreshing about the way the first three symphonies are just about Tchaikovsky being himself.

The revision of the 2nd symphony is roughly contemporanious with the 4th, and that includes a thorough rewrite of the first movement. So there's a large chunk of fully mature Tchaikovsky in that symphony.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on January 14, 2008, 09:16:11 AM
Every time I listen to the 1st Symphony, I get closer and closer to believing it is just as good as the 4th, 5th and 6th. In fact, in a way, it is much more unique than any of those symphonies, IMO.

The 1st has a few weak moments, particularly the closing of the last movement and a few ackward hiccups in the more contrapuntal sections, but it is completely un-boring music and is really beautiful. Really beautiful.

 :)
Yeah, the ending of the finale is a bit of a letdown after three and a half really terrific movements. I too have fallen in love with this work recently; it just keeps getting better and better (until that last coda...). And it is beautiful. Don't know that I would place it alongside the last three symphonies - but then again, the First really has a very different goal in mind.

EDIT: Didn't see Mark Simon's excellent comment. Thanks for the word on the Second, didn't know that he had revised it later.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on January 16, 2008, 01:28:41 AM
Yeah, the ending of the finale is a bit of a letdown after three and a half really terrific movements. I too have fallen in love with this work recently; it just keeps getting better and better (until that last coda...). And it is beautiful. Don't know that I would place it alongside the last three symphonies - but then again, the First really has a very different goal in mind.

Well, I like coda very much !
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: johnQpublic on January 16, 2008, 09:09:32 AM
The only problem I have with the earlier symphonies are the moments when they break out into fugual sections. It's like Tchaikovsky felt obliged to be academic instead of fantastical. The result for me is an unwarranted (and unwelcome) break in the action.

Otherwise each is filled with some terrific tunes and masterful orchestration. #2 is my personal favorite. It has extra charm.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on January 19, 2008, 08:18:31 AM
The only problem I have with the earlier symphonies are the moments when they break out into fugual sections. It's like Tchaikovsky felt obliged to be academic instead of fantastical. The result for me is an unwarranted (and unwelcome) break in the action.

True. It can be a problem, but more for conductor. I have heard very good readings where the fugual sections sound not so artificial.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 19, 2008, 08:41:28 AM
Every time I listen to the 1st Symphony, I get closer and closer to believing it is just as good as the 4th, 5th and 6th...

I've come to the same conclusion. At the old Forum we had a poll asking us to name our favorite Tchaikovsky symphony. I had no problem choosing the First (and I believe Harry did too). Very nice to see others coming on board  :)

My favorite version is from 1947: Nikolai Golovanov leading the USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra. Despite the "vintage" sound quality it gets to the heart of this work like no other I've heard.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/web/GoloBox.jpg)

Sarge
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: rubio on January 19, 2008, 12:52:37 PM
I've come to the same conclusion. At the old Forum we had a poll asking us to name our favorite Tchaikovsky symphony. I had no problem choosing the First (and I believe Harry did too). Very nice to see others coming on board  :)

My favorite version is from 1947: Nikolai Golovanov leading the USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra. Despite the "vintage" sound quality it gets to the heart of this work like no other I've heard.

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/web/GoloBox.jpg)

Sarge

How is the rest of that set (performance- and soundwise)? I wonder, because it's not cheap, and I see that the First symphony can be found on a single Melodiya CD together with the Moscow cantata.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on March 18, 2008, 02:21:11 PM
Bernstein and Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony on some Young People's Concert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ3GpUldYvE
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Norbeone on March 18, 2008, 03:21:00 PM
Bernstein and Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony on some Young People's Concert:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ3GpUldYvE


You have to love how Berstein gets a message across. A great man and musician!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DavidW on March 18, 2008, 05:26:21 PM
I listened to the first and fifth symphonies a few days ago, and hearing them back to back I would never ever ever rank #1 with any of the last three, but it's still pretty good music.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on March 19, 2008, 05:00:49 AM
That's fair, David.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: JoshLilly on March 19, 2008, 07:17:46 AM
Has anyone heard here Bogatyryov's (or anyone else's, if any other exist) completion of Tchaikovsky's Symphony #7? I read that the composer found it too "impersonal", and dropped it. Did he destroy any material? He had agreed to conduct a performance of, and I'm wondering just how far along it was before he ended up using some of the material for other projects, seeing as how he'd made this agreement.

By the way, the first movement of the 1st symphony is maybe my favourite single symphonic movement by Tchaikovsky, though I personally feel the 3rd and 4th movements "drag it down". I very often listen to the 1st movement as if it were a standalone overture.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on March 19, 2008, 01:22:40 PM
Has anyone heard here Bogatyryov's (or anyone else's, if any other exist) completion of Tchaikovsky's Symphony #7? I read that the composer found it too "impersonal", and dropped it. Did he destroy any material? He had agreed to conduct a performance of, and I'm wondering just how far along it was before he ended up using some of the material for other projects, seeing as how he'd made this agreement.

Yes, I have heard, conducted by E. Ormandy http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_group=8&album_id=146846 (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_group=8&album_id=146846). The performance is very fine. The most Tchaikovskian is the first and second movement. The last movement sounds quite weird - probably many things were improvised..

"Begun May 1892. The symphony was abandoned in November 1892 with only part of the first movement scored. In the 1950s it was reconstructed from the manuscript sources and completed by Semen Bogatyrev (and sometimes wrongly listed as "Symphony No. 7")."
You can find more info here: http://www.tchaikovsky-research.net/en/Works/Unfinished/TH238/index.html (http://www.tchaikovsky-research.net/en/Works/Unfinished/TH238/index.html).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on March 25, 2008, 05:40:05 AM
Just recently discovered Tchaikovsky's string quartets, and purchased the Keller Quartet recordings of SQ 1 and 2 (Erato label), at a used bargain CD shop.

I'm aware that Keller Q. also recorded the SQ 3 and the String Sextet "Souvenirs de Florence".  I can't seem to find it available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble though or any other place on-line.  :(

Does anyone have any recommendations for Tchaikovsky String Quartet # 3 and the String Sextet "Souvenirs de Florence"?

Many thanks!  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DavidW on March 25, 2008, 06:22:56 AM
Raphael Ensemble is a good un for the sextet which comes with Arensky as well.

Borodin Quartet for the string quartets. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on March 25, 2008, 06:30:23 AM
Raphael Ensemble is a good un for the sextet which comes with Arensky as well.

Borodin Quartet for the string quartets. :)

Thank you David.  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on March 25, 2008, 01:28:19 PM
Raphael Ensemble is a good un for the sextet which comes with Arensky as well.

Borodin Quartet for the string quartets. :)

Agreed.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: tjguitar on November 14, 2008, 03:36:16 PM
I heard the Pacific Symphony perform the 5th last night.  What a great one to hear live.


I still haven't heard all of the contents of the box I posted in the first post of this thread.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: c#minor on November 14, 2008, 06:59:03 PM
ahh the 5th.... my first exploration outside piano music and still a favorite.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Guido on January 25, 2009, 06:08:43 PM
Not sure if this has already been posted, but the legendary recording of the Piano Trio played by Kogan, Rostropovich and Gilels is available on itunes. Rostropovich had always blocked its re-release on CD while he was alive because he fell out with Kogan, but I am glad that it has now been made available again.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DFO on January 26, 2009, 02:07:35 AM
For the sextet. look for the exceptional recording by Kogan brothers on violins, Talalian and Barshai on violas, and Rostropovich and Knushevitsky on cellos. For the first SQ, besides
the Borodin I recommend the old and splendid Hollywood SQ. For the third SQ, there's a
fantastic and dramatic version by the Vlach SQ.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on January 27, 2009, 05:04:15 PM
I came across this performance of Francesca da Rimini by a South American teenaged orchestra in Venezuela!  They do quite fine!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8tejgEfa5Y&feature=related

As is typical of YouTube and the SASS (Short Attention Span Society) the performance comes in snippets of 7 or 8 minutes.

The ultimate performance of this work is by Stokowski (at age 92!) from the 1970's with the London Symphony.  You really join the lovers entering the circle of Hell at the end!   >:D

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=102814&source=CLOFO
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: imperfection on January 28, 2009, 10:16:36 PM
(http://www.iclassics.com/images/local/300/958E.jpg)

Anyone ever heard this?  :o My, this is one emotional experience. The breadth and majesty present here is indescribable...the final four notes are literally BAAAAAM BAAAAAM BAAAAAM BAAAAM instead of the usual Bam Bam Bam bam!  :o
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on May 29, 2009, 03:37:31 AM
Any favorite recordings of Symphony nr 3?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on May 29, 2009, 05:18:27 AM
Any favorite recordings of Symphony nr 3?

I like Russians:

Gennadi Rozhdestvensky - Grand Symphony Orchestra of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, 1972
--- harsh recording, but vivid and excellent performance

Evgeny Svetlanov - USSR Symphony Orchestra, 1967
--- worse recording quality than Rozhdestvensky, but typically ravishing
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Moldyoldie on May 29, 2009, 06:21:30 AM
Any favorite recordings of Symphony nr 3?
I'm certain this music has its adherents, but I'm not one of them. I like Symphonies 4 - 6 as much as the next person, 1 and 2 also have their moments, but No. 3 does absolutely nothing for me over its entire five interminable movements...until the very end! :P  I've heard only the Markevitch/LSO and Jansons/Oslo recordings.

Maybe Marcel's "Russians" will prove constructive...but not for awhile.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2009, 08:35:24 AM
This conversation is making me hungry to revisit the Markevich/LSO recording of the Third, but that must wait till I get home tonight.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brewski on May 29, 2009, 08:49:46 AM
I have two Thirds: Jansons/Oslo and Abbado/Chicago, with a slight preference for the former.  The energy Jansons brings to this piece (and the rest of the cycle) is terrific, and the Oslo orchestra plays beautifully.  Abbado and Chicago aren't shabby by any means, but I'm not totally sold on the sound of the recording.  It's fine, but to my ears not at the very top.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 09:09:40 AM
I've been listening to the 2cd Borodin/Teldec SQs, and honestly, Tchai. isn't doing ANYTHING for me here.

Oh, shucks...I'm being called away.... :(

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: George on May 29, 2009, 09:24:08 AM
(http://www.iclassics.com/images/local/300/958E.jpg)

Anyone ever heard this?  :o My, this is one emotional experience. The breadth and majesty present here is indescribable...the final four notes are literally BAAAAAM BAAAAAM BAAAAAM BAAAAM instead of the usual Bam Bam Bam bam!  :o

I should get it. His 6th is an intense experience too.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on May 29, 2009, 11:50:34 AM
I've been listening to the 2cd Borodin/Teldec SQs, and honestly, Tchai. isn't doing ANYTHING for me here.

Oh, shucks...I'm being called away.... :(



Personally I find none of those later recordings by the Borodin QT very good. There is a recording of the Tchaikovsky SQs with an earlier incarnation of the Borodin Qt
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 02:17:47 PM
mmm...perhaps, but it's the music that I'm... I'm just having the same roadblock I have with Haydn SQs (of, course different, but...). Maybe Tchai. is sounding too "obvious" for me? Maybe it's extra-musical. It MAY be the Borodin, but they SEEM to be playing them fine...there IS a "grit", and I can't tell if it's the music, or the playing. But the music, to me, gets into that uncomfortable "love me, love me, I'm gay" :o over the top emotionalism. Maybe this is what heart-on-your-sleeve sounds like. Please don't run with the "gay" comment!  $:)Thanks. ::)

There is no booklet in this library set, but the slow mvmt of No.1 is nice. Is that the famous "Andante Cantabile"? I hear a little of that minor third Volga/American Indian sound. The rest of the SQ, eh...maybe it IS the playing???

It was the slow mvmt. of No.2 that just made my eyes roll, though. Really??? Really was Tchaikovsky this...this...I don't know the word. Not sentimental...I want to say hysterical, but that's not the word...not even,well maybe effeminate... something like "a Russian bear on the outside, but secretly wishes he'd have been born with a vagina." Sorry, I don't know how else to put it. It makes me uncomfortable, like a man who can sing higher and more lovely than a woman. Again, sorry for this analogy...I'm being frank. I just want to grab Tchai. and slap him and say, "Get over it, man, and stop crying." And the Volga boatman thing doesn't grab me.

Ok, first mvmt. of No.2...it MUST be the Borodin sounding sooo scrappy. Shrill.

And I was really disappointed in No.3 years ago when I was really really green. I thought, "Tchaikovsky's depressed, and this SQ is in e-flat minor...it HAS to be good," but no, I had to wait for Myaskovsky for that, and even HE wasn't depressed enough for me. Shostakovich is the only one who apparently spoke my language...sort of (maybe I'm seeking the SQ equivalent of Gorecki's Sym. No.3???). So I was disappointed in Tchai.'s world famous depression. I listened to Sym. No.6 the other week and it didn't do it for me, either. Oy! what am I to do with you, Peter???

Maybe it IS extra-musical, and I just can't get over him being homosexual. I mean, LOOK at the guy...does he look gay??? NO! He looks like the epitome of the serious composer, what with that awesome beard, that SAD FACE!!!... and I keep picturing this staid face engaged in , well, yuk! And I keep "hearing" it in the music. Yea, ok, it's my problem, oy vey! :P Take two Bruckners and call me in the morning. yeesh...

I like the early B flat SQ the best here, though.

Honestly, I hate when I try really really hard, and still can't like someone I'm "supposed" to. I'm listening to the finale of No.2 right now...naw, it's like everything I dislike about Myaskovsky in a nutshell. This music makes me angry.

Oy, I better stop... I won't be making too many friends on this thread. :-X :-\ :-[ :P I apologize if I offended anyone.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Que on May 29, 2009, 03:20:08 PM
Personally I find none of those later recordings by the Borodin QT very good. There is a recording of the Tchaikovsky SQs with an earlier incarnation of the Borodin Qt

Took the words right out of my mouth! :o  :)

snyprr, try to locate the earlier EMI issue by the Borodin Qt - the Teldec is aggresive, soulless crap.

Q
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 09:14:45 PM
If that's true, and I hear them in better "guises", and LIKE them, then this Borodin/Teldec set must go down as the worst performance I've ever heard of anything. I may very well still not like the music, but this set makes them sound garrulous (I think THAT'S the word I was looking for earlier).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on May 29, 2009, 10:47:11 PM
Keep in mind, too, they are net the world's best SQs. One likes them arguably because one loves Tchaikovsky, and wants to hear everything he did.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 11:04:39 PM
Thank you. I'll stop apologizing!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 03:23:17 AM
Sort of like Mozart juvenilia  ;)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 03:24:08 AM
I've gotten to where I genuinely enjoy the Rococo Variations, though.  First few years I knew of them, I just thought them the hokiest stuff imaginable.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 04:21:58 AM
Does anyone have any recommendations for Tchaikovsky String Quartet # 3 and the String Sextet "Souvenirs de Florence"?

Have you fetched in the sextet yet, Ray? Have you, have you?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on May 30, 2009, 04:23:50 AM
Have you fetched in the sextet yet, Ray? Have you, have you?

No, I haven't yet.  I still don't have SQ # 3 or the Sextet in the ChamberNut Chest.  :(
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 04:26:28 AM
I do enjoy the quartets, but cannot really argue against neighbors who find them lower-shelf Tchaikovsky.  But the Souvenirs de Florence is essential!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on May 30, 2009, 05:08:11 AM
I do enjoy the quartets, but cannot really argue against neighbors who find them lower-shelf Tchaikovsky.  But the Souvenirs de Florence is essential!

True. Both in the 6tet and in the orchestral version.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 05:12:21 AM
. . . 1 and 2 also have their moments, but No. 3 does absolutely nothing for me over its entire five interminable movements . . . .

If it do not, it doesn't, but . . . I like it all very well.  In a very general sense, it takes its 'character cues' from Mendelssohn . . . the drama is reserved for the outer movements, and the three interior movements are movements of poised stasis, and grace.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 12:41:24 PM
True. Both in the 6tet and in the orchestral version.

Hmm . . . preferred recordings of the orchestral version, Herman?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 02:32:18 PM
The piano trio is a masterpiece - no kidding.

I wonder if Ray is listening . . . .

 8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on May 30, 2009, 02:39:19 PM
I wonder if Ray is listening . . . .

 8)

Ray is away at the moment.  I will relay him the message.  0:)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 02:40:10 PM
Paging Ray, white courtesy telephone, please.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on May 30, 2009, 02:43:49 PM
Paging Ray, white courtesy telephone, please.

Here I am.   8)  And no...I haven't heard P.I.T.'s PT yet.  0:)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on May 31, 2009, 03:58:19 AM
Hmm . . . preferred recordings of the orchestral version, Herman?

Oh, my primary experience of the orchestrated version of the Souvenir de Florence is a concert performance by the Kirov. I do have a COEurope cd conducted by Gerard Korsten. I never made serious work of looking for good, nest & better, frankly.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Drasko on May 31, 2009, 08:26:27 AM
Hmm . . . preferred recordings of the orchestral version, Herman?

Well, I'm not Herman obviously, but my favorite experience of the orchestrated version was also concert, St.Thomas-stuck-in-doorway led by Joshua Bell from first violin. Electrifying performance, unexpectedy after dullest Four Seasons one can imagine, in the first part of the evening.
As for recordings, don't know many but have fond recollections of an early Naxos disc with Vienna Chamber Orchestra led by Philippe Entremont of all people.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on May 31, 2009, 09:13:13 AM
I have heard more people say good things about that Entrement recording.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 02:34:39 AM
I'll keep my eyes open for a live performance opportunity, then  ;)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 03:27:40 AM
PC-1 Not decent; probably, technically, arguably the most difficult piano concerto ever written, from the fast cadenza octave passages, to the technically demanding passages of the first and last movements; there's also GREAT melodic material, which is why you've admitted to "whistl[ing] the opening theme." I admit the trombone fanfare and the piano's banging of chords in the opening of the PC is very catchy, but you're not thinking about the rest of the PC.

Curiously, a piece which was first performed in Boston.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on June 01, 2009, 04:16:48 AM
I suspect the orchestrated version is performed more often than the original sextet. Try getting a sextet together!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on October 06, 2009, 05:00:49 AM
Red Alert:

Has anyone heard and own recordings of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 41?  We heard a few movements (Our Father and Praise ye the Lord) last night at music appreciation class.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous!  :)

Performance was by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, Valeri Polyansky, on RCA label
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Opus106 on October 06, 2009, 05:14:42 AM
Choral from Tchaikovsky?! I must listen to it. Thanks for letting us know, Ray. I've been discovering new things about Pyotr Illyich's music this week. There are some videos at YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/results?q=liturgy%20of%20st.%20john%20chrysostom) I will be listening to listen to in a short while. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on October 06, 2009, 05:19:25 AM
Choral from Tchaikovsky?! I must listen to it. Thanks for letting us know, Ray. I've been discovering new things about Pyotr Illyich's music this week. There are some videos at YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/results?q=liturgy%20of%20st.%20john%20chrysostom) I will be listening to listen to in a short while. :)

True!  There is so much more than just the symphonies, concertos and ballets!  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Wanderer on October 06, 2009, 08:17:47 AM
Red Alert:

Has anyone heard and own recordings of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 41?  We heard a few movements (Our Father and Praise ye the Lord) last night at music appreciation class.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous!  :)

Performance was by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, Valeri Polyansky, on RCA label

A splendid work. Brilliant has recently reissued a very good  version (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//93954.htm), performed by the National Academic Choir of Ukraine "Dumka". The same performance is contained in an older 2-disc set (http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//99762.htm) (the one I own), which is accompanied by Grachaninov's equally captivating Vespers.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on October 06, 2009, 08:33:19 AM
Red Alert:

Has anyone heard and own recordings of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op. 41?  We heard a few movements (Our Father and Praise ye the Lord) last night at music appreciation class.

It was breathtakingly gorgeous!  :)

Performance was by the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, Valeri Polyansky, on RCA label

Our music app. teacher also mentioned that if I liked this piece (which I did), to check our Rach(k)maninov(ff)'s as well.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 12, 2009, 10:43:36 AM
Can anyone recommend a great Tchaikovsky biography?

Merci!  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Lethevich on November 12, 2009, 11:29:14 AM
Random question: has anybody tried to "fix" the transition to the coda in the 1812 Overture - and more importantly, has it been recorded? I figure that given the amount of cuts pre-70s conductors tended to inflict on music like this, and often outright re-orchestrations, this might actually be an area that one of them could improve?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 28, 2009, 02:11:02 PM
Feelings, nothing more than.....feelings!  This somewhat famous line of a pop tune...........I hear this somewhere in the Andante funebre e doloroso ma con moto 3rd movement of Tchaikovsky's 3rd String Quartet in E flat minor.  :D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 28, 2009, 02:12:46 PM
Have you fetched in the sextet yet, Ray? Have you, have you?

Done, Karl!  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Herman on November 30, 2009, 11:27:46 AM
Can anyone recommend a great Tchaikovsky biography?

Merci!  :)

Well, there's a new, very good one, just out. Roland Wiley's Tchaikovsky volume in the Masters Musicians is the product of decades of research (Wiley wrote the standard work on Tchaikovsky's Ballets and a biography of Petipa's successor at the Mariinsky theatre, Ivanov), and he dismantles the suicide theory pretty deftly.

http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Master-Musicians-Roland-Wiley/dp/0195368924/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259609242&sr=8-1

The only downside is Wiley does not always write beautiful prose IMO.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on November 30, 2009, 11:34:02 AM
Random question: has anybody tried to "fix" the transition to the coda in the 1812 Overture - and more importantly, has it been recorded? I figure that given the amount of cuts pre-70s conductors tended to inflict on music like this, and often outright re-orchestrations, this might actually be an area that one of them could improve?

Not just pre-70s. My Charles Dutoit/OSM recording of the 1812 is completely perfect until the final coda - which is overlaid by a massively fake synthesizer track. No clue what London was thinking. The brass/strings are inaudible from the volume of the synthesizing.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 13, 2010, 10:28:59 AM
Piano Concertos, Complete - below a post that I put in the listening thread earlier which will shortly be 'buried' - but for those who may be interested in having more than just the first PC of this composer, this re-mastered Bridge release is a strong contender!  :D


Quote
Tchaikovsky, Peter - Piano Concertos w/ Jerome Lowenthal (piano) & Sergiu Comissiona + London SO; recordings from 1987 & 1989 re-mastered on the Bridge label w/ demonstration sonics!  Offered as a 2-CD bargain set packaged in a single-sized jewel box. 

This was a Bruce recommendation (forget which thread?) - the performances are just outstanding w/ the piano up front - I own several recordings of the first PC, but this is my first exposure to the other works; the second movement of PC #2 (Adante non troppo) is like a 'trio concertante' w/ violin and cello parts prominent - beautiful; review by Jerry Dubins reprinted HERE (http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=224567) - if you want Pete's 'other' piano orchestral works, this is a package well worth considering - :)

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/TchaikovskyPianoConcsAll/787280055_ZtKCo-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jlaurson on February 17, 2010, 02:20:49 AM
The complete Tchaikovsky symphonies will be recorded by Dmitrij Kitajenko and the Gürzenich-Orchester Köln for Oehms. That's the combo that has provided several members of this forum with excellent Shostakovich and Prokofiev symphonies (Capriccio) and the recording team that is recording Markus Stenz' Mahler cycle with the same orchestra. First release is planned for May of this year. All releases will be multi-channel hybrid SACDs.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Renfield on February 17, 2010, 03:29:22 AM
That's great, Jens!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jlaurson on February 17, 2010, 03:33:09 AM
That's great, Jens!

Are you mocking me?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Renfield on February 17, 2010, 06:18:24 AM
Are you mocking me?

Wouldn't dream of it.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: George on February 17, 2010, 07:48:04 AM
Lo, the impact of those multi-sized fonts!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Carolus on February 17, 2010, 08:20:49 AM
I suspect the orchestrated version is performed more often than the original sextet. Try getting a sextet together!
Leonid Kogan and Elizabetha Gilels Kogan violins; Barshai and Talalian violas and Skushevitsky and Rostropovich cellos.
Absolutely extraordinary!!!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 13, 2010, 12:55:19 PM
Tchaikovsky wrote quite a lot solo songs, any recommeneded recordings?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jlaurson on October 13, 2010, 02:02:35 PM
Tchaikovsky wrote quite a lot solo songs, any recommeneded recordings?

Yes... even though not *all* songs are by Tchaikovsky, this--with the sublime mezzo Ekaterina Semenchuk (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/02/redemption-conductor.html)--is one of the finest albums with songs by P.I.T., the perfect primer:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51RIxVMmApL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Mélodies russe
Ekaterina Semenchuk
Larissa Gergieva
Harmonia Mundi (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000F1HQWY?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000F1HQWY)


Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 14, 2010, 05:04:18 AM
Thanks-- I wonder if there is any good complete recordings of the songs? I seem to remember there was one at amazon but I'd like to here some impressions of it.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jlaurson on October 14, 2010, 09:15:30 AM
Thanks-- I wonder if there is any good complete recordings of the songs? I seem to remember there was one at amazon but I'd like to here some impressions of it.

Don't start with overkill, end with it, if necessary.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 14, 2010, 12:30:49 PM
Don't start with overkill, end with it, if necessary.

 ???
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on October 14, 2010, 12:41:40 PM
Thanks-- I wonder if there is any good complete recordings of the songs? I seem to remember there was one at amazon but I'd like to here some impressions of it.

The only songs I've found I listen to regularly are Op 6 No 6 ("the famous one") and Op 73 No 6. If you like MP3s, one thing you can do is listen to samples from the first four volumes of Naxos' series and download the ones that sound good. (By Vol 5 the soprano's voice had gotten really wobbly - it was recorded like 8 years after the others.)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 14, 2010, 01:31:53 PM
The only songs I've found I listen to regularly are Op 6 No 6 ("the famous one") and Op 73 No 6. If you like MP3s, one thing you can do is listen to samples from the first four volumes of Naxos' series and download the ones that sound good. (By Vol 5 the soprano's voice had gotten really wobbly - it was recorded like 8 years after the others.)
Yeah, I'll try that.. I guess the songs are little under-appreciated, I wonder are they really that bad...?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on October 14, 2010, 01:46:14 PM
Yeah, I'll try that.. I guess the songs are little under-appreciated, I wonder are they really that bad...?

By no means...I just don't know them too well... their quality is not surprising because Tchaikovsky was great at writing tunes and being emotional  ;D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 14, 2010, 10:50:40 PM
By no means...I just don't know them too well... their quality is not surprising because Tchaikovsky was great at writing tunes and being emotional  ;D
Exactly!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 14, 2010, 11:17:39 PM
Don't start with overkill, end with it, if necessary.
Ok, yeah--NOW I understand your point (first I didn't get what you meant by killing someone :D ). The thing is that I knew only few of his songs and I really would like to have a clear picture of him as a song-writer but I guess that means having the scores of the songs.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 15, 2010, 12:07:43 AM
Yeah, I'll try that.. I guess the songs are little under-appreciated, I wonder are they really that bad...?
Well, I think there are a number of passable alternatives out there. I actually have heard very few of them as I don't listen to his songs that much (find them disappointing to be honest). Perhaps it is something I need to rectify, but here are some thoughts:
 - Boris Christoff has a 5 disc set of various Russian songs. It used to be good value and he is pretty good, but since I don't know its current availablity....
 - Joan Rodgers on Hyperion - got good ratings in Penguin guide (you can listen at the Hyperion site for good excerpts, and her diction isn't bad at all)
 - Leiferkus - Believe he has done a 3 disc cycle. I love him, but have not heard these discs.
 - Naxos series - cannot coment
 - Netrebko - Great voice, has a very recent disc with songs from Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-K. I haven't heard it, but imagine it must be good (Barenboim accompanies), and like Leiferkus should have great diction.
 - Olga Borodina - I have a disc of romances somewhere (I'll try to give a listen over the weekend, but I think I remember liking it quite a lot), just not sure of availability today as I bought this one a long time ago

So these are a few I would explore on top of what has already been mentioned. 

EDIT: in the above, I fogot to include Christianne Stotijn accompanied by Julius Drake in Tchaikovsky Romances, a relatively new issue on Onyx (also with good reveiws everywhere I look).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on October 15, 2010, 03:30:45 AM
Thanks alot--- I guess I go thru the songs first from score by myself before deciding on a recording.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 15, 2010, 04:26:26 AM
Thanks alot--- I guess I go thru the songs first from score by myself before deciding on a recording.
Youtube may be a passable resource here as well. I found at least one song from the Borodina album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SmM2v_r3Yo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SmM2v_r3Yo) and here is Stotijn: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew_ox74xufk (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew_ox74xufk). Interesting to hear the different mezzo's. I'm not sure if this is from Stotijn's Russia tour or from the album (she went on tour before she did the album as I understand). And here is Sementchuk, new to me, and mentioned in an earlier post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb7nDd4PPgI&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb7nDd4PPgI&feature=related). If you look further, you will probably find more examples by each.

Here is also the Tchaikovsky portion (first part of it anyway) of the Salzburg Festival recital with Netrebko and Barenboim: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnDEs7C4nAA&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnDEs7C4nAA&feature=related).

Incidentally, there are plenty of other interesting Russian singers out there like Hvorostovsky (who can be lazy sometimes though) and Vishnevskaya (just a couple more that come to mind).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 07:00:20 AM
Well, a CD which long ago I bought in a kiosk in Moscow seems to have been somehow corrupted.

So I must, must, must find an alternative recording of Hamlet, Opus 67!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2010, 07:06:21 AM
Well, a CD which long ago I bought in a kiosk in Moscow seems to have been somehow corrupted.

So I must, must, must find an alternative recording of Hamlet, Opus 67!

There are two that I know of:
- Pentatone - Jurowski/RNO - was a Gramophone disc of the month and got consistently good reviews. But I haven't heard it.
- Chandos - Simon/LSO - Also well regarded. I own this and enjoy it.

I just haven't heard both. Wonderful music though.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 03, 2010, 07:19:21 AM
Well, a CD which long ago I bought in a kiosk in Moscow seems to have been somehow corrupted.

So I must, must, must find an alternative recording of Hamlet, Opus 67!


Karl, I recommend the 2-fer on London Records with the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C. with Dorati conducting!  Includes 8 other Tchaikovsky overtures/symphonic poems.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/617PT8icM4L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2010, 07:22:38 AM
Well, a CD which long ago I bought in a kiosk in Moscow seems to have been somehow corrupted.

So I must, must, must find an alternative recording of Hamlet, Opus 67!

Is this the short (fantasy overture) or long version (overture and incidental music)? The ones I recommended were the version with incidental music.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 03, 2010, 07:32:03 AM
Is this the short (fantasy overture) or long version (overture and incidental music)? The ones I recommended were the version with incidental music.

Sorry Neal, I did not realize there was a long version of Hamlet.  Great to know!!!!   :)  The one I mentioned is just the fantasy overture.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 08:20:12 AM
Neal, I appreciate the vote of confidene in that Chandos disc (it sounds almost as if you have more Telemann than Tchaikovsky ; )

Ray, thanks [again] . . . you remind me of that two-fer, which I think you mentioned earlier. I'm sure I added it to a Wish List . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2010, 08:26:05 AM
Neal, I appreciate the vote of confidene in that Chandos disc (it sounds almost as if you have more Telemann than Tchaikovsky ; )

Ray, thanks [again] . . . you remind me of that two-fer, which I think you mentioned earlier. I'm sure I added it to a Wish List . . . .
Not quite that much. But then again, I have a lot of Tchaikovsky...
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Scarpia on November 03, 2010, 08:27:25 AM
Neal, I appreciate the vote of confidene in that Chandos disc (it sounds almost as if you have more Telemann than Tchaikovsky ; )

I think I have more Telemann than Tchaikovsky in my collection.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 08:35:40 AM
Well, I can only suppose that this is how you wish it, Scarps ; )
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2010, 08:39:35 AM
Sorry Neal, I did not realize there was a long version of Hamlet.  Great to know!!!!   :)  The one I mentioned is just the fantasy overture.
As best I remember, the overture is a shortened version of Hamlet fantasy overture, while the rest is entirely different/new music. There are a couple spoken/sung tracks as well. It is entirely engaging and very enjoyable. I've been eyeing that Pentatone disc just to compare (as these are the only ones available that I know of anyway). It's a new disc from 2009, so until then, Simon/Chandos was the only game in town (but a good one).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Scarpia on November 03, 2010, 08:49:13 AM
Well, I can only suppose that this is how you wish it, Scarps ; )

Have the complete symphonies, Markevitch and Dorati, late symphonies in addition by Mravinsky, Karajan.  Romeo and Juliette, Francisca da Rimini, Karajan's VPO Ballet Suite disc.  Must have the concertos as fillers on other discs.  About 6 inches of CD shelf, overall.  What more does one need, really?

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 08:55:57 AM
The great operas, for one thing.  And the ballets in better condition than HvK doing the suites.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 09:01:45 AM
And the string sextet original of Souvenir de Florence.  (One would need to be quite a Tchaikovsky enthusiast to go after the quartets, I must own.)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2010, 09:02:01 AM
Have the complete symphonies, Markevitch and Dorati, late symphonies in addition by Mravinsky, Karajan.  Romeo and Juliette, Francisca da Rimini, Karajan's VPO Ballet Suite disc.  Must have the concertos as fillers on other discs.  About 6 inches of CD shelf, overall.  What more does one need, really?
Errr...I think you're in the wrong place! You did see the Tchaikovsky sign when you entered?!?  :P

To answer the question there are:
3 piano concertos (wasn't sure if you were only referring the first above, 2&3 are fabulous)
3 ballets (nutcracker, swan lake, and sleeping beauty)
Hamlet
Snow Maiden
Piano Works (7 discs, if all of it)
Iolanthe (opera)
Pique Dame (queen of Spades)
Suites (2 discs worth)
Evgeniy Onegin
Songs and other operas
Piano Trio
Souvenir de Florence (sometimes a filler - you might have it)
String Quartets
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
...and more

There is a lot of good music there too.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 09:09:17 AM
What's the consensus on the Lenny/NY Phil symphonies cycle on Sony? I found it at FYE for a decent price . . . though that is probably moot, as I will likely pull the trigger eventually on the big Lenny Symphonies box.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 03, 2010, 09:14:36 AM
What's the consensus on the Lenny/NY Phil symphonies cycle on Sony? I found it at FYE for a decent price . . . though that is probably moot, as I will likely pull the trigger eventually on the big Lenny Symphonies box.
Sorry - I have the DG, not the Sony, so am not personally familiar with it myself. The price is certainly attractive though...
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DavidW on November 03, 2010, 09:23:25 AM
Have the complete symphonies, Markevitch and Dorati, late symphonies in addition by Mravinsky, Karajan.  Romeo and Juliette, Francisca da Rimini, Karajan's VPO Ballet Suite disc.  Must have the concertos as fillers on other discs.  About 6 inches of CD shelf, overall.  What more does one need, really?

As Karl mentioned the string sextet, I guess you probably have the serenade and another essential is The Seasons. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 03, 2010, 09:26:15 AM

Liturgy of St John Chrysostom


Neal, thank you for this reminder.  I heard this in the Tchaikovsky music appreciation class I took a few years ago.  I was absolutely floored and stunned by the beauty of this music.  The recording was on RCA w/ Valeri Polyansky conducting the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir.

Karl, you love choral music, and I know you love Tchaikovsky.  We both need to get this into our collection!  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 09:39:59 AM
Karl, you love choral music, and I know you love Tchaikovsky.  We both need to get this into our collection!  :)

I blush to say, Ray, that this CD has been on my shelf for 15 years, but I haven't listened to it yet!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 03, 2010, 09:41:35 AM
I blush to say, Ray, that this CD has been on my shelf for 15 years, but I haven't listened to it yet!

Well, it is not a stretch to say that I do believe you will enjoy it Karl.  Crack 'er open!  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 09:43:51 AM
Through no fault of Pyotr Ilyich's, that's going to have to wait until . . . First-Listen Friday!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 03, 2010, 09:45:03 AM
Through no fault of Pyotr Ilyich's, that's going to have to wait until . . . First-Listen Friday!

 :(
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 09:46:30 AM
Just happenstance that it's First-Listen Friday . . . I have long days today & tomorrow.  Although I could pop it in the player as fall-asleep-to music tonight . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on November 03, 2010, 09:47:41 AM
Just happenstance that it's First-Listen Friday . . . I have long days today & tomorrow.  Although I could pop it in the player as fall-asleep-to music tonight . . . .

You can wait until Friday.  I will hold you to it!  ;)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on November 03, 2010, 09:52:55 AM
Very good.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Guido on February 25, 2011, 12:53:46 PM
How about this for a statement: The final scene of Eugene Onegin, the most inspired thing he ever wrote.

True? Whenever I hear it/watch it it certainly feels true!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Mozart on March 15, 2011, 08:13:40 PM
Am I depressed? I'm starting to find this Tchaikovsky interesting...
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on March 17, 2011, 07:46:19 AM
I know a lot of people haven't even heard this piece yet, but for those who have, what are your recommended recordings of Tchaikovsky's Liturgy of St. John Crysostom, Op.41?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on March 17, 2011, 07:59:04 AM
I've only heard one, the Brilliant reissue of the National Choir of the Ukraine « Dumka » . . . which is exquisite, Ray.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on March 17, 2011, 08:03:55 AM
I've only heard one, the Brilliant reissue of the National Choir of the Ukraine « Dumka » . . . which is exquisite, Ray.


Hmm, that was the one I was actually eyeing and considering, so this just might close the deal.  Thanks, Karl.  8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Renfield on April 02, 2011, 03:53:56 PM
BALLETS
Russian ballet music before Tchaikovsky was vapid stuff, amounting to little more than background music for displays of the dancers' qualities. Tchaikovsky introduced a greater range of rhythms, and increased richness of melody and orchestration, and above all gave ballet a sense of symphonic construction - in short, he gave respect to ballet music as an art form. Classical ballet owes more to Tchaikovsky than to any other composer, and if Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker met with little more than polite approval during Tchaikovsky's life time, they are now the world's most frequently performed dance scores.


This recording of suites from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker is a bargain at mid-price. Rostropovich is not the greatest conductor but his Tchaikovsky performances are always full-blooded and he is given ravishing support from the Berlin Philharmonic. Both he and the orchestra clearly enjoy every minute of this music.


That really is a nice recording. There's a kind of, as you say, full-blooded quality to these performances, to great effect. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on May 02, 2011, 03:21:29 PM
I should have picked this up at the local bookstore today.  They had it listed at $14.99 CDN for the DVD, and it is such a marvelous production and Fleming and Hvorostovsky are simply mesmerizing, and have undeniable chemistry.

They have a bunch of other Classical Music DVDs for $14.99, so perhaps tomorrow I'll go grab this one, and have a closer look at some of the other DVD recordings available.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2011, 04:45:49 AM
Onegin is splendid, Ray!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on May 03, 2011, 04:54:54 AM
Onegin is splendid, Ray!

Karl, have you watched that particular production of Onegin?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2011, 07:11:38 AM
Don't know that one myself, Ray, but good friends of mine subscribe at the Met and I remember them speaking well of it musically.  Once I watched a DVD of a German production with rather a spare set (though at least there were no leather-clad terrorists) . . . one can count on the Met to take a more traditional angle on Onegin here, meseems. I'd resk it, meself.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 03, 2011, 08:56:17 PM
Onegin is splendid, Ray!

Did you hear about Tchaikovsky's relationship? It was Onegin off again!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2011, 03:01:08 AM
Doesn't work if one is accustomed to the Russian pronunciation . . . which comes out to something like ah-ñeh-geen
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 04, 2011, 05:10:27 PM
Doesn't work if one is accustomed to the Russian pronunciation . . . which comes out to something like ah-ñeh-geen

Mayonaise a lot of pretty girls here tonight!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on May 08, 2011, 07:59:17 AM
My parents just attended a concert of Tchaikovsky's First and Fifth Symphonies. My father commented on the First, "There's a reason we've never heard of it. He was just trying to imitate Mendelssohn."

I was slightly hurt. But is it fair criticism?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DavidW on May 08, 2011, 08:09:02 AM
Well it is a student composition.  Inspired by Mendelssohn, and an exercise in writing a symphony in classical form.  But I think you still here Tchaikovsky's personality seep through.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on May 13, 2011, 05:41:17 PM
My parents just attended a concert of Tchaikovsky's First and Fifth Symphonies. My father commented on the First, "There's a reason we've never heard of it. He was just trying to imitate Mendelssohn."

I was slightly hurt. But is it fair criticism?

No: take it from Cato! Winter Dreams is an excellent work.  Its extra-musical associations might upset purists, but apparently some great conductors were not concerned about them, e.g. Herbert von Karajan found it worthy of his time and of a recording, so that is worth something!   ;D

And so what if he was trying to imitate Mendelssohn?  The result is a work as Tchaikovskyan and as Russian as can be, and it is not a Russian sound filtered through Berlin first.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Wanderer on May 14, 2011, 01:43:02 AM
The result is a work as Tchaikovskyan and as Russian as can be, and it is not a Russian sound filtered through Berlin first.

Very succinctly put.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: JerryS on May 14, 2011, 05:46:05 AM
Wow, I couldn't disagree more. The Sixth is built around an idea in my opinion which Tchaikovsky sketched in one of his other symphonies: "No, no, there is no hope." The first movement's intro-expo-development acts as a sort of overture for the whole work (again purely opinion): expression of profound emotional turmoil, followed by an expression of hope (the second subject) which is built and built until it seems to be winning the day with its lyrical consolation - only to be cut off by a reminder that fate will conquer all, in the most mortifyingly powerful of development sections.

This pattern encompasses the whole symphony: the first movement can be seen as a mirror of its own opening, full of turmoil and despair; the second and third movements as the return of hope and consolation. Eventually we seem on the road to triumph, to success. Our hopes build up - our fortunes rise - as in the first movement's second subject - and we reach a final shatteringly joyous climax, sending us up to the heavens - and then!

There are only two moments like it in musical history, I think: the first movement of the very same symphony (by design!) and the conclusion of Brahms' Fourth. What makes the irony of the double-pattern of the Tchaikovsky Sixth - the way that the entire symphony's emotional range and content is structured in precisely the same way as the opening half of the first movement - is that unlike in the first statement of the work's structure, when the final return of Fate is the loud, apocalyptic first-mvt. development, in the full work itself the final return of Fate is impassioned, yes, but soft, bittersweet, even more desperate and alone, not in anger but in the sorrow of loss and acceptance of the tragic destiny which awaits ...

- - -

My idea on the Fifth Symphony is similarly strange. I've always felt the final coda seems fake not because it is, but because it's ironic. To my mind the finale has always been the most tragic part of the symphony, because of some sort of unstated loss, some sort of feeling that this is not really the end.

Maybe it's just in my head.

I've been catching up with some of the threads here and Brian's comments reminded me of a review of a recent San Antonio Symphony performance of the 6th Symphony. Brian and the reviewer, Mike Greenberg, have some good observations about Tchaikovsky's "mistake" in having such an applause-grabbing scherzo before the final movement.

http://www.incidentlight.com/Music%20reviews/tchaikovsky110509.html (http://www.incidentlight.com/Music%20reviews/tchaikovsky110509.html)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: abidoful on May 14, 2011, 08:56:53 AM
I've been catching up with some of the threads here and Brian's comments reminded me of a review of a recent San Antonio Symphony performance of the 6th Symphony. Brian and the reviewer, Mike Greenberg, have some good observations about Tchaikovsky's "mistake" in having such an applause-grabbing scherzo before the final movement.

http://www.incidentlight.com/Music%20reviews/tchaikovsky110509.html (http://www.incidentlight.com/Music%20reviews/tchaikovsky110509.html)
Psycholigically/narratively/dramatically it works!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on August 08, 2011, 05:41:06 AM
Giving this symphony a listen - I ignore it way too often, compared to the other 5.   :(

Tchaikovsky

Symphony No. 3 in D major, Op.29 "Polish"


Riccardo Muti
Philharmonia Orchestra
Brilliant Classics


Is there anyone else who listens to this symphony, from time to time?  This is the first time I'm listening to it, that I'm actually enjoying it.  Seems to remind me more of some of his music for ballet, and more akin to the music of his orchestral suites.  To my ears, anyway.   :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 08, 2011, 05:54:33 AM
Yes, I do love the three earlier symphonies, nearly as well as the great later symphonies.

Was thinking of you yesterday, Ray, as my glance fell on the spine of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom disc. Need to revisit that one, myself!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: The new erato on August 08, 2011, 05:58:27 AM

Was thinking of you yesterday, Ray, as my glance fell on the spine of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom disc. Need to revisit that one, myself![/font]
In that sentence you catches why downloads will never make it for me; downloads are just files, while discs (be it LP of CD) are physical objects connecting to memories and associations. I can remember when I bought discs, and how I played them the first time, who have borrowed them, can you do that with downloads? Blah!!!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on August 08, 2011, 06:14:56 AM
Was thinking of you yesterday, Ray, as my glance fell on the spine of the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom disc. Need to revisit that one, myself![/font]

I got the same disc as you, Karl.  As much as I do enjoy that one, I need to get the same recording I heard in Oct/2009 for a Tchaikovsky music appreciation class.  It has an all male choir, and I found it much more effective.  It is the one with Polyansky leading the USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, on the Moscow Studio Archives label.

Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on August 08, 2011, 06:38:40 AM
I can remember when I bought discs, and how I played them the first time, who have borrowed them, can you do that with downloads? Blah!!!

Times, they are changing.   :(  In 70 or so years from now, there will be no such things as discs, or books.  Pretty much everything will be downloaded, and viewable on a screen.  Even "relationships" are more about 'texting' and such.

I've been on a few first dates since my separation.  One woman said "You don't have a cell phone.  How am I going to get a hold of you?"   ???  I told her I had a land line phone, she could reach me there.  Then she added:  "I don't talk on my phone, I usually only text".    ;D ;D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jlaurson on August 08, 2011, 07:13:42 AM
Times, they are changing.   :(  In 70 or so years from now, there will be no such things as discs, or books.  Pretty much everything will be downloaded, and viewable on a screen.  Even "relationships" are more about 'texting' and such.

I've been on a few first dates since my separation.  One woman said "You don't have a cell phone.  How am I going to get a hold of you?"   ???  I told her I had a land line phone, she could reach me there.  Then she added:  "I don't talk on my phone, I usually only text".    ;D ;D

70 years from now downloading will be a commemorative chuckle on some youngster's lips.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brahmsian on August 10, 2011, 03:54:23 PM
Why would anyone buy this newly repackaged EMI Classics box set of Tchaikovsky - Muti symphonies, when pretty much the same set is available for cheaper at Brilliant Classics?  Is it for the nice, shiny colourful packaging?  I wonder which GMGer is going to get sucked in on this one.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: eyeresist on August 10, 2011, 05:16:08 PM
I've been on a few first dates since my separation.  One woman said "You don't have a cell phone.  How am I going to get a hold of you?"   ???  I told her I had a land line phone, she could reach me there.  Then she added:  "I don't talk on my phone, I usually only text".    ;D

Yeah. People think I'm weird, but I don't need a mobile phone (as we call them), and in fact I like the idea that I am not accessible 24 hour per day, but only when I choose to be. The only reason I would really like a mobile device is so that I could look up stuff I see in shops - at the moment, I'm stuck with just trying to remember to do it later.

As a skinflint, I am also against texting on value-for-money grounds, i.e. dollar per amount of information transmitted.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: AndanteCantabile on August 25, 2011, 07:01:00 AM
Anybody here familiar with this set?



I love Pletnev's thrilling presentation of lesser-known works. For example, The Voyevoda is a striking and driven work which is really quite effective. I've also enjoyed the Fate symphonic poem and the Hamlet Overture-Fantasia, to say nothing of the Manfred Symphony.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Albion on August 25, 2011, 07:29:15 AM
Anybody here familiar with this set?

Yes, and it contains some of Pletnev's best performances - a really excellent way to acquire a whole swathe of stand-alone Tchaikovsky works, only really lacking the early Storm (1864).

My personal favourites for orchestral Tchaikovsky include this set, as well as -

Symphonies (Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic on Chandos)
Orchestral Suites (Neville Marriner and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony on Capriccio)
Ballets (John Lanchbery and the Philharmonia on Musical Heritage Society, not the abbreviated Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty as issued by EMI in the UK)
Concertos (Peter Donohoe, Nigel Kennedy and Steven Isserlis on an inexpensive EMI triple)

 ;D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: AndanteCantabile on August 25, 2011, 07:46:57 AM
Yes, and it contains some of Pletnev's best performances - a really excellent way to acquire a whole swathe of stand-alone Tchaikovsky works, only really lacking the early Storm (1864).

My personal favourites for orchestral Tchaikovsky include this set, as well as -

Symphonies (Mariss Jansons and the Oslo Philharmonic on Chandos)
Orchestral Suites (Neville Marriner and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony on Capriccio)
Ballets (John Lanchbery and the Philharmonia on Musical Heritage Society, not the abbreviated Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty as issued by EMI in the UK)
Concertos (Peter Donohoe, Nigel Kennedy and Steven Isserlis on an inexpensive EMI triple)

 ;D

Do you have a recommendation for Tchaikovsky's chamber music, i.e. the Piano Trio and String Quartets?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DavidW on August 25, 2011, 08:01:27 AM
Do you have a recommendation for Tchaikovsky's chamber music, i.e. the Piano Trio and String Quartets?

I'm not Albion but try Borodin Trio and Borodin Quartet.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Albion on August 25, 2011, 08:10:31 AM
Do you have a recommendation for Tchaikovsky's chamber music, i.e. the Piano Trio and String Quartets?

I'm afraid I'm not really generally very much of a chamber-music fan, but besides the Borodins I can recommend -

String Quartets and Sextet (Souvenir de Florence) played by the (augmented)  Endellion Quartet on an excellent (and very modestly priced) Brilliant Classics re-issue

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rdYsZg4IL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Brilliant Classics 93998

The Piano Trio is a harder call, but I think you might enjoy a fairly recent disc from DG -

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51LOX2KUVRL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Deutsche Grammophon 4778099

 ;D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2011, 08:20:47 AM
Do you have a recommendation for Tchaikovsky's chamber music, i.e. the Piano Trio and String Quartets?

The must for the a minor Trio IMO is Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer & Misha Maisky!

I have a Naxos disc with some of the quartets which I like just fine.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: DavidW on August 25, 2011, 08:27:36 AM
String Quartets and Sextet (Souvenir de Florence) played by the (augmented)  Endellion Quartet on an excellent (and very modestly priced) Brilliant Classics re-issue

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rdYsZg4IL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Brilliant Classics 93998

That's still on my to listen pile, can't wait!  Well I say that obviously I can since I already have. :D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 25, 2011, 08:33:52 AM
I immediately wish-listed that 'un.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Luke on August 25, 2011, 03:26:02 PM
The must for the a minor Trio IMO is Martha Argerich, Gidon Kremer & Misha Maisky!

I have a Naxos disc with some of the quartets which I like just fine.


The new Kremer on ECM is just superb, I have to say, a Tchaik Trio for the modern age, as the ECM press release implies. 'When Kremer and friends play the Trio for piano, violin and violoncello op. 50, composed in 1882, they wring the emotion from the music's Russian soul, and simultaneously convey the sense that the music is both modern and timeless. Kremer recorded the work live for another label some years ago, but he wanted to return to the music as an "elder statesman" and bring to it the knowledge and insights acquired along the way. The result is a landmark ECM album.'



It is a stunning sounding disc to boot (it is ECM after all, they are incapable of making a disc that sounds less than fabulous).

My favourite Tchaik Trio is the Suk Trio recording, but maybe I am beng sentimental, a it's also the one I've known longest. One great benefit of their reading is that it just seems to me to be perfectly judged, tempo-wise. The first movement, which must surely be one of the most melody-rich pieces of music ever written, gels so wondrously in this reading, instead of lurching in unconnected tempi somewhat as most other readings I know do.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on August 25, 2011, 03:36:20 PM
Thanks to Karl Henning I can also chime in with a 5-star recommendation, or even an 11 out of 10, for this DGG CD!

And I am known for not liking chamber music all that much!  The Tchaikovsky Trio I had never heard, although some of the exceptions to my chamber music disinclination are in fact the Tchaikovsky String Quartets.

I wrote to Karl earlier that, c. 2 or 3 minutes into the Trio, I thought to myself: "This will prove to be an epic work."

And so it did!  In the same way that Beethoven's Opus 111 is epic, so is this work.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Gurn Blanston on August 25, 2011, 03:43:37 PM
Karl, I know you are (justifiably) an Argerich fan, but I have to throw this hat into the ring too. The Vienna Piano Trio, which includes a superb and (seemingly) rarely recorded Smetana work. This is a very nice disk!



8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kishnevi on August 25, 2011, 05:28:29 PM
I have the Lang/Repim/Maisky and this one, which I prefer.  The main negative is that it's the only work on the CD--nothing coupled with it.


The Argerich is apparently in the one Argerich box set I don't (yet) have.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 26, 2011, 02:42:34 AM
The new Kremer on ECM is just superb, I have to say, a Tchaik Trio for the modern age, as the ECM press release implies. 'When Kremer and friends play the Trio for piano, violin and violoncello op. 50, composed in 1882, they wring the emotion from the music's Russian soul, and simultaneously convey the sense that the music is both modern and timeless. Kremer recorded the work live for another label some years ago, but he wanted to return to the music as an "elder statesman" and bring to it the knowledge and insights acquired along the way. The result is a landmark ECM album.'
 (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B004OB4SU4.01.L.jpg)

It is a stunning sounding disc to boot (it is ECM after all, they are incapable of making a disc that sounds less than fabulous).

My favourite Tchaik Trio is the Suk Trio recording, but maybe I am beng sentimental, a it's also the one I've known longest. One great benefit of their reading is that it just seems to me to be perfectly judged, tempo-wise. The first movement, which must surely be one of the most melody-rich pieces of music ever written, gels so wondrously in this reading, instead of lurching in unconnected tempi somewhat as most other readings I know do.

You and Alan both, Luke: When either of you posts, my bank balance is in peril ; )
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: karlhenning on August 26, 2011, 03:21:33 AM
Karl, I know you are (justifiably) an Argerich fan, but I have to throw this hat into the ring too. The Vienna Piano Trio, which includes a superb and (seemingly) rarely recorded Smetana work. This is a very nice disk!



8)

Thanks for the suggestion, Gurn!

I have the Lang/Repim/Maisky and this one [Bronfman/Shaham/Mørk], which I prefer.

No doubt to my mind that Repin and Maisky are fit for the piece.  It's the pianist there whom (I admit) I still demand that he earn my musical respect.

Shaham I have found rather mixed over the years; and I wonder if he would have the resources for this piece . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 17, 2011, 09:41:36 AM
The Wikipedia article on the a minor Trio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Trio_(Tchaikovsky)) is quite interesting.

Quote from: Wiki Wiki
[Tchaikovsky] put the finishing touches to the Trio by 9 February (the score is annotated "Rome 28 January-9 February 1882"), and sent it to his publishers on 11 February, asking that Sergei Taneyev appear as piano soloist at the first performance. Taneyev, the cellist Wilhelm Fitzenhagen and the violinist Jan Hřímalý were given access to the score, and they made a number of suggestions for improvement, which Tchaikovsky accepted.

There was a private performance at the Moscow Conservatory on 23 March, the first anniversary of Nikolai Rubinstein's death, with the above-named soloists, but Tchaikovsky was still in Italy at the time. He returned to Russia in April and heard the Trio for the first time, at another private performance, after which he made further changes. These included inserting a break before the Andante coda and substantially rewriting the piano part of the Finale. Taneyev also rewrote Variation VIII himself, a change that Tchaikovsky approved.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 12, 2011, 04:59:30 AM
The economics behind The Nutcracker are no fairy tale (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/value-added-the-economics-behind-the-nutcracker-are-no-fairy-tale/2011/12/08/gIQATNX0nO_story.html)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 11, 2012, 05:57:00 AM
So, the songs (more properly, романсы) . . . where do we go for a good complete set? Recommendations, please!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 11, 2012, 06:22:48 AM
So, the songs (more properly, романсы) . . . where do we go for a good complete set? Recommendations, please!
Tough question. For a male voice there is Christoff, who I like. But here you need to get the the set of discs that includes much more and not sure if it is available (and if available, at a reasonable price). For a more modern version, Hvorestovsky is always an option. I don't really like him, but he can sing with the best of them with that voice (and he has a disc of Tchaikovsky, though not sure if complete).

For women, there is a disc on Hyperion. I know I listened to the excerpts, but never got the disc. Don't remember why. But I did get the disc with Olga Borodina, whose voice I just love in this music. This is the best I have heard so far (good sonics, singing, balance between voice and piano, etc). But there is a relatively new version on Onyx with Christianne Stotijn, that has reviewed well. The concern I might have here is diction, whereas this is not an issue with Borodina.

I usually shy away from the Melodiya archives, for sonics and style reasons, but I bet they have some good ones. Whether available or not, a whole different question.

Hope that helps. Not easy to screw these songs up though. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 11, 2012, 06:28:55 AM
Thanks! Agreed that Мелодия is a little too apt to be a little too dodgy (it was a Мелодия recording which put me off Prokofiev's Le pas d'acier for a looooong time).

Delos did such good service with the voice-&-pf works of Prokofiev and Shostakovich . . . hmmm . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 11, 2012, 07:38:46 AM
Thanks! Agreed that Мелодия is a little too apt to be a little too dodgy (it was a Мелодия recording which put me off Prokofiev's Le pas d'acier for a looooong time).

Delos did such good service with the voice-&-pf works of Prokofiev and Shostakovich . . . hmmm . . . .

They (Delos) have the most songs (24) vs 19 (Borodina), 20 (Stotijn), 21 (Rodgers on Hyperion) and 18 (Christoff). So this seems to be the 'most complete'.

EDIT: There appear to be two attemps at complete song cycles - one on Conifer and one on Naxos. Have not heard either.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: sheffmark on April 11, 2012, 06:49:22 AM

Tchaikovky's Swan Lake Suite is beautiful in my opinion but did he ever compose a more beautiful piece of music?
If so, what are the nominations?
I only know Swan Lake, Nutcracker Suite & Sleeping Beauty suite so any input would be welcomed!
Thanks! :D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: springrite on April 11, 2012, 06:53:02 AM
Tchaikovky's Swan Lake Suite is beautiful in my opinion but did he ever compose a more beautiful piece of music?
If so, what are the nominations?
I only know Swan Lake, Nutcracker Suite & Sleeping Beauty suite so any input would be welcomed!
Thanks! :D

Since you love those works, then Serenade from Strings should be right up your alley as well. You can probably along part of it ("Oh that's where that melody came from!).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: North Star on April 11, 2012, 06:54:16 AM
The Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, Symphonies 4,5 & 6, Piano Concerto no. 1, and the Violin Concerto are all great pieces.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 11, 2012, 06:55:33 AM
Tchaikovky's Swan Lake Suite is beautiful in my opinion but did he ever compose a more beautiful piece of music?
If so, what are the nominations?
I only know Swan Lake, Nutcracker Suite & Sleeping Beauty suite so any input would be welcomed!
Thanks! :D

Tchaikovsky certainly composed many many many beautiful pieces, Mark. The 6th symphony is a personal favourite of mine, and a very powerful, beautiful piece. Tchaikovsky was surely one of the most inspired melodists too, and the beauty can be heard in the melodies from the middle section of 'Francesca da Rimini', or the love theme from 'Romeo and Juliet'. Just two examples! Tchaikovsky composed so so many great pieces, definitely a favourite composer of mine!

And you are certainly right in saying that the ballets are beautiful too!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: sheffmark on April 11, 2012, 07:09:52 AM

Thank-you springrite,North Star and madaboutmahler!
Plenty of suggestions there to get my teeth into!
I'll certainly check out all of the suggestions and i'll let you know how much i liked them!
Thanks all! :D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 11, 2012, 07:11:17 AM
I was going to say, practically every note that Tchaikovsky wrote is beautiful . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 11, 2012, 07:13:25 AM
Thank-you springrite,North Star and madaboutmahler!
Plenty of suggestions there to get my teeth into!
I'll certainly check out all of the suggestions and i'll let you know how much i liked them!
Thanks all! :D

A pleasure, Mark! I hope you enjoy it all. Well, I'm sure you will, it is rather impossible not to enjoy Tchaikovsky.

:)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: sheffmark on April 11, 2012, 07:21:05 AM
I was going to say, practically every note that Tchaikovsky wrote is beautiful . . . .
You may be right!! :D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: sheffmark on April 11, 2012, 07:22:21 AM
A pleasure, Mark! I hope you enjoy it all. Well, I'm sure you will, it is rather impossible not to enjoy Tchaikovsky.

:)
Thank-you madaboutmahler ! ;)
I'm sure i will ;)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Lisztianwagner on April 11, 2012, 07:23:03 AM
The ballets are definitely outstanding, but they are not the only masterpieces Tchaikovsky composed. All his music is pervaded by deep, intense beauty, a natural elegance and a sublime harmony, but at the same time it is very passionate and powerful too, absolutely impressive. In his compositions, the orchestration is superb, very colourful, with an extraordinary timbric sensibility and the expressive possibilites of the instruments wonderfully used. ;D
The symphonies (especially the 4th and the 6th) are absolutely amazing, and so are the Piano Concerto No.1, Capriccio Italien, Ouverture 1812, Marche Slave and Romeo and Juliet.
No need to say that Karajan's recordings are the best ever made! ;D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: sheffmark on April 11, 2012, 12:18:48 PM

No need to say that Karajan's recordings are the best ever made! ;D
Thanks Lisztianwagner! :)
It's Karajan's recordings of Swan Lake that i have!!
Needless to say, it's fantastic! ;)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: eyeresist on April 11, 2012, 04:39:23 PM
The ballets are definitely outstanding, but they are not the only masterpieces Tchaikovsky composed.

Tchaikovsky's four orchestral Suites are also excellent, curiously missing from most symphonic cycles (just like Brahms's two Serenades).
 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: starrynight on April 11, 2012, 04:46:22 PM
I agree on the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, to that we can add the 1812 Overture and March Slav.  Of the later symphonies the 5th might be the most immediately likeable, but let's not forget the 3rd which is underrated and has some great melodies.  And of course the 1st Piano Concerto has great music.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on April 11, 2012, 08:49:29 PM
Tchaikovsky's four orchestral Suites are also excellent, curiously missing from most symphonic cycles (just like Brahms's two Serenades).
 
I agree. Wonderful pieces those suites. One must also not forget the 2nd and 3rd piano concertos, which get little attention, but are very beautiful works.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Lisztianwagner on April 12, 2012, 01:55:20 AM
Tchaikovsky's four orchestral Suites are also excellent, curiously missing from most symphonic cycles (just like Brahms's two Serenades).

Absolutely; also the rest the Piano Concertos, the Violin Concerto, Evgenij Onegin and Variations on a Rococo Theme.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: madaboutmahler on April 12, 2012, 01:58:00 AM
One must also not forget the 2nd and 3rd piano concertos, which get little attention, but are very beautiful works.

+1

I remember a broadcast on televison in which Hough was performing the 3rd, and I was very impressed. It's a great work! :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 17, 2012, 08:25:59 AM
I've always thought that Brahms was more about creating this certain type of heavy atmosphere that is uniquely his own. This is probably why some people might find him boring- or, in the case of Tchaikovsky, (so I heard) being annoyed that he isn't more directly melodic.

Tchaikovsky should have studied Brahms closer, since its obvious that some of the things Brahms excelled at over anything else (form, development, counterpoint etc.) was precisely where Tchaikovsky was at his most incompetent. Tchaikosvky seemed to believe music could be all inspiration, and that actually studying form and technique was a waste of time, or worse yet, an hindrance. Apparently he used Schubert as a model, forgetting perhaps that Schubert himself was very unhappy about the poverty of some aspects of his craft and tried his best to improve on his shortcomings during his later years, even going as far as taking counterpoint lessons during the time he was composing his masses. I guess Tchaikosvky never got the memo.

In fact, i think it was Brahms himself who said that inspiration without craft was like a leaf shaken by the wind. A perfect description of Tchaikosvky.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 17, 2012, 03:42:47 PM
Tchaikovsky should have studied Brahms closer, since its obvious that some of the things Brahms excelled at over anything else (form, development, counterpoint etc.) was precisely where Tchaikovsky was at his most incompetent. Tchaikosvky seemed to believe music could be all inspiration, and that actually studying form and technique was a waste of time, or worse yet, an hindrance. Apparently he used Schubert as a model, forgetting perhaps that Schubert himself was very unhappy about the poverty of some aspects of his craft and tried his best to improve on his shortcomings during his later years, even going as far as taking counterpoint lessons during the time he was composing his masses. I guess Tchaikosvky never got the memo.

In fact, i think it was Brahms himself who said that inspiration without craft was like a leaf shaken by the wind. A perfect description of Tchaikosvky.

You can sound as snooty and smug as you like, but the fact is (not for the first time) you haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about. Tchaikovsky in fact had the best musical education of any of his Russian contemporaries, and while he lacked the emotional depth and harmonic originality of Mussorgsky, his work was typically well crafted and expertly orchestrated. Any comparison of his ballet scores with those of composers for the dance like Adam and Drigo will show the far greater inventiveness and polish of Tchaikovsky’s work, and if you want proof that he could compose in a disciplined classic idiom, you have only to look for the exquisitely crafted Overture Miniature from The Nutcracker, or on a larger scale the Romeo and Juliet Overture.

As for Tchaikovsky’s major symphonic works, no less than Sir Donald Tovey, as rigorous a musical analyst as ever was, maintained of the Pathétique Symphony that “Nowhere else has he concentrated so great a variety of music within so effective a scheme; and the slow finale . . . . is a stroke of genius which solves all the artistic problems that have proved most baffling to symphonic writers since Beethoven. . . . Its most celebrated features are thrown into their right relief by developments far more powerful, terse, and highly organized than Tchaikovsky has achieved in any other work.” I point out only one of these developments from the first movement, the lengthy passage on an F# pedal that leads to the restatement of the second subject, where Tchaikovsky achieves an extraordinarily powerful climax using descending scale figures (one of the primary motifs of the symphony). Even Mahler, despite his pejorative comments on this symphony, used it as the formal model for his own Ninth.

I suggest that your comments on Tchaikovsky have as much merit as the asinine remarks one other poster here made claiming Chopin wrote nothing other than pretty salon music. His comments were inaccurate, and so are yours.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 17, 2012, 06:07:14 PM
You can sound as snooty and smug as you like, but the fact is (not for the first time) you haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about. Tchaikovsky in fact had the best musical education of any of his Russian contemporaries, and while he lacked the emotional depth and harmonic originality of Mussorgsky, his work was typically well crafted and expertly orchestrated. Any comparison of his ballet scores with those of composers for the dance like Adam and Drigo will show the far greater inventiveness and polish of Tchaikovsky’s work, and if you want proof that he could compose in a disciplined classic idiom, you have only to look for the exquisitely crafted Overture Miniature from The Nutcracker, or on a larger scale the Romeo and Juliet Overture.

As for Tchaikovsky’s major symphonic works, no less than Sir Donald Tovey, as rigorous a musical analyst as ever was, maintained of the Pathétique Symphony that “Nowhere else has he concentrated so great a variety of music within so effective a scheme; and the slow finale . . . . is a stroke of genius which solves all the artistic problems that have proved most baffling to symphonic writers since Beethoven. . . . Its most celebrated features are thrown into their right relief by developments far more powerful, terse, and highly organized than Tchaikovsky has achieved in any other work.” I point out only one of these developments from the first movement, the lengthy passage on an F# pedal that leads to the restatement of the second subject, where Tchaikovsky achieves an extraordinarily powerful climax using descending scale figures (one of the primary motifs of the symphony). Even Mahler, despite his pejorative comments on this symphony, used it as the formal model for his own Ninth.

I suggest that your comments on Tchaikovsky have as much merit as the asinine remarks one other poster here made claiming Chopin wrote nothing other than pretty salon music. His comments were inaccurate, and so are yours.

I think its pretty significant that you chose the Pathetique symphony for your rebuttal, which is actually an acquittal on your part, since it was the only symphony where Tchaikovsky himself felt he had gotten the form and development right, after thirty years of trying, no less (and let's not forget he still had trouble with form a mere few years before he wrote the Pathetique. Consider the Souvenir de Florence Sextet).

You'll also find no argument from me regarding his mastery of orchestral miniatures, which does not in any way rebuke my claim and in fact substantiates it.

The rest of your post is a mixture of petty appeals to authority that prove nothing in themselves, a few unsubstantiated claims (whatever musical education Tchaikovsky may or may not have received has no relation whatsoever to what he actually learned), and a couple of big assumptions (that his admittedly great skill in orchestration was the result of rigorous study, rather then mere musical instinct. Wagner too was able to orchestrate music to a high degree of sophistication, and i'm not sure i recall any particular indication to rigorous musical study when i read his biography, at any point in his career).

I'm also not exactly sure why you felt the need to mention Mussorgsky, whom i feel ranks far below Tchaikovsky in terms of genius.

Finally, you also conveniently ignored the one piece of damning evidence, the fact Tchaikovsky couldn't really understand Brahms and didn't like his music.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 17, 2012, 06:26:08 PM
Even Mahler, despite his pejorative comments on this symphony, used it as the formal model for his own Ninth.

Maybe he meant to show Tchaikovsky how to do it right. Do you have a direct quotation on what he actually said about the symphony? I always find it interesting when a composer takes the time to speak about the music of another, for good or for hill.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 17, 2012, 06:31:59 PM
"You'll also find no argument from me regarding his mastery of orchestral miniatures, which does not in any way rebuke my claim and in fact substantiates it. "

Oh, bullshit. You said Tchaikovsky was incompetent. There was not one iota of an implication in your post abpve that Tchaikovsky possessed mastery or genius of any sort, quite the contrary. Now you're backsliding.

You in fact accused Tchaikovsky of possessing "inspiration but not craft." There is craft required to produce masterful miniatures, and not all composers are equally successful in both short and long forms.

"The rest of your post is a mixture of petty appeals to authority that prove nothing in themselves, a few unsubstantiated claims (whatever musical education Tchaikovsky may or may not have received has no relation whatsoever to what he actually learned), and a couple of big assumptions (that his admittedly great skill in orchestration was the result of rigorous study, rather then mere musical instinct."

Nothing petty in the slightest. I quoted a respected musical analyst, who made a statement you have not been able to refute. As for assumptions, your original statement contains such vague and unsupported assumptions as "Tchaikosvky seemed to believe music could be all inspiration, and that actually studying form and technique was a waste of time, or worse yet, an hindrance. Apparently he used Schubert as a model." Etc. In fact Tchaikovsky's greatest musical god was Mozart.

Orchestration is one of the primary requirements of a composer's craft, and it is not a matter of mere instinct. Ever. Stop calling the kettle black. Every single claim of yours is unsubstantiated. I don't have the time or patience to write a 100-page monograph detailing each of my points.

"I'm also not exactly sure why you felt the need to mention Mussorgsky, whom i feel ranks far below Tchaikovsky in terms of genius."

The personal pronoun in the English language is always capitalized. No exceptions. Ever. Show some respect for your adopted language.

"Finally, you also conveniently ignored the one piece of damning evidence, the fact Tchaikovsky couldn't really understand Brahms and didn't like his music."

The issue you raised was Tchaikovsky's incompetence. One composer's dislike for another has nothing to do with the case.
[/quote]
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 17, 2012, 06:33:44 PM
Maybe he meant to show Tchaikovsky how to do it right. Do you have a direct quotation on what he actually said about the symphony? I always find it interesting when a composer takes the time to speak about the music of another, for good or for hill.

Ever heard of Google?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 17, 2012, 07:01:19 PM
Oh, bullshit. You said Tchaikovsky was incompetent.

Yes, in terms of form, development and complexity, which was the context we were discussing. I'm not sure the Nut Cracker miniatures are ever going to be held in high esteem for their use of complex forms or tortuous development schemes of the kind that actually seemed to confuse Tchaikovsky, but they are quite nice for what they are, perhaps even great. They surely played on one of Tchaikovsky's greatest gifts, his ability to write memorable melodies.

There was not one iota of an implication in your post abpve that Tchaikovsky possessed mastery or genius of any sort, quite the contrary. Now you're backsliding.

I'm not backsliding, you just failed to understand my argument. Which is quite amusing considering you are the one accusing me of not knowing what i'm actually talking about. Tchaikovsky was obviously a quite profound artist despite his various shortcomings. We are not exactly talking about Strauss Jr. here, to mention another composer with great melodic gifts. 

Orchestration is one of the primary requirements of a composer's craft, and it is not a matter of mere instinct. Ever.

You think instinct doesn't play a part here? This is music we are talking about, remember? Tchaikovsky's orchestration is most definitely of an instinctive type. Its not particularly complex nor does it serves any formal or developmental requirement, like it does with Mahler. Its just very, very nice.

The issue you raised was Tchaikovsky's incompetence. One composer's dislike for another has nothing to do with the case.

To the contrary, the dislike Tchaikovsky felt for Brahms denotes an inability to understand the most cerebral aspects of the latter's music, a fact which is further demonstrated by the lack of said cerebral elements in Tchaikovky's own music. This is, once again, the root of this entire argument.

Now if we want to talk about another Russian composer who was sort of an antithesis to Tchaikovsky, it would have to be Taneyev. Notice though that i wouldn't exactly consider the latter superior to the first, since Taneyev was, from his part, completely lacking in the things that made Tchaikovsky great.
Brahms however had no such shortcoming, which is why i would rank him above either Russian composers.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 17, 2012, 07:09:51 PM
I'm not backsliding, you just failed to understand my argument. Which is quite amusing considering you are the one accusing me of not knowing what i'm actually talking about. Tchaikovsky was obviously a quite profound artist despite his various shortcomings.

None of this was either implied or stated in your original post.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 17, 2012, 07:12:09 PM
Neither was it implied or stated that Tchaikovsky was a lousy all around composer. I mean you'd have to be tone deaf not to be at least impressed by the ease in which he was able to churn out melodies and tunes, however saccharine they may sometimes have been. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 18, 2012, 01:28:30 AM
Neither was it implied or stated that Tchaikovsky was a lousy all around composer. I mean you'd have to be tone deaf not to be at least impressed by the ease in which he was able to churn out melodies and tunes, however saccharine they may sometimes have been.

Nonsense. Every single word of your original comment was derogatory. Read yourself again:

Quote
Tchaikovsky should have studied Brahms closer, since its obvious that some of the things Brahms excelled at over anything else (form, development, counterpoint etc.) was precisely where Tchaikovsky was at his most incompetent. Tchaikosvky seemed to believe music could be all inspiration, and that actually studying form and technique was a waste of time, or worse yet, an hindrance. Apparently he used Schubert as a model, forgetting perhaps that Schubert himself was very unhappy about the poverty of some aspects of his craft and tried his best to improve on his shortcomings during his later years, even going as far as taking counterpoint lessons during the time he was composing his masses. I guess Tchaikosvky never got the memo.

In fact, i think it was Brahms himself who said that inspiration without craft was like a leaf shaken by the wind. A perfect description of Tchaikosvky.

Every qualification you issued later on was in response to my having challenged these facile ex cathedra pronouncements. You make an entirely artificial distinction between inspiration and craft, and fail to acknowledge any of Tchaikovsky's successes in crafting even the smaller structures you later (i.e., in subsequent posts) concede. That's what's known as backsliding. And then you pretend the problem was my having not understood your argument.

I don't know why I even bother with you.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 18, 2012, 02:00:31 AM
Nor do I suppose that many a Brahms tune is particularly less "saccharine."
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 18, 2012, 02:14:57 AM
Nor do I suppose that many a Brahms tune is particularly less "saccharine."

Nothing saccharine about those Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 18, 2012, 02:30:36 AM
Nor do I suppose that many a Brahms tune is particularly less "saccharine."

Brahms is the very antithetis of even the most relative definition of "saccharine".
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 18, 2012, 02:46:14 AM
Brahms is the very antithetis of even the most relative definition of "saccharine".

You can aid intelligent discussion of the matter by telling us three or so specific melodies of Tchaikovsky's which are "saccharine."

We can then determine whether this is some trait which inheres to the notes, or if it be a matter of intemperate interpretation.

Meanwhile, Sfz's point stands.  When you type stuff like precisely where Tchaikovsky was at his most incompetent, and then seek to pretend that Neither was it implied or stated that Tchaikovsky was a lousy all around composer, well, a good chuckle on a Wednesday morning is always welcome.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 18, 2012, 03:02:33 AM
Meanwhile, Sfz's point stands.  When you type stuff like precisely where Tchaikovsky was at his most incompetent, and then seek to pretend that Neither was it implied or stated that Tchaikovsky was a lousy all around composer, well, a good chuckle on a Wednesday morning is always welcome.[/font]

For somebody who prides himself in his mastery of the English language, i find it amusing that you would find the meaning of that phrase confusing. The fact form or development is where he was at his most incompetent does not imply he was equally incompetent in other things. It takes a rather steep leap of logic to make that assumption.

Obviously, there's nothing confusing about what i said. The problem is that my stubborn refusal to submit to this braindead relativism that pervades modern thinking has a tendency to push buttons around here. A logical and objective discussion about the merits or demerits of a composer is completely impossible and wholly besides the point among a crowd of people who thinks every impression is a subjective impression and that all truth is thus relative and transitory.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 18, 2012, 03:33:28 AM
For somebody who prides himself in his mastery of the English language, i find it amusing that you would find the meaning of that phrase confusing. The fact form or development is where he was at his most incompetent does not imply he was equally incompetent in other things.

I contest the charge of incompetence, entirely.  Incompetence is something we see in (for instance) your use of the English language, but never (in the music I know) in the compositions of Tchaikovsky.

Perhaps, when you are compiling your list of saccharine melodies, you can do us the favor of indicating some signal incompetencies in the music of Tchaikovsky? There's a good fellow.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 18, 2012, 04:54:50 AM
I contest the charge of incompetence, entirely.

Hardly the point here. The issue is that you are contesting my very ability to make such an evaluation and my right to voice it. Hence my charge of relativism. Its not the nature of my evaluation that bothers you, but the very fact i'm claiming such an evaluation is at all possible to make. This is where all the feigned indignation, thinly veiled sarcasm and emotionally charged ad hominem comes from. You have never bothered to argue against my claim logically, and never intended to, so your contestation here is entirely dishonest.

Perhaps, when you are compiling your list of saccharine melodies

You can't go more then a few minutes in a given composition by Tchaikovsky without encountering something overly pretty or saccharine. So your challenge is pretty pointless. What i would find interesting would be to see you attempt to demonstrate how the melodies of Brahms are just as saccharine as those of Tchaikovsky, but i already know the root of your argument would be to claim that the definition of what is and what is not saccharine in music is purely subjective, so we wouldn't exactly be getting anywhere.

you can do us the favor of indicating some signal incompetencies in the music of Tchaikovsky?

I already did. In fact, it is pretty much the premise of this entire argument. Tchaikovsky was at his most incompetent when it came to form and development. Most of his large scale pieces almost sound childish in this respect. Considering how often he has been subject to this type of criticism, i think its safe to say it is not me who is displaying ignorance, but it is you who is refusing to acknowledge the obvious, since acknowledging the obvious would be an admission there are in fact objective standards by which it is possible to evaluate art, or anything for that matter.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on April 18, 2012, 07:01:40 AM
Hardly the point here. The issue is that you are contesting my very ability to make such an evaluation and my right to voice it. Hence my charge of relativism. Its not the nature of my evaluation that bothers you, but the very fact I'm claiming such an evaluation is at all possible to make. This is where all the feigned indignation, thinly veiled sarcasm and emotionally charged ad hominem comes from. You have never bothered to argue against my claim logically, and never intended to, so your contestation here is entirely dishonest.

No one was contesting your right to do anything, or even your ability. What was being contested was the broad brush you applied to a composer whom many of us believe deserves better. And for the record, I (not i) most certainly agree that a number of T's large works have structural issues - Francesca da Rimini, the 4th symphony, the violin concerto among them. But the fact that you originally omitted mention of a genuine success like the 6th Symphony makes your sweeping generalization suspect, and there's nothing formally incompetent about the early Romeo and Juliet Overture. Granted, the 6th may well be the most unequivocally successful among T's larger absolute works. But it was also the work of a composer who died shortly thereafter at a relatively young age (53), who was still growing musically, and who may have achieved far greater successes had he survived. I will also point to an opera as powerful as Pique-Dame, which has nothing in the least saccharine about it.

If Tchaikovsky was not interested in Brahms, it may well be because he was striving for an entirely different use of the musical language.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Lethevich on April 18, 2012, 08:59:48 AM
Finally, you also conveniently ignored the one piece of damning evidence, the fact Tchaikovsky couldn't really understand Brahms and didn't like his music.

Wasn't the reverse also true? Brahms also criticised Rubinstein for a lack of "care" taken over his music, and yet still admired the music as far as I can tell. The fact that he preferred Rubinstein to Tchaikovsky does not speak perfectly to his judgement.

A while back I heard a recital of a Tchaikovsky quartet performed after ones by Haydn and Schubert. It was startling how different the work sounded to what came before - clumsy in comparison. But the closer I concentrated, I found myself unable to work out exactly why I felt this on a technical level. I could not discern any flaws in how the music unfolded, it just seemed to be operating with different goals in mind. Tchaikovsky's criticised "transition problems" in this case were contrary to my expectations, but not neccessarily any worse in the end.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kishnevi on April 18, 2012, 09:27:52 AM
You can aid intelligent discussion of the matter by telling us three or so specific melodies of Tchaikovsky's which are "saccharine."

We can then determine whether this is some trait which inheres to the notes, or if it be a matter of intemperate interpretation.


I'll leave Josquin to stew his own juices....
But I went for most of my life thinking of Tchaikovsky as overly saccharine, especially the symphonies.  I would joke that some of his symphonies might induce diabetic comas. 
Then I got this, more or less on a whim.   Gustavito made me realize I has simply been listening to saccharine interpretations, not saccharine music:


although previous to that, I always thoroughly enjoyed this one (this is the cover I have), in which the Allergro con fuoco is played fuocissimo



But it is obviously easy to think of much of Tchaikovsky's output as sugary, if most of your experience of it is at the hands of the saccharine school of conducting.

And Modest stated after his brother's death that the composer told him that the Sixth was the symphony in which he finally figured out how to compose a symphony (or words to that effect).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: starrynight on April 18, 2012, 11:09:38 AM
I'm not sure you can say Tchaikovsky's orchestral music, arguably the strongest part of his work and what his reputation is based on, is saccharine.  Other areas like the chamber music might be more open to criticism but that wouldn't be different to many other composers of his time in that area perhaps.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Josquin des Prez on April 18, 2012, 12:46:25 PM
Wasn't the reverse also true? Brahms also criticised Rubinstein for a lack of "care" taken over his music, and yet still admired the music as far as I can tell. The fact that he preferred Rubinstein to Tchaikovsky does not speak perfectly to his judgement.

A while back I heard a recital of a Tchaikovsky quartet performed after ones by Haydn and Schubert. It was startling how different the work sounded to what came before - clumsy in comparison. But the closer I concentrated, I found myself unable to work out exactly why I felt this on a technical level. I could not discern any flaws in how the music unfolded, it just seemed to be operating with different goals in mind. Tchaikovsky's criticised "transition problems" in this case were contrary to my expectations, but not neccessarily any worse in the end.

Precisely my reaction to his music. I think what Tchaikovsky tried to do is use a mere sequencing of melodic material as a substitute for actual formal development. This is why i argued that he was "all inspiration", because that's precisely what his music is.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Scion7 on April 18, 2012, 01:03:24 PM
If Tchaikovsky was not interested in Brahms, it may well be because he was striving for an entirely different use of the musical language. - yeah, they pretty much thought each other's music was bad-tasting medicine.  The story of their spending an evening together in a mutual friend's house is amusing.  The gruff, classical-form Romantic Brahms and the dandy ultra-Romantic Tchaikovsky - but they were polite.  :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 19, 2012, 02:12:11 AM
You've forgotten the a minor Trio?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: eyeresist on April 19, 2012, 05:30:21 PM
Precisely my reaction to his music. I think what Tchaikovsky tried to do is use a mere sequencing of melodic material as a substitute for actual formal development. This is why i argued that he was "all inspiration", because that's precisely what his music is.

He could do variations, at least: see last movement of his Mozartiana suite, and the Rococo variations.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: eyeresist on April 20, 2012, 12:13:28 AM
I'm just listening to Markevitch conducting the 3rd symphony and wondering, has this music ever been recorded with a chamber orchestra, or even in HIP style?  I think it would work. Tchaikovsky might even sound better without the weight of late-romantic gigantism upon him.

Later...
There don't seem to be any chamber or HIP recordings. Now contemplating the cycles of Jansons, Jarvi, Pletnev and Marriner (OOP on Capriccio). These four are probably the most Mozartian, "Classical" sounding choices.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jwinter on July 27, 2012, 09:55:48 AM
Um... err.... uh....
 
http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/swan-lake-now-with-more-fellatio.html?tw_p=twt (http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/swan-lake-now-with-more-fellatio.html?tw_p=twt)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Est.1965 on July 27, 2012, 10:23:27 AM
If Tchaikovsky was not interested in Brahms, it may well be because he was striving for an entirely different use of the musical language. - yeah, they pretty much thought each other's music was bad-tasting medicine.  The story of their spending an evening together in a mutual friend's house is amusing.  The gruff, classical-form Romantic Brahms and the dandy ultra-Romantic Tchaikovsky - but they were polite.  :)

Polite indeed.  Brahms called Petr a 'talentless bastard.'  Like so many things Brahms was wrong in this.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 27, 2012, 10:26:15 AM
. . . Brahms called Petr a 'talentless bastard.'

I think you may have transposed the two composers there. Ilyich was wrong, too, though of course what one writes in a diary is one thing . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Est.1965 on July 27, 2012, 10:35:26 AM
I think you may have transposed the two composers there. Ilyich was wrong, too, though of course what one writes in a diary is one thing . . . .

Why, if I met Brahms on the street, I would burn his beard off.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Ca84ZJhAs_0/UBLtIvgZstI/AAAAAAAAADU/fItCXuXp0Z8/s511/Brahms-Johannes-19.jpg)
Brahms beard on fire yesterday.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 27, 2012, 10:38:46 AM
Don't be hatin' on the beard! Though naturally, Ilyich's facial hair was rather smarter.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Ataraxia on July 27, 2012, 10:40:17 AM
Tchaikovsky can kiss my Brahmsian butt.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 27, 2012, 10:44:08 AM
Steady on, fella.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Ataraxia on July 27, 2012, 10:44:32 AM
...If I were to choose. Heehee.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Lisztianwagner on July 27, 2012, 11:04:00 AM
The dislike was mutual, Tchaikovsky pronounced Brahms to be a 'mediocre composer'.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on July 27, 2012, 07:59:13 PM
Don't be hatin' on the beard! Though naturally, Ilyich's facial hair was rather smarter.

Are you serious? :o PT's facial hair takes a beating in some of those portraits. Yea, he looks pretty cool in some, but he seems to have scraggle problems on his sides, whereas Brahms' hair flows like a god's.

I always thought PT had that Michael Stipe-meets-Tom Hanks-Tragic look, very handsome, but, his personality takes away from his looks, whereas Brahms looks like he could be a dick but that would be ok,... basically because of the authoritarian beard. You can't mess with Brahms' beard now! 8)

Have we a Baddest Composer Facial Hair Thread?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Guido on August 31, 2012, 03:45:42 AM
Tchaikovsky in fact had the best musical education of any of his Russian contemporaries, and while he lacked the emotional depth and harmonic originality of Mussorgsky, his work was typically well crafted and expertly orchestrated.

While I agree with you on most points regarding Tchaikovsky's genius, I found this sentence took me aback. Would you care to elaborate a bit?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: eyeresist on September 05, 2012, 04:44:38 PM
Well, Muti's boxset arrived yesterday and so far it's pretty awesome. I think Karajan is probably next on my list, as I was surprised and impressed by samples of the early symphonies.

My question to the panel:

Does anyone know if Pappano is going to record 1-3? I'm very impressed by what I've heard so far, but if he's going to record the cycle I'll wait to buy the box.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on October 20, 2012, 06:01:12 AM
I am continuously amazed at the ability of finding a piece of classical music that once "did nothing for me", only months (or several years later!), in this specific example, to now make a remarkable impression and turn a once (meh, or blah piece) into a WOW, this is great piece!

For me, this has just occurred this week with one of Tchaikovsky's most famous pieces:  Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture.

I haven't been able to stop listening to this piece over the last week.   I almost literally used to detest this piece.  I've fallen in love with it now.

One reason is David Brown's biography on Tchaikovsky from 2007.  He talks a great deal about this piece, and describing it, and its various sections and motifs (ie. almost leitmotifs, a la Wagner).

It made an almost universally wide favourable impression, upon Tchaikovsky's revisions on all 5 of the "Mighty Handful" group of Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin.

And now it has also done the same with me.

PS - Just another reminder of how important it is to never, ever give up on a piece of music that you may not like.  It may take years, but eventually upon revisiting later one - can indeed make you change your tune on it.  :)

This means:  Perhaps someday I can the same turnaround impression with Francesca da Rimini (currently another ho-hummer for me), but I will revisit it.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: xochitl on October 20, 2012, 04:37:24 PM
tchaikovsky to me is like a friend you love above all others but sometimes just need to get away from until you crave him again
Title: Re: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 20, 2012, 06:30:16 PM
I am continuously amazed at the ability of finding a piece of classical music that once "did nothing for me", only months (or several years later!), in this specific example, to now make a remarkable impression and turn a once (meh, or blah piece) into a WOW, this is great piece!

For me, this has just occurred this week with one of Tchaikovsky's most famous pieces:  Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture.

I haven't been able to stop listening to this piece over the last week.   I almost literally used to detest this piece.  I've fallen in love with it now.

One reason is David Brown's biography on Tchaikovsky from 2007.  He talks a great deal about this piece, and describing it, and its various sections and motifs (ie. almost leitmotifs, a la Wagner).

It made an almost universally wide favourable impression, upon Tchaikovsky's revisions on all 5 of the "Mighty Handful" group of Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin.

And now it has also done the same with me.

PS - Just another reminder of how important it is to never, ever give up on a piece of music that you may not like.  It may take years, but eventually upon revisiting later one - can indeed make you change your tune on it.  :)

This means:  Perhaps someday I can the same turnaround impression with Francesca da Rimini (currently another ho-hummer for me), but I will revisit it.

Excellent, Ray!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on October 27, 2012, 06:17:48 AM
A piece that I particularly like, but hardly ever gets any mention, is Tchaikovsky's Festival Coronoation March.  (not the Danish one)

Not one of his major pieces.  For lovers of Tchaikovsky's music, your thoughts?  :)
Title: Full circle
Post by: 71 dB on February 02, 2013, 06:03:22 AM
When I got into classical music late 90's, Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings was one of the key works for me (I also liked Dvorak's Serenade for Strings). So, Naxoses 8.550404 and 8.550419 were among the first CDs in my classical music collection. Then Elgar happened and I pretty much put side many composers. I didn't really listen to Tchaikovsky for 10-15 years! Taneyev became my favorite Russian composer.

Couple of months ago I saw half an hour of The Sleeping Beauty ballet on TV. I was impressed by the music. This was the igniting spark for my current Tchaikovsky re-discovery. After some 15 years I listened to the Serenade for Strings & Souvenir de Florence disc (8.550404). It was a nostalgic experience. I also realised I have String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 (8.550847). It's funny how you forget what you have. I must have bought the String Quartets disc for Andante cantabile (in 2000 according to my book-keeping).

I feel I have come to a "full circle" with classical music and it's time to start round 2. I think I have explored "obscure" composers more than many well known composers. I have more music by Johann Rosenmüller than by Tchaikovsky.  ;D

Another thing is that I get back to my way of exploring, collecting and listening to classical music. I won't be a slave of internet discussion boards (GMG). I will do against recommendations if I feel like it. I am different from most people, so I must do things differently. I won't buy half a century old monophonic, noisy and distorted recordings that cost an arm and a leg just because someone here claims them to be THE BEST performances ever. No no, I will pick up the £0.01 + shipping Naxos and most probably will be satisfied with the performance and sound. If it happens to be a crappy Naxos then I might consider another performance. I find collecting Naxos enjoyable and fun. It is my thing. It's my way of being "silly". My way of expressing myself. It makes me feel good. Considering between 10 "great" performances only drives me nuts, so I will stop doing that!

Other labels are for composers/works Naxos ignores or plans to release 100 years from now...

I have ordered 8.555873-74 (Swan Lake) and 8.550519 (Rococo Variations etc.). The latter disc has also Kol Nidrei by Bruch which I find a great work. With the symphonies I will go with Naxos too, saccharine or not!  :P
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mszczuj on February 02, 2013, 06:35:52 AM
Have you got NAXOS Tchaikovsky Piano Trio? It is one of my absolutely favorite records.


Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 02, 2013, 06:36:32 AM
When I got into classical music late 90's, Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings was one of the key works for me (I also liked Dvorak's Serenade for Strings). So, Naxoses 8.550404 and 8.550419 were among the first CDs in my classical music collection. Then Elgar happened and I pretty much put side many composers. I didn't really listen to Tchaikovsky for 10-15 years! Taneyev became my favorite Russian composer.

Couple of months ago I saw half an hour of The Sleeping Beauty ballet on TV. I was impressed by the music. This was the igniting spark for my current Tchaikovsky re-discovery. After some 15 years I listened to the Serenade for Strings & Souvenir de Florence disc (8.550404). It was a nostalgic experience. I also realised I have String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 (8.550847). It's funny how you forget what you have. I must have bought the String Quartets disc for Andante cantabile (in 2000 according to my book-keeping).

I feel I have come to a "full circle" with classical music and it's time to start round 2. I think I have explored "obscure" composers more than many well known composers. I have more music by Johann Rosenmüller than by Tchaikovsky.  ;D

Another thing is that I get back to my way of exploring, collecting and listening to classical music. I won't be a slave of internet discussion boards (GMG). I will do against recommendations if I feel like it. I am different from most people, so I must do things differently. I won't buy half a century old monophonic, noisy and distorted recordings that cost an arm and a leg just because someone here claims them to be THE BEST performances ever. No no, I will pick up the £0.01 + shipping Naxos and most probably will be satisfied with the performance and sound. If it happens to be a crappy Naxos then I might consider another performance. I find collecting Naxos enjoyable and fun. It is my thing. It's my way of being "silly". My way of expressing myself. It makes me feel good. Considering between 10 "great" performances only drives me nuts, so I will stop doing that!

Other labels are for composers/works Naxos ignores or plans to release 100 years from now...

I have ordered 8.555873-74 (Swan Lake) and 8.550519 (Rococo Variations etc.). The latter disc has also Kol Nidrei by Bruch which I find a great work. With the symphonies I will go with Naxos too, saccharine or not!  :P
If you want really cheap (and totally reasonable performances), there is the Tchaikovsky 100 (Rise of the Masters) for $1.99 (mp3 download). For that price it is a steal as all (perhaps most?) are from BIS (certainly the symphonies anyway). It doesn't include the complete Swan Lake. I think you'd need to supplement with Sleeping Beauty as well, but it's got all the symphonies (including Manfred). You'd also have to supplement with Piano concerto 2&3. Trio is there. Violin Concerto too.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: 71 dB on February 02, 2013, 08:35:42 AM
Have you got NAXOS Tchaikovsky Piano Trio? It is one of my absolutely favorite records.



Not yet but I'm definitely considering it!

I'm listening to Symphony #1 (Karajan, mp3). Not too much sugar for my taste...
Title: Re: Full circle
Post by: Brian on February 02, 2013, 08:52:46 AM
So, Naxoses 8.550404 and 8.550419 were among the first CDs in my classical music collection.

Wow. Me too. In fact I believe that the CD with the Josef Suk serenade (550419?) was one of the two first CDs I ever purchased.
Title: Re: Full circle
Post by: 71 dB on February 02, 2013, 09:20:59 AM
Wow. Me too. In fact I believe that the CD with the Josef Suk serenade (550419?) was one of the two first CDs I ever purchased.

The Dvorak/Suk Serenades for Strings disc (8.550419) is very nice. In fact I don't think I have heard any work by Dvorak which I like as much as his Serenade for Strings. Other early Naxos discs in my collection were Sibelius' Symphonies 2 & 7 (8.550198), Piano Concertos by Chopin (8.550123) and 2nd Piano Concerto by Rachmaninov (8.550117).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Leo K. on February 02, 2013, 11:08:51 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416daZIKBGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Some time ago I really thought I was done with Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto, until I returned to the Horowitz/Toscanini, a studio recording from 1941.  :o  It is absolutely stunning. It is not only a return to an old favorite work, but also an old recording that I have not heard in over twenty years.

 8)





Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Octave on March 26, 2013, 06:03:59 PM
I'm sorry if this has been much discussed, but a little forum-trawling didn't turn up much discussion of the mammoth Brilliant Classics Tchaikovsky Edition (60cd).  Virtually the only thing in it that I'm already keen to hear is the Ansermet ballets, but many of the other performances look interesting.  I ask because Amazon UK is selling the box for ~14 pounds.  I still don't want to impulse-buy the thing if it will become nothing but a doorstop.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on March 26, 2013, 06:26:31 PM
I'm sorry if this has been much discussed, but a little forum-trawling didn't turn up much discussion of the mammoth Brilliant Classics Tchaikovsky Edition (60cd).  Virtually the only thing in it that I'm already keen to hear is the Ansermet ballets, but many of the other performances look interesting.  I ask because Amazon UK is selling the box for ~14 pounds.  I still don't want to impulse-buy the thing if it will become nothing but a doorstop.
Depends on what you already have, but you can't buy the Ansermet ballets separately for even this low amount. Do you have any of his piano music? Ponti is not my first choice, but would at least introduce you to it. I'm not a huge fan of the LSO/Rozhdestvensky 4-6, but the others might be ok. I imagine the Suites by Marriner are at least decent and these are works well worth hearing. I can't imagine Janis as anything less than acceptable and probably wonderful. Endellion I have and they are good. I believe most of those operas are older recordings, so sound may be an issue, but to be honest, they also look quite interesting (and should sound authentic based on the perfomers I see). FOr that price, if you like 5 discs, it's a win.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: jlaurson on April 05, 2013, 07:00:56 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416daZIKBGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

 8)

HA! That picture looks like Toscanini is corralling poor Horowitz: "Eh, whattabaouta 'dis 'I-ah-don't-ah-know-a' business. You WILL-a marry my daughter, frocio!"
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on May 05, 2013, 10:19:26 AM
Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony was on the radio today, but I only heard part of it.

I first experienced the work via a 1950's RCA mono recording with Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

That remains one of the greatest performances of the work I have ever heard, despite the monaural sound.

(http://www.webstore.com/cache/cache_500_1_1_img_14310821_1d3a79dec054303e20808995249f4771jpg.gif)

Everything about it was "more than perfect," if one might use such a phrase.

Seemingly, that performance is not available right now.  This one might be similar:

http://www.amazon.com/Koussevitsky-Conducts-Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Performances/dp/B0029LL76O/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1367780560&sr=1-1&keywords=tchaikovsky+symphony+5+%2B+koussevitzky (http://www.amazon.com/Koussevitsky-Conducts-Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Performances/dp/B0029LL76O/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1367780560&sr=1-1&keywords=tchaikovsky+symphony+5+%2B+koussevitzky)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on May 11, 2013, 03:20:13 AM
Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony was on the radio today, but I only heard part of it.

I first experienced the work via a 1950's RCA mono recording with Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

That remains one of the greatest performances of the work I have ever heard, despite the monaural sound.

(http://www.webstore.com/cache/cache_500_1_1_img_14310821_1d3a79dec054303e20808995249f4771jpg.gif)

Everything about it was "more than perfect," if one might use such a phrase.

Seemingly, that performance is not available right now.  This one might be similar:

http://www.amazon.com/Koussevitsky-Conducts-Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Performances/dp/B0029LL76O/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1367780560&sr=1-1&keywords=tchaikovsky+symphony+5+%2B+koussevitzky (http://www.amazon.com/Koussevitsky-Conducts-Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Performances/dp/B0029LL76O/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1367780560&sr=1-1&keywords=tchaikovsky+symphony+5+%2B+koussevitzky)
I have been collecting Tchaikovsky 5's for my listening project (cd's only), and I have the second one you listed, but have not really given it a solid listen yet. But are you sure about the 1950 date? So far, I have come across three recordings with Koussevitsky conducting - 1942 (NYPO), 1943 (BSO, the one you posted the link for), and 1944 (BSO, from BSO Live, green cover from Sessions of November 22, 1944). I cannot see the picture you posted (just get the 'x'). The Koussevitzky site only lists two recordings with the BSO (1943 and 1944). Could 1950 be the copyright date for the LP, but not the recording date? Very curious...
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 03, 2013, 09:15:00 AM
The reason I started this thread is this. Last night I helped out a friend of mine who owns a security guard company. Since I am 95% retired from the practice of criminal law in the inner-city courts of Boston, I did an overnight shift last night, and listened most of the night to my ipod with Tchaikovsky recordings on it as a separate playlist.

I had not had the opportunity before to listen to these works uninterrupted, in a leisurely way, with absolutely nothing to distract my attention from the music itself.

I had listened to it before, but last night I began to appreciate that composer more and more. Not because of any technical reason. I'm not experienced enough for that. Just the sound of his music, is what I liked, compared to many other composers.

Very nice, Dave! Often all it takes, is undivided attention.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 05, 2013, 06:36:12 AM
The recent re-airing of the canard that the Tchaikovsky symphonies are just pretty tunes set me both to revisiting the Opp. 64 & 74, and to listening to an orchestral Suite or two.  And this composer is impressed anew with how Tchaikovsky knew his business.  One could argue that that is the case with the Suites — that they are just pretty tunes (and let’s point out straight up that there is nothing wrong with that; or, more specifically, that in fact, rather than any compositional weakness, it takes great talent to write fabulous melodies, and Tchaikovsky’s melodic invention was an astonishingly deep gift).
 
It does not take a great ear to hear that a Tchaikovsky symphony works a bit differently to a Brahms symphony (e.g.); but it is IMO a vulgar intellect which pins that difference to a fallacious ‘evaluation’ that Tchaikovsky is therefore Brahms’s inferior.  And if a listener cannot perceive a difference in the level of musical argument between a Tchaikovsky symphony and a Suite, he ought to refrain from offering pronouncements on the question.
 
Okay, mini-rant over.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 05, 2013, 08:27:35 AM
Hah! Well, one doesn't like what one doesn't like.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 05, 2013, 08:28:56 AM
And to your credit, you didn't come in saying, Tchaikovsky isn't a patch on Koechlin . . . .
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 05, 2013, 08:53:42 AM
After reading over the discussion in the 5th Symphony thread, just this morning I again dusted off the work and began to listen to Ormandy leading the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra.

Unfortunately I didn't last more than a few minutes.

I can readily attest to the greatness of the music, but must admit that it is not my cup of tea.

Even if from a samovar.

 :)

It's all right, we can still be mates.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Tsaraslondon on December 10, 2013, 02:24:42 AM
Listening to Petrenko's masterly recording of Manfred Symphony leads me to think the work has been severely underrated. As a programme work, it is never going to have the cohesiveness of a normal symphony, but maybe that's it's problem. He should have just called it Manfred, then maybe it would have received as much respect as Berlioz's Harold en Italie.

I've actually been having something of a Tchaikovsky binge recently, and I'm really enjoying the wallow. The man had a store of melody second to none.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Eli on December 13, 2013, 10:48:49 AM
I've recently been trying to get into Tchaikovsky, that is for the past three years. I blame him for getting me interested down the dark road of Russian literature, after watching his opera Onegin, I decided to read the book. This opera has become one of my favorites since, the letter scene is incredibly moving, and the dancing tunes are so catchy. I particularly like the performance of Tatiana Monogarova (but not the scenery)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cibwQFbwEPs

The first piano concerto and violin concerto are works I find hard to dislike. I like the 1812 overture but I feel I have to blush after saying that. The Tempest fantasy overture is lovely and I haven't tired of the R+J overture, its beautiful, erotic music. But I've struggled with the symphonies, particularly the sixth. While in a fit of depression I managed to love the fourth. I listened to the fifth a few times and I found the ending such rubbish, it disappointed me and yet the next day I was humming the tune over and over and wondering what it was. I still don't understand what is so great about the sixth.

I'm listening to the recordings by Haitink, although I've been advised to ignore everything except Stokowski's recordings.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: North Star on December 13, 2013, 02:41:38 PM
Welcome to the forum, Eli!
Have you heard the Manfred Symphony, the ballets, the Piano Trio, or the String Sextet 'Souvenir du Florence'?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Eli on December 13, 2013, 06:22:43 PM
Thank you NS  :)

Out of all of those I have heard that sextet before, but not enough times to register it well in my head. I remember the 2nd movement I particularly liked. After skimming this forum, I'd like to listen to the piano trio next. I don't really understand ballet, but I do like some of the waltzes and dances, waltz of the flowers was one of the first pieces by Tchaikovsky I heard and loved.

I have not read Manfred, can one listen to and enjoy the music without knowing about the story which inspired it? The same goes with Francesca of Rimini. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: North Star on December 14, 2013, 01:31:07 AM
I have not read Manfred, can one listen to and enjoy the music without knowing about the story which inspired it? The same goes with Francesca of Rimini.
I haven't read them either, and haven't felt that it mattered at all.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Eli on December 23, 2013, 11:08:11 AM
If I am not in the right state of mind, the endings of the 4th, and particularly 5th symphony repulse me and sound like the end of some cheap ballet. I just finished hearing the 4th again, and after the awful fanfare returns it plunged me into such gloom that the happy ending sounds so gross.  :( >:( :(
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: madaboutmahler on December 24, 2013, 07:32:16 AM
All the ballets are just so brilliant - fantastic stuff! Previn's set is so excellent also. :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on December 24, 2013, 03:51:35 PM
DBM for this evening, my favourite performance of this holiday treat!  :)

Tchaikovsky

The Nutcracker, Op. 71


Gergiev
Kirov Orchestra
Philips



The only thing that beats this, for me, is to see the annual Royal Winnipeg Ballet production, paired up with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.  Not going this year, so this will have to do.  :D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Fafner on January 06, 2014, 12:29:28 PM
I love it when audiences applaud at the false finale of the "Pathetique". It is so briliantly written! A prime example of trolling in classical music.  ;D
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Eli on January 20, 2014, 07:24:50 PM
Увы! Сомненья нет, влюблен я; Влюблен, как мальчик, полный страсти юной!

The middle section of the 2nd movement of the 4th symphony is absolutely gorgeous. It's must be dizzy, because its been spinning in my head all day long.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on April 11, 2014, 08:06:01 AM
I heard the Erato Piano Trio was very slow and dynamically low- maybe I'd like it? I'm not looking for outbursts here (yes-right?).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on August 17, 2014, 01:40:45 PM
Listening to this gem of a work, and the tremendous performance!  :)

Tchaikovsky

The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66


Dorati
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Philips/Decca


Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on April 18, 2015, 02:27:30 AM
Have 8 months gone by and nobody has commented about a Tchaikovsky work?!   ??? ??? ??? :o :o :o

The Wall Street Journal today has an article on the Piano Concerto #1 and a recording of what is said to be the composer's preferred version of 1879, and the one, according to the article, Sergei Taneyev also preferred.


Quote
...There were actually three different editions of the piece, and Myrios Classics recently released the first recording of the composer’s little-known 1879 revision, which he performed at the opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and at his very last public concert in 1893, shortly before his death. It is most likely the version he preferred. The new recording features pianist Kirill Gerstein, conductor James Gaffigan and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. A companion score, in a new critical edition, will be published later this year by the Tchaikovsky Museum and Archive in Klin, Russia...

The composer made some improvements to the piano part for the 1879 version. Then, other hands intervened. After the publication of the second edition, pianist Alexander Siloti took the crashing piano chords at the beginning of the piece and transposed them an octave higher—the way we still hear it performed. He claimed that he played it that way for the composer, and that Tchaikovsky didn’t object, but current experts find Siloti’s account dubious. Others tinkered with the score, changing dynamics, accents, even cutting material....

For the new publication, Polina Vaydman, senior researcher at the Tchaikovsky Museum and Archive, led an editorial team that incorporated Tchaikovsky’s handwritten performance markings.

Why the third, posthumous edition of this work became the standard is hard to say. Sergei Taneyev, whose performance of the concerto was described by Tchaikovsky as “glorious,” called in 1912 for a “return to the author’s text, to forget what overzealous editors put in the composition on their own, and to perform it according to the author’s intentions.” Taneyev called this work “the first truly Russian piano concerto.”...

And what do we find with this return to Tchaikovsky’s own score? In the new recording, a work that had been cast in a superficial, flashy mold has now been tempered, made more lyrical and introspective. Those crashing chords have been restored to their original arpeggiated state (played one note at a time, harplike), for a more genteel effect. The strings at the opening are softer and don’t have to fight against the piano—allowing for an air of nobility, free of the usual bluster that Mr. Gerstein describes as like falling “Soviet bombs.” As a result, the melody in the strings assumes a new prominence....

The harmonies are thinned, the dynamics tapered. Cuts have been restored—significantly adding almost 30 seconds to the third movement—making the structure feel more coherent...

Mr. Gerstein’s playing is exquisitely nuanced and breathlessly virtuosic. The revised work, though free of the usual bombast, is nevertheless filled with fire—the music is often palpably ardent. The piano phrasing ranges from impassioned to declamatory, carefully matching the musical content. Much of the piece makes new sense...

See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/shining-new-light-on-an-old-standard-1429294719?KEYWORDS=tchaikovsky (http://www.wsj.com/articles/shining-new-light-on-an-old-standard-1429294719?KEYWORDS=tchaikovsky)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 18, 2015, 03:21:26 AM
The Wall Street Journal today has an article on the Piano Concerto #1 and a recording of what is said to be the composer's preferred version of 1879, and the one, according to the article, Sergei Taneyev also preferred.

Amazon DE has a clip with the opening.


http://www.amazon.de/Klavierkonzerte-1-2-Tschaikowsky-Prokofjew/dp/B00S6EN28Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429359421&sr=8-1&keywords=B00S6EN28Y


I suppose I could get used to it but it sounds a little too precious.


Sarge
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on April 18, 2015, 03:31:34 AM
Amazon DE has a clip with the opening.


http://www.amazon.de/Klavierkonzerte-1-2-Tschaikowsky-Prokofjew/dp/B00S6EN28Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429359421&sr=8-1&keywords=B00S6EN28Y


I suppose I could get used to it but it sounds a little too precious.


Sarge

Certainly it does allow the strings to predominate with their theme.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: xochitl on April 18, 2015, 03:33:04 AM
are there any other recordings of the 1879 version?

also, ive been getting into the violin concerto after a decade of dislike and so far only tetzlaff and mutter hit the spot. it can be made to sound very ugly and vulgar otherwise, no?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 18, 2015, 03:43:22 AM
Certainly it does allow the strings to predominate with their theme.

It does but I prefer a more equal battle between the strings and the piano: a Concerto for Piano Against Orchestra  ;D I like the bombast of the solid chords.

Sarge
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 18, 2015, 03:47:26 AM
also, ive been getting into the violin concerto after a decade of dislike and so far only tetzlaff and mutter hit the spot. it can be made to sound very ugly and vulgar otherwise, no?

I suppose it depends on your definition of "vulgar" but I find Mutter here fits the description. Kitschy and syrupy also come to mind. (And I normally love Mutter's way with almost anything. I think the Korngold on this CD works well.) My preferred performances are Belkin/Ashkenazy and Kremer/Maazel.

Sarge
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on April 18, 2015, 04:13:57 AM
are there any other recordings of the 1879 version?

also, ive been getting into the violin concerto after a decade of dislike and so far only tetzlaff and mutter hit the spot. it can be made to sound very ugly and vulgar otherwise, no?

According to the article, no, this is the first one.

Look for (admittedly older)  recordings by Heifetz and Leonid Kogan



Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on April 24, 2015, 11:58:51 AM
Have 8 months gone by and nobody has commented about a Tchaikovsky work?!   ??? ??? ??? :o :o :o

The Wall Street Journal today has an article on the Piano Concerto #1 and a recording of what is said to be the composer's preferred version of 1879, and the one, according to the article, Sergei Taneyev also preferred.


See:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/shining-new-light-on-an-old-standard-1429294719?KEYWORDS=tchaikovsky (http://www.wsj.com/articles/shining-new-light-on-an-old-standard-1429294719?KEYWORDS=tchaikovsky)

I am now listening to this recording in full! Cross-posted from the listening thread:

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/MYR016.jpg)

The booklet essay successfully convinces me. Tchaikovsky was conducting the 1879 edition of the concerto right up until October 1893 (ie his last conducting gig). Archivists have found the score he conducted from, with his notes, basically corroborating the 1879 edition.

The version that's been played and recorded by everyone ever is the 1894 edition, revised after Tchaikovsky's death by unknown hands. (Siloti claimed to be one; he claimed to convince Tchaikovsky to make certain changes, and there is some evidence that they discussed making one cut, but not much evidence Tchaikovsky actually agreed to said cut.) Kirill Gerstein's booklet quotes, at length, an angry letter by Taneyev denouncing the performing version we all know, as being the product of editors and publishers, not the composer. This is the world premiere recording of a new critical edition of the 1879 version, and therefore, yeah, it's authoritative from a textual standpoint.

It's also pretty great from a performing standpoint, but to understand why you have to understand the text revisions:
- soft, arpeggiated chords in the famous opening, not the grand bam-bam-bam chords that are so legendary (and so added-after-Tchaikovsky-was-dead)
- the central episode in the central andantino is not played As Fast As Possible (this makes a big difference!!!!)
- a small cut made by Siloti to the finale has been restored

In general, also, the concerto is - as Kirill Gerstein says in his notes - "Schumannesque." It's now very clearly inspired by the Schumann concerto, and also by Tchaikovsky's ballets. It's a more "feminine" score: softer, gentler, less gaudy. Those arpeggiated opening chords are symbolic of a whole new approach. As signaled here and in the andantino, virtuosity is ranked second to lyricism in the new version. The melodies, not the clattering chords, predominate.

And Gerstein, virtuoso as he is, absolutely nails this. Even setting aside text issues, it's one of the great performances of the last 10 years or so. I am less enthusiastic about the orchestral contribution, which sometimes is in that grey area between "Schumannesque" and "kinda bored". But that's certainly a rare occurrence, not nearly enough to scare you away.

Basically, Tchaikovsky First Concerto haters, your ship has come in. You were right the whole time. We were wrong. The concerto, now, is something completely different.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on June 08, 2015, 05:41:59 AM
Basically, Tchaikovsky First Concerto haters, your ship has come in. You were right the whole time. We were wrong. The concerto, now, is something completely different.

Interesting point. I do think similar as you mentioned (and I am not the First Concerto hater). I will get the recording soon, for sure.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on June 08, 2015, 03:57:36 PM
Interesting point. I do think similar as you mentioned (and I am not the First Concerto hater). I will get the recording soon, for sure.

It sounds like a necessity!   0:)

Second-guessing Tchaikovsky!  That takes some load of nerve!  8) 

I suppose there are times when somebody's second-guessing seems correct.  Jack Warner enforced some editing of 1776 which (I find) was right on target.  On the other hand, we have the unwise truncation of Orson Wellles' The Magnificent Ambersons by RKO executives, while Welles was in Brazil making a documentary on the samba  :o ??? called It's All True!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on August 22, 2015, 03:13:26 PM
I find I am greatly enjoying Monteux's way with the Fourth, Fifth & Sixth Symphonies in this box:

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky ... liner notes for the 6th
Post by: Scion7 on August 22, 2015, 09:41:00 PM
Apologies if this does not show up well - dang flash!  And I was too lazy to scan it.
These great (or pretentious?)  liner notes do not list who wrote them!  It might be ol' Zubin himself  . . . ?
'click' to enlarge:

(http://s2.postimg.org/r1or2lpaw/Liner_Notes.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kishnevi on October 25, 2015, 07:18:56 PM
Bump.

Realized that my collection has two important Tchaikovsky lacunae:  the operas and the solo piano music.  Since my opera pile is already too big, I am willing to let the operas slide...but the piano music is different.

Any and all suggestions for who/what to get will be eagerly attended to.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on October 26, 2015, 12:01:04 AM
Bump.

Realized that my collection has two important Tchaikovsky lacunae:  the operas and the solo piano music.  Since my opera pile is already too big, I am willing to let the operas slide...but the piano music is different.

Any and all suggestions for who/what to get will be eagerly attended to.
If you want something complete, the Postnikova set is the only one I know. Luckily, it is quite good.


If you are looking for single discs, then there is a fair choice - Richter, Pletnev, Ashkenazy immediately come to mind in the below:


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yVqnorMsL.jpg)



Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: lifewithclassical on October 26, 2015, 05:38:22 PM
I really enjoy listening to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6.
Anybody else agree with me?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kishnevi on October 26, 2015, 05:53:00 PM
Thanks. The Postnikova was cheap enough, $20 including s/hh, so I ordered it, along with this issue of the Richter. Got to have the Richter!  Seems to be the same as the one you posted  but with a different cover
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QW6tiq5wL.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 26, 2015, 06:29:23 PM
Realized that my collection has two important Tchaikovsky lacunae:  the operas and the solo piano music.  Since my opera pile is already too big, I am willing to let the operas slide...

No opera pile could be so big, that there is not room for Pikovaya Dama & Evgeny Onegin!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kishnevi on October 26, 2015, 06:54:02 PM
No opera pile could be so big, that there is not room for Pikovaya Dama & Evgeny Onegin!

I took a quick count.  The Pile is 204 CDs, including 4 Rings of the Nibelung and 20CDs worth of Haydn, and not including the separate DVD pile.  I need to make a large dent in it before adding more operas.

This is addition to the main listening Pile, which presently includes the Rubinstein and Seon boxes.

So even if I get them now, PD and EO will not be listened to any time soon.
Truth to tell, I used to be wild for opera in my youth but for no precise reason, am not any more.  Which is why I have let the Opera Pile accumulate. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brewski on October 26, 2015, 08:22:18 PM
I really enjoy listening to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6.
Anybody else agree with me?

Yes, it's marvelous. What recording(s) do you like? I like Bernstein/NY Phil (DG) and Jansons/Oslo (Chandos), but there are many good ones around.

And welcome to GMG. Feel free to post something about yourself in the "Introductions" section of the board.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on October 28, 2015, 05:26:21 AM
No opera pile could be so big, that there is not room for Pikovaya Dama & Evgeny Onegin!

I would vote for those works, especially PD, over The Seasons and the G major Sonata.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 28, 2015, 05:29:04 AM
I took a quick count.  The Pile is 204 CDs, including 4 Rings of the Nibelung and 20CDs worth of Haydn, and not including the separate DVD pile.  I need to make a large dent in it before adding more operas.

This is addition to the main listening Pile, which presently includes the Rubinstein and Seon boxes.

So even if I get them now, PD and EO will not be listened to any time soon.
Truth to tell, I used to be wild for opera in my youth but for no precise reason, am not any more.  Which is why I have let the Opera Pile accumulate. 

No denying that's one heckuva pile!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kishnevi on October 28, 2015, 06:00:43 PM
I would vote for those works, especially PD, over The Seasons and the G major Sonata.

Bear in mind that I have heard PD and EO thanks to the Met broadcasts,  but the piano music is musica incognita to me.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: zamyrabyrd on October 31, 2015, 01:29:21 AM
...Tchaikovsky was conducting the 1879 edition of the concerto right up until October 1893 (ie his last conducting gig). Archivists have found the score he conducted from, with his notes, basically corroborating the 1879 edition...

The version that's been played and recorded by everyone ever is the 1894 edition, revised after Tchaikovsky's death by unknown hands. (Siloti claimed to be one; he claimed to convince Tchaikovsky to make certain changes, and there is some evidence that they discussed making one cut, but not much evidence Tchaikovsky actually agreed to said cut.) Kirill Gerstein's booklet quotes, at length, an angry letter by Taneyev denouncing the performing version we all know, as being the product of editors and publishers, not the composer.

It's also pretty great from a performing standpoint, but to understand why you have to understand the text revisions:
- soft, arpeggiated chords in the famous opening, not the grand bam-bam-bam chords that are so legendary (and so added-after-Tchaikovsky-was-dead)
- the central episode in the central andantino is not played As Fast As Possible (this makes a big difference!!!!)
- a small cut made by Siloti to the finale has been restored

Basically, Tchaikovsky First Concerto haters, your ship has come in. You were right the whole time. We were wrong. The concerto, now, is something completely different.

Yikes, I am reading this goggle eyed, trying to take it all in.
I was always puzzled about the shortness of the last movement. Aha, there was a cut!!!

new edit: I just heard what was allegedly omitted from the last movement. The decision to cut such meandering modulations may have been wise.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Lisztianwagner on October 31, 2015, 10:12:42 AM
I really enjoy listening to Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.6.
Anybody else agree with me?
Absolutely, the Pathétique is my favourite Tchaikovsky's symphony, along with Symphony No.4.
I really love the Karajan and the Jansons.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Que on October 31, 2015, 10:24:59 AM
If you are looking for single discs, then there is a fair choice - Richter, Pletnev, Ashkenazy immediately come to mind in the below:


Thanks for posting those suggestions! :)

Does anyone know if this has been reissued/licensed? :)


Q
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Drasko on October 31, 2015, 10:36:22 AM
Does anyone know if this has been reissued/licensed? :)

It has identical tracklisting as couple of posts above mentioned Regis and Alto releases, I assume it's the same set of recordings.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Que on October 31, 2015, 12:12:04 PM
It has identical tracklisting as couple of posts above mentioned Regis and Alto releases, I assume it's the same set of recordings.

Quite so,  thank you for that observation. :)  For some reason I assumed those would be Melodiya recordings...

Q
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Turner on October 31, 2015, 12:52:52 PM
The mentioned Tchaikovsky 1st Piano Concerto´s original version was at least also recorded back in 1987, by Lazar Berman, Temirkanov & Berlin RSO, then released on LP by Schwann (LP vms 1644), and later by Melodiya too. It´s a digital recording, so there may be CD versions too.
The Schwann liner notes tell of 12 more bars in the finale.
http://www.discogs.com/P-Tchaikovsky-Lazar-Berman-West-Berlin-Radio-Symphony-Orchestra-Conductor-Yuri-Temirkanov-Concerto-N/release/5858653
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Drasko on November 01, 2015, 01:34:32 PM
Quite so,  thank you for that observation. :)  For some reason I assumed those would be Melodiya recordings...

Q

I believe those were originally released on two Melodiya LPs, but was there a Melodiya CD or it went straight to Olympia I don't know.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on December 22, 2015, 04:37:15 PM
Is there a related theme showing in these two Tchaikovsky works, composed fairly close to one another?

Symphony No. 5, Op. 64 and The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66

Theme from the 2nd movement from Symphony No. 5 and theme in Sleeping Beauty (Act II, Scene I, No.15 a. Pas d'action:  Aurore et Desire)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on April 13, 2016, 12:27:06 PM
I just got a sneak peak at Manfred Honeck's liner notes for his newest Pittsburgh SO SACD. (Tchaikovsky Symphony 6 + an orchestral fantasy on Dvorak's Rusalka, arranged by Honeck and Tomas Ille)

It gives insights on what to expect from the recording, which arrives next month:

"When interpreting Tchaikovsky, I am aware of three potential dangers: first, exaggeration; second, excessiveness; and third, impatience. Examining each of these in more depth and starting with the first, it is important to note that Tchaikovsky’s music in itself is deeply emotional. Therefore, it is not only unnecessary, but actually dangerous to boost that which is already there. This could lead to distortion of the general mood and music that is potentially unbalanced. My predecessor at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, former Music Director Mariss Jansons, for whom I hold great esteem once said, “It is not necessary to add sugar to honey”—and I likewise believe this to be very true."

"I did, for example, ask for variety in the endless lines in the third movement, all indicated in a continuous fff. Instead, I reduce the volume at the beginning in an effort to make the rising dynamics possible and audible (bar 267 or 6:48”)."

"Here, it is interesting to also note that all of [the markings of fff begin] on the fourth beat, i.e. a syncopation. These syncopations must be clearly perceived as distinctive elements, thus accentuated, although this is not explicitly written in the music."

[third movement]
"Here, Tchaikovsky composes a virtual Shakespearean world: everything is in motion and the spirits move. Shreds of motives can be heard and eighth notes march continuously (there is no single moment within the first 76 bars where there is not the motion of eighth notes). Ease, fluency and litheness are essential, although small markings such as the horns’ crescendo (bar 22 or 0:38”) are important to further the flowing energy. Extreme attention to detail helps here, for example, highlighting the third and fourth horns to make them more audible (bar 74 or 1:50”). In this instance, it is necessary for them to play louder than the pp indicated. As mentioned above, I have asked for a drop in dynamic, (bars 267 or 6:48” and 304 or 7:45”) even if it is not overtly indicated by Tchaikovsky, as it is important for each wave to continually build. In bar 279 (7:06”), there is the half-tone interval of the main theme hidden in the horns which signifies the lamentoso (plaintive cry) and general mood of the Symphony—and here Tchaikovsky writes marcato assai (very marked), to bring forth this small detail which serves to cast an almost invisible shadow of doom on this otherwise triumphant movement."


Bonus note on the Dvorak:
"The most famous piece, Rusalka’s “Song to the Moon” (bar 288 or 11:49”), is interpreted by Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley who plays the sung melody as a violin solo. This recording marks Noah’s last with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra before he became First Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic."
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 14, 2016, 02:23:32 AM
"When interpreting Tchaikovsky, I am aware of three potential dangers: first, exaggeration; second, excessiveness; and third, impatience. Examining each of these in more depth and starting with the first, it is important to note that Tchaikovsky’s music in itself is deeply emotional. Therefore, it is not only unnecessary, but actually dangerous to boost that which is already there. This could lead to distortion of the general mood and music that is potentially unbalanced. My predecessor at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, former Music Director Mariss Jansons, for whom I hold great esteem once said, “It is not necessary to add sugar to honey”—and I likewise believe this to be very true."

Игорь Фëдорович made a similar comment when coaching (I think it was) the chorus for a performance of Perséphone.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Marcel on May 15, 2016, 10:11:20 PM
There was recently released 2nd Piano Concerto in original (uncut) version with Wang as soloist. I like it a lot.

Here:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2016/Mar/Tchaikovsky_PC2_CHSA5167.htm

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: relm1 on October 23, 2016, 01:46:04 PM
What is your favorite recording of Francesca da Rimini?  I'm looking for one with a truly fiery ending.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on November 22, 2016, 07:22:15 AM
Mighta found the fastest Pathétique ever!

(http://cdn.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/BIS-2178.jpg)

16:17
7:42
9:01
8:27
------
41:27

(Mravinsky - 43:52)

Listening now, obviously.

EDIT: Booklet contains a note from the conductor:

Since childhood, even before I played an instrument, I was obsessed by the symphonies of Tchaikovsky and I bought all the recordings I could lay my hands on. I was always puzzled by the fact that tempi differed from conductor to conductor, frequently extremely so. It seemed to me as if the different versions of the symphonies were completely different pieces!

Later, when reading the scores for the first time, I was amazed to find that Tchaikovsky had supplied absolutely clear metronome markings and I noted particularly that the rubati indulged in by conductors more often than not contradicted the composer’s precise intentions.

We know from both Tchaikovsky’s letters and his biographers that the question of tempo was of utmost importance to him, yet it seems that the vast majority of conductors deviate from his metronome markings and this practice has over time become the accepted performance tradition. Thus, my recordings, in which I do stay close to the original metronome markings, will probably be categorized as being ‘different’. I hope, therefore, that you will listen with open ears as I truly believe that every metronome marking is there for a reason.

Further note: the cover photo is NOT a selfie. But it is on Svalbard!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 22, 2016, 07:26:15 AM
Женя! Что там с тобой!?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on November 22, 2016, 02:00:36 PM
It was pretty good! Convincing interpretation; still emotional without any hysterics. Will listen a few more times to process fully.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on November 28, 2016, 08:53:53 AM
Did someone on GMG recommend Svetlanov's "live in Japan" symphony cycle to me? I seem to remember hearing a rave review somewhere.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51bpYF1mKjL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on November 28, 2016, 11:24:07 AM
Did someone on GMG recommend Svetlanov's "live in Japan" symphony cycle to me? I seem to remember hearing a rave review somewhere.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51bpYF1mKjL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg)
I think that one is the same as the set here:



Svetlanov issues are quite confusing. Anyway, a pretty good group of performance - not always the greatest sonics or playing, but you wouldn't be bored. In #5, (at least in the one I linked to) the timing is actually off due to clapping at times. For example, the last movement of #5 is actually 11 minutes 35 seconds (not the nearly full minute faster listed on the track). And then, in reality, he is so slow in some sections that it disguises just how fast he sometimes goes. Anyway, I suspect you'd at least like it. On the other hand, if you strongly prefer the speeds to be as marked, you may be a bit frustrated (at least at times). He does what he wants. And it is pretty exciting for the most part...
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Drasko on November 29, 2016, 09:29:59 AM
I also believe it's the same set as the Warner, originally released on Canyon Classics (as I have it). I haven't listened to it in quite a while but remember performances as warm, dark, flexible, occasionally broad, well played and recorded. Wouldn't rave about it but definitely would recommend it. Don't know about GMG, I seem to recall Hurwitz raving about it (could be wrong).
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on January 24, 2017, 06:19:50 PM
German speakers might find this Roth vs. Batiashvili in the Tchaik VC comparsion on WDR 3 TonArt interesting:

http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/wdr3/wdr3-tonart/audio-cd-vergleich-tschaikowskys-violinkonzert-100.html (http://www1.wdr.de/mediathek/audio/wdr3/wdr3-tonart/audio-cd-vergleich-tschaikowskys-violinkonzert-100.html)

Quote
Gleich zwei Aufnahmen von Tschaikowskys Violinkonzert sind gerade erschienen; beide mit jungen Solisten, beide dirigiert von Altmeistern. Nur eine der Aufnahmen aber ist der historischen Aufführungspraxis verpflichtet. Ist der Unterschied spürbar? Jörg Lengersdorf hört hin.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky SWAN LAKE = AUDIO HELL ON EARTH???
Post by: snyprrr on April 05, 2017, 02:31:51 PM
So, in my IgorMania I was at the library and thought I'd have to look for some Tchaikovsky. Ah, there's Previn's 'Swan Lake', which I'd been hearing was a TopChoice, so, no brainer.


Ten minutes in and I'm in a rage, hearing the worst awful bombastic beat me over the head stereotypical poofty blue hair music I've ever heard. Surely, if this was allowed to go on I would go mad quickly. The bombing starts and never stops!!! It's just awful

awful

awful "music"... if this is what the elite in Russia were listening to, then, I suppose... no, nevermind, I won't go there...

Anyhow, seriously?... I couldn't make it passed a few numbers... I couldn't really tell much anyway, it was all starting to sound so heavy handed. I mean, you all love Previn, right?, so, it can't be his fault?? Right????


AAAAAAAAHAHHHHHHHH >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D

Seriously, I wasn't ready for something so damaging to my delicate sensibilities... ack ???
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 06, 2017, 03:37:47 AM
You might want to try Doráti, instead . . .

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ye00U-v4L.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Tsaraslondon on April 06, 2017, 07:21:48 AM
You might want to try Doráti, instead . . .

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ye00U-v4L.jpg)

I agree with your choice, but I fear snyprr might be beyond help.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 06, 2017, 07:32:52 AM
I agree with your choice, but I fear snyprr might be beyond help.


That is a risk  8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 06, 2017, 10:49:35 AM
You might want to try Doráti, instead . . .

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Ye00U-v4L.jpg)
Good choice except that the recording is in mono.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 09, 2017, 01:42:24 AM
For whoever may wish:  the Melodiya 6-CD complete (?) романсы is available at BRO
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 08, 2018, 08:25:53 PM
Can anyone recommend an outstanding biography of Tchaikovsky, especially one that covers the controversy surrounding his death in detail?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 13, 2018, 06:38:42 AM
No one?  Great question.

Wonder if San Antone knows of one?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Biffo on February 13, 2018, 07:30:26 AM
Can anyone recommend an outstanding biography of Tchaikovsky, especially one that covers the controversy surrounding his death in detail?

You could try 'Tchaikovsky: The Man and his Music' by David Brown. I read it many years ago and recall that it was well-received at the time. I believe it was David Brown who first suggested that Tchaikovsky committed suicide to avoid a scandal. He discusses it in some detail including the stuff about a 'Court of Honour' at his old college. I can't say I was convinced at the time and still aren't.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky SWAN LAKE = AUDIO HELL ON EARTH???
Post by: Roasted Swan on February 13, 2018, 07:45:08 AM

Ten minutes in and I'm in a rage, hearing the worst awful bombastic beat me over the head stereotypical poofty blue hair music I've ever heard. Surely, if this was allowed to go on I would go mad quickly. The bombing starts and never stops!!! It's just awful

awful awful "music"... i     AAAAAAAHAHHHHHHHH >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D >:D  Seriously, I wasn't ready for something so damaging to my delicate sensibilities... ack ???

So reading between the lines, you're saying you don't like this........?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: amw on February 17, 2018, 09:14:09 PM
Can anyone recommend an outstanding biography of Tchaikovsky, especially one that covers the controversy surrounding his death in detail?
I think Poznansky's Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man was decent but it's been a while.....

Biographers are in kind of an awkward place since before 1991, and then after 2012, information about Tchaikovsky's sexuality was subject to official censorship, but luckily some previously suppressed letters and documents were made available and translated during those intervening years. I think the suicide theory dates from a time when Tchaikovsky's correspondence was still unavailable to scholars. Poznansky's biography was the first one to come out after the fall of the Iron Curtain but may have been superseded since then; was still recommended reading when I was at uni in 2009-2012 though.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on February 18, 2018, 07:39:29 AM
Amazon has this about a biography which came out c. 18 months ago:

Part of the "Critical Lives" series: Tchaikovsky by Phillip Ross Bullock

Quote
When Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died of cholera in 1893, he was without a doubt Russia’s most celebrated composer. Drawing extensively on Tchaikovsky’s uncensored letters and diaries, this richly documented biography explores the composer’s life and works, as well as the larger and richly robust artistic culture of nineteenth-century Russian society, which would propel Tchaikovsky into international spotlight.
            Setting aside clichés of Tchaikovsky as a tortured homosexual and naively confessional artist, Philip Ross Bullock paints a new and vivid portrait of the composer that weaves together insights into his music with a sensitive account of his inner emotional life.


Quote
“In his concise but pithy study of the composer, blending biography with a perceptive account of the music itself, Bullock explores the individual characteristics of each of the stage works. . . . The account of the life into which the discussion of the works is so skillfully woven is no less considered and thoughtful . . . Bullock looks at the various possibilities, as he does everything else in this surprisingly comprehensive account, with complete expertise as well as fair-mindedness.”
(Opera Magazine)

224 pages, so nothing like the Mahler biography of Henry-Louis de la Grange!   ;)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: zamyrabyrd on February 18, 2018, 07:47:52 AM
Around the age of 16, I borrowed from the local library and read Beloved Friend: The Story of Tchaikowsky and Nadejda Von Meck by Catherine Drinker Bowen. They were mainly translated letters from the two of them. Of course, it seemed weird that they were avoiding actually meeting up. (I discovered the music of Tchaikovsky thanks mainly to the lending LP department of said library.)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Cato on February 28, 2018, 06:39:30 AM
Around the age of 16, I borrowed from the local library and read Beloved Friend: The Story of Tchaikowsky and Nadejda Von Meck by Catherine Drinker Bowen. They were mainly translated letters from the two of them. Of course, it seemed weird that they were avoiding actually meeting up. (I discovered the music of Tchaikovsky thanks mainly to the lending LP department of said library.)


Yes, I had a similar experience in my early years in the 50's and 60's!  Whoever was the Music Department librarian for the Dayton library must have been a person of tremendous knowledge: e.g. the Louisville Symphony's records of contemporary music were always available, Prokofiev's The Flaming Angel (in French in mono, I think, but still...!), DGG records of all kinds, but especially Bruckner, Mahler, and Schoenberg, Composers Recordings Inc. with things like Julian Carrillo's quarter-tone a capella  ??? :o 8) Mass for Pope John XXIII.

Plus, a great library of scores and books on musical theory from Fux through Rimsky-Korsakov and Schoenberg to George Perle!!!  Without those resources, I could never have become an autodidact in Music.

I am reminded of those days more and more because I am currently revisiting the Tchaikovsky symphonies and assorted tone-poems via the performances of Antoni Wit and the Polish National Orchestra.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: BasilValentine on February 28, 2018, 10:37:09 AM
Can anyone recommend an outstanding biography of Tchaikovsky, especially one that covers the controversy surrounding his death in detail?

There is no controversy. Poznansky's excellent biography covers this nonsense, pp. 605-7. Little detail required because it is such obvious BS. It was a rumor started a couple of years after the composer's death by R. A. Mooser, a critic and hanger on in the Petersburg musical scene who claimed he heard the story from Glazunov and Riccardo Drigo, conductor at the Mariinsky Theater, who were alleged to have heard it from unidentified sources with first hand knowledge. Thus it is at best a third hand rumor started by someone with no credible basis for the story. The story is ridiculous on its face because Tchaikovsky's homosexuality had been an open secret for years.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SymphonicAddict on May 07, 2018, 12:50:30 PM
Curiously, two of my all-time favorite composers were born the same day. Happy birthday Piotr!

After the Brahms's Violin concerto, I'll play the incredibly awesome Piano trio in A minor. This work gives me tons of goosebumps.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 08, 2018, 02:16:59 AM
The Trio is exquisite.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: snyprrr on May 09, 2018, 04:01:08 AM
The Trio is exquisite.

I hear I'm going to need the most depressing recording of this to make it work for me. Is that Repin/Berezovsky...??...Erato...

So reading between the lines, you're saying you don't like this........?

Hey, I had no idea I would react this way...


Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SymphonicAddict on May 09, 2018, 09:52:29 AM
The Trio is exquisite.

Absolutely true!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kyjo on May 14, 2018, 06:54:20 PM
After the Brahms's Violin concerto, I'll play the incredibly awesome Piano trio in A minor. This work gives me tons of goosebumps.

The Piano Trio is indeed a masterpiece, and has possibly become my favorite Tchaikovsky work, especially as some of his more overplayed pieces (Symphonies 4-6, Violin Concerto, Romeo and Juliet, and the ballets) have lost their luster to me through over-exposure. I think the sudden, tragic turn back to A minor after such a jubilant celebration of A major near the end of the Trio is a masterstroke and never fails to leave me emotionally shattered.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SymphonicAddict on May 14, 2018, 07:17:49 PM
The Piano Trio is indeed a masterpiece, and has possibly become my favorite Tchaikovsky work, especially as some of his more overplayed pieces (Symphonies 4-6, Violin Concerto, Romeo and Juliet, and the ballets) have lost their luster to me through over-exposure. I think the sudden, tragic turn back to A minor after such a jubilant celebration of A major near the end of the Trio is a masterstroke and never fails to leave me emotionally shattered.

Absolutely yes!! That is the highlight, the nerve center which always amazes me. It's a very strong contrast at that point, really masterful.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Moonfish on June 05, 2018, 10:57:59 PM
OPERAS
Just wanted to add this current release here on the Tchaikovsky thread. Not sure about the quality and the exact information apart from the box cover (even the Profil/Hanssler page lacks additional information!!!).  Many of these operas are OOP and, if available via a third party, quite expensive. The early operas could be of some interest depending on the recording quality and performance? Does anybody have more info about these performances?

A compilation of older recordings of Tchaikovsky's operas (as well as some fragments/incidental music) from Profil/Hanssler
Available in Germany now
June 15, 2018 - UK and the US

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tchaikovsky-Complete-Operas-Various-PH17053/dp/B07BX51QNZ

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71m6R5epW2L._SL1200_.jpg)(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81yi4EoevyL._SL1200_.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Moonfish on June 06, 2018, 12:38:28 AM
I think Poznansky's Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man was decent but it's been a while.....

Biographers are in kind of an awkward place since before 1991, and then after 2012, information about Tchaikovsky's sexuality was subject to official censorship, but luckily some previously suppressed letters and documents were made available and translated during those intervening years. I think the suicide theory dates from a time when Tchaikovsky's correspondence was still unavailable to scholars. Poznansky's biography was the first one to come out after the fall of the Iron Curtain but may have been superseded since then; was still recommended reading when I was at uni in 2009-2012 though.

... Poznansky's excellent biography..

Poor reviews in NYT at the time..
The first one:
https://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/05/books/outing-peter-ilyich.html

"In "Tchaikovsky," Alexander Poznansky leaves his readers in no doubt that the inner man he seeks is precisely the one who has been censored out of sight. That, of course, produces a difficulty. Since the evidence is not available, conclusions about Tchaikovsky's secret life have to be largely a matter of guesswork. Mr. Poznansky, however, is quite some guesser, and brazen enough even to leave it quite apparent how his guesses are guided by three fixed ideas -- ideas whose motivations and relative priorities in his mind one would have to guess at oneself (the task can be left to those who go in quest of the inner Poznansky)."

"But what is most lacking here is any sense that Tchaikovsky spent a great deal of his life composing music. Not so surprisingly, he too wrote about the existence within himself of an "inner" being, notably in a long letter (of which Mr. Poznansky makes nothing) to his distant patroness Nadezhda von Meck. For him, though, the inner man was the one responsible for the symphonies, concertos, ballets, operas, quartets, songs and so much that Mr. Poznansky skims in quest of something else."


The second one:
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/12/24/books/books-of-the-times-a-life-of-tchaikovsky-but-without-his-music.html

"If this laboriously researched volume helps to shed some new light on Tchaikovsky's life, it also suffers from Mr. Poznansky's decision to focus so insistently on his subject's private life. The composer's musical evolution is virtually ignored, and individual works are discussed in a highly cursory fashion. As a result, the reader is left with little real understanding of the imaginative transactions that took place between Tchaikovsky's life and art."

Kirkus review stated:
"Poznansky concludes, having offered no evidence to support it, that Tchaikovsky's life ``is a generous achievement worth telling for its own sake.'' The evidence he does offer supports an interpretation of the composer as a classic narcissist, a concept relevant to his talent and his music. But, while Poznansky claims to be writing ``historical psychology,'' he seems to show little interest in or knowledge of psychology, nor does he get past the charming facade and effusive letters in his pursuit of what he calls the ``inner man.'' "
https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/alexander-poznansky/tchaikovsky/
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Moonfish on June 06, 2018, 09:35:01 AM
This seems to be the "standard" and most in-depth Tchaikovsky biography?
Any other recommendations?

David Brown's multi-volume Tchaikovsky biography:

(https://pictures.abebooks.com/CALIBOOK/22571717671.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Maestro267 on July 10, 2018, 07:07:07 AM
So I've just learned that Tchaikovsky used the celesta before the famous Nutcracker appearance. It appears in his symphonic ballad The Voyevoda.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2018, 07:23:18 AM
So I've just learned that Tchaikovsky used the celesta before the famous Nutcracker appearance. It appears in his symphonic ballad The Voyevoda.

Hmm, I don't believe I knew that.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: vandermolen on August 27, 2018, 10:43:09 PM
I bought this for the Jacob Avshalomov work but just listened to Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony (which I heard live for the first time recently) and thought the performance really gripping (Stokowski, Detroit SO, live concert from Masonic Hall, Detroit, 1952). A nice discovery:


from the notes:

'It...preserves a volatile performance of the Tchaikovsky 5th unlike any of Stokowski's three commercial recordings. Here, in front of an enthusiastic Detroit audience, he is swept up in the passion of the moment to a considerable degree.'
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: zamyrabyrd on August 27, 2018, 11:09:46 PM
Valery Gergiev recorded all of the Tchaikovsky Symphonies with the Mariinsky Orchestra, including some shorter works as the Polonaise from Eugene Onegin. Not only the aural quality but the visuals are impressive.
The whole series was on TV some years ago. Luckily there was still an VHS recorder on standby.

https://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Symphonies-Nos-4-5-6/dp/B005HK8L18
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: kyjo on February 21, 2019, 10:11:38 PM
Just discovered Tchaikovsky’s infrequently-heard “symphonic ballad” The Voyevoda and was quite stunned! A late work, it is possibly the most “modern” in feel of any Tchaikovsky work that I know. It’s orchestration is highly successful and colorful (something that can’t be said for some other works of his IMO), with creative use of percussion, celeste, and harp. It’s even rather proto-Sibelian (!) with its tensely charged opening timpani figure and its overall sense of inevitability. It ends with bone-crushing low brass straight out of the Pathetique and Manfred symphonies. Powerful and really surprising stuff!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChamberNut on February 22, 2019, 04:57:02 AM
Just discovered Tchaikovsky’s infrequently-heard “symphonic ballad” The Voyevoda and was quite stunned! A late work, it is possibly the most “modern” in feel of any Tchaikovsky work that I know. It’s orchestration is highly successful and colorful (something that can’t be said for some other works of his IMO), with creative use of percussion, celeste, and harp. It’s even rather proto-Sibelian (!) with its tensely charged opening timpani figure and its overall sense of inevitability. It ends with bone-crushing low brass straight out of the Pathetique and Manfred symphonies. Powerful and really surprising stuff!

Glad you enjoyed it.  It is a great piece!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SymphonicAddict on February 22, 2019, 06:35:54 AM
Glad you enjoyed it.  It is a great piece!

+1!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Ghost of Baron Scarpia on February 22, 2019, 10:14:10 AM
'It...preserves a volatile performance of the Tchaikovsky 5th unlike any of Stokowski's three commercial recordings. Here, in front of an enthusiastic Detroit audience, he is swept up in the passion of the moment to a considerable degree.'

I don't doubt the intensity of the performance, but I find it implausible that the performance was the way it was because the conductor was "swept up in the passion of the moment." The conductors influence on a performance is formed during rehearsal, not because of how he waves the baton during the performance. (And it now occurs to me that Stowkowski conducted without a baton.) Expressive effects executed by an ensemble of 100 musicians are calculated, not spontaneous.

I'll admit I tend to interpret displays of 'emotion' by conductors on the podium as phony and manipulative. I saw Bernstein conduct the NY Philharmonic once and all of his jumping up and down on the podium struck me as ridiculous.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Gurn Blanston on February 22, 2019, 10:32:24 AM
Just discovered Tchaikovsky’s infrequently-heard “symphonic ballad” The Voyevoda and was quite stunned! A late work, it is possibly the most “modern” in feel of any Tchaikovsky work that I know. It’s orchestration is highly successful and colorful (something that can’t be said for some other works of his IMO), with creative use of percussion, celeste, and harp. It’s even rather proto-Sibelian (!) with its tensely charged opening timpani figure and its overall sense of inevitability. It ends with bone-crushing low brass straight out of the Pathetique and Manfred symphonies. Powerful and really surprising stuff!
Glad you enjoyed it.  It is a great piece!

Indeed it is! I was surprised and delighted when I first heard it too. I have Inbal and Petrenko in it now, I'd take either of them.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 07, 2019, 04:21:03 PM
Just want to say: Happy birthday Peter !
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on May 19, 2019, 06:26:37 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SY425_.jpg)


Starting in on Valentina Lisitsa's survey of the complete Tchaikovsky solo piano works.  Plus some four hands works she plays with her husband.  Everything was recorded in short order in December 2017 and January 2018 in a Bösendorfer studio using a Bösendorfer piano.  I'm not sure that the piano is the best choice for Tchaikovsky, but I'm guessing it's a sponsorship thing.  Anyhoo, almost all of my Tchaikovsky piano related music is limited to the First Piano Concerto, so most of the music is new to me.

The first disc contains early works.  Tchaikovsky wrote often and early for piano as eight of his first ten opus numbers are devoted to works for the instrument.  The works are mostly collections of miniatures, with the thirteen minute plus Op 4 Valse-caprice the big work here.  Everything sounds of its time and perhaps place.  It's romantic music, but not too taxing for the most part.  There are audible clues to it being from Tchaikovsky, and everything sounds more or less attractive, if not always entirely memorable.  A few pieces, though brief or brief-ish, do seem a bit too long, but that's OK.

Lisitsa plays quite well, and while her instrument sounds very much like a Bösendorfer, with some sharper than Steinway upper registers, through careful pedaling and finger legato, she coaxes some lovely sounds from her instrument.  With some bigger, better known pieces coming, I'm thinking it may not hurt to maybe snap up at least one or two other discs for comparison, just so I don't think Lisitsa offers the last word in Tchaikovsky piano playing.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on May 19, 2019, 06:47:22 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SY425_.jpg)


Starting in on Valentina Lisitsa's survey of the complete Tchaikovsky solo piano works.  Plus some four hands works she plays with her husband.  Everything was recorded in short order in December 2017 and January 2018 in a Bösendorfer studio using a Bösendorfer piano.  I'm not sure that the piano is the best choice for Tchaikovsky, but I'm guessing it's a sponsorship thing.  Anyhoo, almost all of my Tchaikovsky piano related music is limited to the First Piano Concerto, so most of the music is new to me.

The first disc contains early works.  Tchaikovsky wrote often and early for piano as eight of his first ten opus numbers are devoted to works for the instrument.  The works are mostly collections of miniatures, with the thirteen minute plus Op 4 Valse-caprice the big work here.  Everything sounds of its time and perhaps place.  It's romantic music, but not too taxing for the most part.  There are audible clues to it being from Tchaikovsky, and everything sounds more or less attractive, if not always entirely memorable.  A few pieces, though brief or brief-ish, do seem a bit too long, but that's OK.

Lisitsa plays quite well, and while her instrument sounds very much like a Bösendorfer, with some sharper than Steinway upper registers, through careful pedaling and finger legato, she coaxes some lovely sounds from her instrument.  With some bigger, better known pieces coming, I'm thinking it may not hurt to maybe snap up at least one or two other discs for comparison, just so I don't think Lisitsa offers the last word in Tchaikovsky piano playing.

Great review, thanks!

The only competition she has for a complete cycle is Viktoria Postnikova which I have and am very pleased with. Being a Tchaikovsky afficionado, I got Lisitsa's set as well --- but I'll be damned if I'm ever going to do any A/B comparison. I'll just spin whatever disc I fancy and simply wallow in the music.

As individual discs I have Lugansky, Pletnev, Dang Thai Son and Jonas Vitaud. Like them all.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Jo498 on May 19, 2019, 07:44:20 AM
Of the big names, Pletnev has probably recorded more solo Tchaikovsky than most, although some is introuvable on old Melodiya issues.
There is also at least one Richter recital on Regis/Olympia/whatever and a mono recording of the big G major sonata by him.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on May 19, 2019, 07:47:38 AM
Of the big names, Pletnev has probably recorded more solo Tchaikovsky than most, although some is introuvable on old Melodiya issues.

This is what I have:

(https://e.snmc.io/i/600/w/4c46f5ad3c84935c6543401daea50108/4186435)

If anyone is interested in hearing it, just PM me.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Roasted Swan on May 19, 2019, 07:55:29 AM
Great review, thanks!

The only competition she has for a complete cycle is Viktoria Postnikova

not completely true - there's an old Vox/turnabout set from Michael Ponti remastered on Membran.



as ever "complete" can be a movable feast and I have not compared the new set to Ponti's to set if anything is missing.  Also - as ever - with Ponti - you get bravura piano playing that can occasionally loose detail in the sheer spectacle of his virtuosic style.  But I must admit to rather enjoying his approach.  Some find this remastered sound OK, others are less generous......... but its excellent value
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on May 19, 2019, 08:00:13 AM
not completely true - there's an old Vox/turnabout set from Michael Ponti remastered on Membran.



as ever "complete" can be a movable feast and I have not compared the new set to Ponti's to set if anything is missing.  Also - as ever - with Ponti - you get bravura piano playing that can occasionally loose detail in the sheer spectacle of his virtuosic style.  But I must admit to rather enjoying his approach.  Some find this remastered sound OK, others are less generous......... but its excellent value

Drat! That is the last thing I needed, but --- on to the wishlist it goes. :)



Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Roasted Swan on May 21, 2019, 12:45:37 PM
Drat! That is the last thing I needed, but --- on to the wishlist it goes. :)

Sorry!  Ponti also  recorded the concerti on Vox with the Prague SO - again not my top choice but I do like his impulsive and individual approach.....



certainly worth a £1.60 punt + postage!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: JBS on May 21, 2019, 04:12:48 PM
Drat! That is the last thing I needed, but --- on to the wishlist it goes. :)

As long as you are wishlisting that, put his Scriabin on there too. It's on Vox, in two parts (2CDs for the Sonatas, 5 CDs for everything else), and his style works very well there. Have not heard his PIT.

ETA Amazon indicates the  Vox issue of Ponti's Tchaikovsky is available in  a similar multi installment fashion if you want to avoid Membran.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Daverz on May 21, 2019, 09:13:26 PM
This is what I have:

(https://e.snmc.io/i/600/w/4c46f5ad3c84935c6543401daea50108/4186435)

If anyone is interested in hearing it, just PM me.

It's been reissued on the Alto label.  It's also on the streaming services.


Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Jo498 on May 21, 2019, 11:33:40 PM
There is another Pletnev disc with older material on alto/Regis (and they were both on BMG long ago), one newer one on DG and fillers for Mussorgsky on Virgin.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on May 25, 2019, 11:43:35 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SY425_.jpg)


Disc 2, song transcriptions, multiple morceaux, and one theme and variations work.  A collection of miniatures of varying levels of interest.  Lisitsa draws some beautiful sounds from her Bosendorfer, lending a wonderfully lyrical sound to some of the pieces.  A few pieces veer toward a saccharine sound that sometimes seems to pervade some Tchaikovsky works, but most are quite delightful pieces.  Some would make for a good surprise encore.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on May 26, 2019, 05:23:52 AM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SY425_.jpg)


Disc 3, the Grande Sonata Op 37 and the C Sharp Minor sonata Op 80.  I looked through my collection, and I don't have even one other version of either work.  Op 37 is indeed grand, large of scale and echt-romantic.  It lacks the cohesion of Germanic sonatas, but there are passages of romantic abandon, and Lisitsa seems to have zero difficulty with the music.  The Op 80 work offers a couple neat things.  Notes come at the listener in fast and furious mode, and one can hear an outsize influence of Mendelssohn.  This influence becomes most obvious in the Scherzo, which was later transmogrified to become the Scherzo of the First Symphony.  It works exceedingly well in small format, too.  A quite strong disc.  The cutting sound of the piano aids things a bit.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on May 28, 2019, 05:37:19 PM
Has anybody heard the orchestration Tchaikovsky did of the first 190 bars of the first movement of Beethoven's Kreutzer sonata?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 29, 2019, 07:12:56 AM
Peter's Piano Music - looking at the 3 'complete sets' shown below that have been posted here recently - currently, I own just 2 CDs of this music (Richter in a 'general' program & Howard in the Sonatas) - looking on Amazon, the pricing (USD) for new sets are: Ponti, $17, 5 discs; Postnikova, $22, 7 discs; Lisitsa, $32, 10 discs - interestingly about 3 bucks/disc.  Reading a few reviews, the two ladies w/ more recent recordings and better sound seem to be preferred; I'd be in the market for just one of these sets, so curious what others might pick if only one choice?  Thanks for any comments - Dave :)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JQR-tvTuL.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81RXoTO2cdL._SL1500_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SL1400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Roasted Swan on May 29, 2019, 08:53:48 AM
I'd be in the market for just one of these sets, so curious what others might pick if only one choice?  Thanks for any comments - Dave :)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JQR-tvTuL.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81RXoTO2cdL._SL1500_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SL1400_.jpg)

Ponti is an acquired taste - you either respond to his old-school 'keyboard-lion' style or not.  If you do - which I do - everyone else can seem a little pale next to him.  Subtle or nuanced it ain't.  But that said little of Tchaikovsky's solo keyboard music could be said to contain his very finest music so perhaps this OTT approach helps makes the most of what there is.....?
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: mc ukrneal on May 29, 2019, 09:23:09 AM
Peter's Piano Music - looking at the 3 'complete sets' shown below that have been posted here recently - currently, I own just 2 CDs of this music (Richter in a 'general' program & Howard in the Sonatas) - looking on Amazon, the pricing (USD) for new sets are: Ponti, $17, 5 discs; Postnikova, $22, 7 discs; Lisitsa, $32, 10 discs - interestingly about 3 bucks/disc.  Reading a few reviews, the two ladies w/ more recent recordings and better sound seem to be preferred; I'd be in the market for just one of these sets, so curious what others might pick if only one choice?  Thanks for any comments - Dave :)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51JQR-tvTuL.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81RXoTO2cdL._SL1500_.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SL1400_.jpg)
Whichever you pick, one is enough for most of the music. I cannot compare them though, because I only have the Postnikova. I like it and she certainly plays well. When I compare her to other performances I have (Pletnev, Richter, etc), she more than holds her own. I suspect that all of them are pretty good as a minimum, so I'd likely pick one in better sound. There are also plenty of bits and pieces from the set on youtube if you want to sample, like this one:
https://www.youtube.com/v/MgFh8esCO0w
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 29, 2019, 11:32:34 AM
Ponti is an acquired taste - you either respond to his old-school 'keyboard-lion' style or not.  If you do - which I do - everyone else can seem a little pale next to him.  Subtle or nuanced it ain't.  But that said little of Tchaikovsky's solo keyboard music could be said to contain his very finest music so perhaps this OTT approach helps makes the most of what there is.....?

Whichever you pick, one is enough for most of the music. I cannot compare them though, because I only have the Postnikova. I like it and she certainly plays well. When I compare her to other performances I have (Pletnev, Richter, etc), she more than holds her own. I suspect that all of them are pretty good as a minimum, so I'd likely pick one in better sound. There are also plenty of bits and pieces from the set on youtube if you want to sample, like this one: .........................

Thanks Guys for the comments above - this afternoon, I mirrored my iPad to the den stereo and listened to the two ladies on Spotify - picked the first four Seasons and a couple of Sonata movements, and on headphones - both sounded fine to me although I slightly favored Postnikova and the Amazon price is a bargain; so decision made.  Dave :)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 01, 2019, 04:15:58 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SY425_.jpg)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71-2HA7-cpL._SY425_.jpg)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/510o3gtDrBL._SX425_.jpg)

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51tJcq6%2B9ML._SX425_.jpg)



Disc 4, The Seasons.  Why listen to one version when you can listen to three?

Lisitsa plays the pieces with enough individual character to make the work hold together well.  Starting off with a quite lovely January, moving through with some boisterous playing, a quite slow June Barcarolle of no little beauty if perhaps not perfect structural coherence, and including some (faux) ruggedness in August, the whole thing jells.  The Bosendorfer is probably not the ideal instrument for the music, but it works well.

But not quite as well as Osetinskaya.  I'm not sure what piano she uses - it doesn't sound like a Steinway D, so maybe a Steinway C or Bechstein, or maybe just a less than ideally recorded Steinway D - and the recording is close and dry, but Osetinskaya offers more focus on fine details.  Her dynamic gradations sound more meticulous, and some of the pieces have a bit more life.  She manages to play the Barcarolle even more slowly, but it holds together a bit better.  It's a mighty good version.

However, Eschenbach's is better yet.  The older pianist deploys his ability to play lovelier than the music requires sparingly, but he never sounds less that lovely.  His tempi are often ever so slightly brisker, and everything is immaculately well played.  It might be possible to say that the Slavic women sound more idiomatic, or not, but Eschenbach had his big career as a pianist for a reason.

Ultimately, all three versions work on their own terms.

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 02, 2019, 04:51:18 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61gWH6TeluL._SY425_.jpg)

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Disc 5 from Lisitsa, Children's Album Op 39 and 6 Morceaux, op 51.  She plays Op 39 well enough, with light touch as appropriate.  The miniatures are never too heavy.  They're nice for what they are.  Osetinskaya does more with the collection.  The close, dry sound, and the more micro-managed playing doesn't necessarily make the pieces more substantive, but each one, or at least most of them, are more characterful, and sound better prepared.  I wonder if this is a case where Lisitsa learned and played them to finish the set whereas Osetinskaya selected the collection because some of the pieces have more meaning.  It sounds that way.

Op 51 is much more.  Here's some Tchaikovsky solo piano music that fully satisfies.  Indubitably romantic in nature, with some gorgeous tunes mixed in, each piece is the perfect length and can be quite affecting.  Lisitsa coaxes some lovely sounds from her Bosendorfer, a Steinway would be better.  A Bechstein or properly maintained Fazioli, too.  I'd love to hear either a very interventionist pianist tackle them - Barto or Pogorelich - or a pianist who can deliver sumptuous tone just to deliver sumptuous tone - Volodos or Anderszewski. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 08, 2019, 01:46:46 PM
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Disc 6.  More Morceaux.  So many.  A dozen.  And a Dumka!  The dozen Morceaux all come off well, though as a group they seem less inspired than Op 51.  The Dumka comes off better, with a wider variety of expression and occasionally invigorating music.  Lisitsa handles it all nicely. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Brian on June 09, 2019, 01:01:26 PM
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Disc 6.  More Morceaux.  So many.  A dozen.  And a Dumka!  The dozen Morceaux all come off well, though as a group they seem less inspired than Op 51.  The Dumka comes off better, with a wider variety of expression and occasionally invigorating music.  Lisitsa handles it all nicely.
The Dumka is my favorite Tchaikovsky solo piano piece and would be my performer yardstick - there's also a crackin' good performance by Eschenbach as an encore to his recording of the Sixth Symphony in Philly. (A recommendable SACD all around.)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 09, 2019, 04:46:47 PM
The Dumka is my favorite Tchaikovsky solo piano piece and would be my performer yardstick - there's also a crackin' good performance by Eschenbach as an encore to his recording of the Sixth Symphony in Philly. (A recommendable SACD all around.)


I forgot to A/B for the Dumka with Eschenbach.  I will likely have to rectify that situation.

TD:

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Disc 7.  Eighteen more Morceaux, from Op 72.  It looks Op 51 may serve as the high-water mark, though that said this set has a nice variety.  Lisitsa handles the more extroverted pieces with ease, so it was really more impactful to hear her coax some gentler sounds, with an at times lovely legato from her Bosendorfer in the slower pieces.  Still, I think a different instrument could yield even better results.  Still, a most enjoyable listen.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 15, 2019, 04:11:46 PM
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Disc 8.  69 tracks containing a waltz, a theme and variations, 50 Russian Folk Songs for piano four hands (Lisitsa is joined by her husband Alexei Kuznetsoff), and various other short pieces.  Everything is played nicely enough, but it's mostly slight.  It would make a great background disc to listen to while doing chores.  Quiet chores - you'd still want to hear the music.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 16, 2019, 02:09:25 PM
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Skipping to disc 10, to save The Nutcracker for last.  This disc contains seven transcriptions of orchestral or opera music.  The Potpourri on Themes from the Opera "The Voyevoda" is the real find on the disc.  While not profound, it moves from theme to theme quite nicely and hints at the possibilities in the score.  The smaller pieces are all nice, and the 1812 Overture comes off marginally better than the orchestral version, though I still dislike the piece.  The highlight of the disc, and it is a true highlight, is the Marche slave.  Tchaikovsky gives Liszt a run for his money in the transcription game, which is reinforced by Lisitsa's superb playing, which is impressively nimble and strong. 
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Todd on June 22, 2019, 04:59:03 AM
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Disc 9, the transcription of The Nutcracker, on one super-sized eighty-six minute disc.  Lisitsa has the chops to handle the music with ease, and the Bosendorfer keeps things clean and clear much of the time, and adds a bit of heft where needed.  The rhythmic component of the more vigorous dances is quite fine.  I doubt I spin the disc a lot, but it did get me thinking that maybe I should try Stewart Goodyear's transcription.

Overall, Lisitsa's ten disc set is a worthwhile addition to my collection.  I will never collect Tchaikovsky piano music, but I'm glad that I can listen to any piece at any time.  The bargain price makes the release all the more appealing.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 09:09:14 AM
I love Tchaikovsky ... Stravinsky himself said it best "he was the most Russian of us all" ... maybe the greatest melody writer of all time

I know exactly why some people hate him and it's precisely the same reason I love him.  PC 1 is fantastic; the uncut PC 2 is crazily underrated and underperformed (and really more of a Triple Concerto); Symphonies 4-6 are all major, unique works; Romeo and Juliet is one of the finest tone poems; Three major ballets that have never fallen out of favor... the Violin Concerto is among the most famous (though I'm not big on Violin concertos for whatever reason)

Clearly a major composer with an utterly unique voice and character.  People insist on second guessing him because he's popular and because he didn't strictly adhere to musical development in the Sonata form.  It's been that way forever. 

Sometimes great art ends up being popular ... Beethoven is popular too, "Kind Of Blue" is popular... any musician or committed music "appreciator" that denies either is a silly person and I feel the same towards anyone who denies Tchaikovsky.

Not saying you have to love his music but you can't responsibly deny its genius
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 09:39:01 AM
I love Tchaikovsky ...

Sometimes great art ends up being popular ... Beethoven is popular too,

1. Beethoven is popular for reasons quite different than those beyond Tchaikovsky's popularity.

2. The sharp distinction between "great art" and "popular art" is a post-Beethoven fabrication. Tchaikovsky would have had nothing of it, not to mention Mozart or Haydn, for whom it would have been utterly incomprehensible.



Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 09:46:37 AM
1. Beethoven is popular for reasons quite different than those beyond Tchaikovsky's popularity.

2. The sharp distinction between "great art" and "popular art" is a post-Beethoven fabrication. Tchaikovsky would have had nothing of it, not to mention Mozart or Haydn, for whom it would have been utterly incomprehensible.

Is it a fabrication?  Can't see how... The Monkees outsold the Beatles in the 60s

Pachlabel's Canon is a ridiculous composition and is probably more popular worldwide than all of say Brahms combined

Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 09:53:47 AM
Is it a fabrication?  Can't see how...

According to Richard Taruskin (a musicologist I greatly admire, and with whom I incidentally happen to agree on most issues), the history of the 19th century music is one of gradual but inexorable encroachment of sublime upon beautiful, and great upon pleasant, music. If interested to read him, please PM me.

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Pachlabel's Canon is a ridiculous composition and is probably more popular worldwide than all of say Brahms combined

I beg to differ. Brahms' Fifth Hungarian dance is probably more popular than Pachelbel's Canon --- and both of them are far from being ridiculous.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 10:13:30 AM
According to Richard Taruskin (a musicologist I greatly admire, and with whom I incidentally happen to agree on most issues), the history of the 19th century music is one of gradual but inexorable encroachment of sublime upon beautiful, and great upon pleasant, music. If interested to read him, please PM me.

I beg to differ. Brahms' Fifth Hungarian dance is probably more popular than Pachelbel's Canon --- and both of them are far from being ridiculous.

Brahms fifth dance is great... Pachlabel's Canon is not.  IMO, it couldn't be more tedious

As for Tchaikovsky, I'm not really sure what you're trying to get at... I'm not debating how or why naysayers have always nibbled at his heels.  It seems to me that is the debate you wish to have.  Call it a fabrication all you like, what does it have to do with the naysayers existing?  The fact of the matter is they do exist.  My above assessment of Tchaikovsky makes it crystal clear that I am unmoved by their objections to his music regardless of the origin points of those objections (which seems to be where you are focusing) ... simply put, I think Tchaikovsky was a great composer and don't find the polemics against him compelling.  Since I don't find them compelling, it would be odd to ponder further the various motivations behind those polemics.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 20, 2019, 10:28:06 AM
I love Tchaikovsky ... Stravinsky himself said it best "he was the most Russian of us all" ... maybe the greatest melody writer of all time

I know exactly why some people hate him and it's precisely the same reason I love him.  PC 1 is fantastic; the uncut PC 2 is crazily underrated and underperformed (and really more of a Triple Concerto); Symphonies 4-6 are all major, unique works; Romeo and Juliet is one of the finest tone poems; Three major ballets that have never fallen out of favor... the Violin Concerto is among the most famous (though I'm not big on Violin concertos for whatever reason)

Clearly a major composer with an utterly unique voice and character.  People insist on second guessing him because he's popular and because he didn't strictly adhere to musical development in the Sonata form.  It's been that way forever. 

Not saying you have to love his music but you can't responsibly deny its genius

I tend to agree with you. The frequent complaint about him is the saccharine thing and the "lack" of development in his music (or rather little contrapuntal development). If it were true, I wouldn't care for it. All his music shines for the endless memorability and real sense of passion in many of his works. His music resonates with me powerfully, no matter if he is overplayed or if there is an excess of overfamiliarity, I love almost every single piece from his.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 10:33:56 AM
I think Tchaikovsky was a great composer

He's one of my top 10 favorite composers, and top 3 favorite Russian composers. I relish his "syrupy sentimentalism" big time and I agree he's one of the greatest melodists ever.

My point was simply that people love him for reasons different than those for which they love Beethoven. Nobody ever accused Beethoven of being "sentimental", nor did they claim Beethoven was a great melodist. It's no coincidence that Tchaikovsky himself praised Mozart no end while he held Beethoven in mere high esteem --- a stance I share entirely.

Tchaikovsky's music is beautiful and pleasant ---as is Mozart's. Beethoven's music is sublime and great --- as is Wagner's. Give me the former over the latter any time.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 10:35:59 AM
I tend to agree with you. The frequent complaint about him is the saccharine thing and the "lack" of development in his music (or rather little contrapuntal development). If it were true, I wouldn't care for it. All his music shines for the endless memorability and real sense of passion in many of his works. His music resonates with me powerfully, no matter if he is overplayed or if there is an excess of overfamiliarity, I love almost every single piece from his.

Agree... his music moves me and touches my conscience... that's all I need
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 10:38:19 AM
The frequent complaint about him is the saccharine thing and the "lack" of development in his music (or rather little contrapuntal development).

These are typically German complaints, as if Beethoven-like music were the only music worth its name --- which is bullshit on stilts.

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All his music shines for the endless memorability and real sense of passion in many of his works. His music resonates with me powerfully, no matter if he is overplayed or if there is an excess of overfamiliarity, I love almost every single piece from his.

Amen, brother!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 10:41:17 AM
He's one of my top 10 favorite composers, and top 3 favorite Russian composers. I relish his "syrupy sentimentalism" big time and I agree he's one of the greatest melodists ever.

My point was simply that people love him for reasons different than those for which they love Beethoven. Nobody ever accused Beethoven of being "sentimental", nor did they claim Beethoven was a great melodist. It's no coincidence that Tchaikovsky himself praised Mozart no end while he held Beethoven in mere high esteem --- a stance I share entirely.

Tchaikovsky's music is beautiful and pleasant ---as is Mozart's. Beethoven's music is sublime and great --- as is Wagner's. Give me the former over the latter any time.

So we basically agree, we just sort of awkwardly arrived at agreement :)

I love Tchaikovsky... I love Mozart and Beethoven as well... I respect Wagner (I do not enjoy Opera ... if Wagner had composed more outside of the realm of Opera, I'd likely adore him... there's much incredible orchestral incidental music from his Operas that I think is fantastic)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 10:42:19 AM
These are typically German complaints, as if Beethoven-like music were the only music worth its name --- which is bullshit on stilts.


Definitely true
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 11:00:24 AM
I love Tchaikovsky...

So do I.

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I love Mozart

So do I.

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and Beethoven as well...

I love many of his works --- but overall I respect him more than I love him.

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I respect Wagner

I don't. I fully subscribe to Tchaikovsky's manifolded criticism of Wagner, see here:

http://en.tchaikovsky-research.net/pages/Richard_Wagner (http://en.tchaikovsky-research.net/pages/Richard_Wagner)

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I do not enjoy Opera

I do --- Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini first and foremost. Then Handel, Mozart, Weber and Bizet.

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... if Wagner had composed more outside of the realm of Opera, I'd likely adore him... there's much incredible orchestral incidental music from his Operas that I think is fantastic)

See the link above.
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 11:25:59 AM
So do I.

So do I.

I love many of his works --- but overall I respect him more than I love him.

I don't. I fully subscribe to Tchaikovsky's manifolded criticism of Wagner, see here:

http://en.tchaikovsky-research.net/pages/Richard_Wagner (http://en.tchaikovsky-research.net/pages/Richard_Wagner)

I do --- Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini first and foremost. Then Handel, Mozart, Weber and Bizet.

See the link above.

I implore you, please ... I understand criticism of Wagner and Tchaikovsky wasn't wrong in some of his assessments but I can't listen to this album and still dismiss Wagner

(https://plade-klassikeren.dk/64842/wagner-orchestral-highlights-from-ring-of-the-nibelung-george-szell-cleveland-so-1-cd-sony.jpg)
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 11:38:54 AM
I implore you, please ... I understand criticism of Wagner and Tchaikovsky wasn't wrong in some of his assessments but I can't listen to this album and still dismiss Wagner

(https://plade-klassikeren.dk/64842/wagner-orchestral-highlights-from-ring-of-the-nibelung-george-szell-cleveland-so-1-cd-sony.jpg)

Au contraire, if anything this album is a big time confirmation of Tchaikovsky's criticism of Wagner.

"Wagner was a great symphonist, but not a composer of opera"

"Someone who in the past was very close to Wagner told me what he had once heard from the composer in a moment of frankness between good friends: "How I sometimes wish I could sit down to write a string quartet or a symphony—but I can't, for it is my duty not to step out of the boundaries of opera music!"

With these few words Wagner makes it clear to what extent a preconceived theory can lead astray a stubborn German who, whilst he may be admirably earnest and serious, is nevertheless endowed with a limited mental horizon [6]. "
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 11:53:06 AM
I agree though, that's my point ... that album (though I've chosen the wrong cover... the one I'm talking about is the classic 1968 release) shows that Wagner as symphonist would've been utterly sublime ... it also illustrates the greatness of the Cleveland Orchestra and Szell

So when I praise Wagner, I'm praising him not for his Opera (which I loathe) but for his orchestral music which is absolutely remarkable
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: Florestan on July 20, 2019, 12:06:40 PM
When I praise Wagner, I'm praising him not for his Opera (which I loathe) but for his orchestral music which is absolutely remarkable

That's why I don't praise Wagner at all: he didn't mean to write absolutely remarkable "orchestral" music, and his "operatic" music is the most boringly unbearable of it all I've ever listened to.

Tchaikovsky again:

Perhaps the Nibelungen is a very great work, but what I do know for sure is that never before has there been anything as boring and tedious as this spun-out yarn. An accumulation of the most complicated and refined harmonies, the colourlessness of everything that is sung on the stage, endlessly long dialogues, the pitch darkness in the theatre, the absence of anything interesting and poetic in the plot — all this exhausts one's nerves to the utmost degree. So this is what Wagner's opera reform is striving after? Composers in the past sought to delight people with their music; now what they do instead is to torment and exhaust them. Of course, there are wondrous details, but everything taken together is frightfully boring!!!
Title: Re: Tchaikovsky
Post by: ChopinBroccoli on July 20, 2019, 12:35:52 PM
That's why I don't praise Wagner at all: he didn't mean to write absolutely remarkable "orchestral" music, and his "operatic" music is the most boringly unbearable of it all I've ever listened to.

Tchaikovsky again:

Perhaps the Nibelungen is a very great work, but what I do know for sure is that never before has there been anything as boring and tedious as this spun-out yarn. An accumulation of the most complicated and refined harmonies, the colourlessness of everything that is sung on the stage, endlessly long dialogues, the pitch darkness in the theatre, the absence of anything interesting and poetic in the plot — all this exhausts one's nerves to the utmost degree. So this is what Wagner's opera reform is striving after? Composers in the past sought to delight people with their music; now what they do instead is to torment and exhaust them. Of course, there are wondrous details, but everything taken together is frightfully boring!!!

The 1968 Szell/Cleveland I referenced above is well over an hour of absolutely thrilling, ingenious music. 

The writer of that music is Richard Wagner.  The influence of that music is enormous and undeniable. 

Therefore, Wagner can't be dismissed. 

I too, would rather eat a bowl of cast iron spikes than sit through his operas (but I feel that way about all Opera... I hate Opera) but that simply isn't germane to how I objectively assess his place in music history nor how I subjectively derive great enjoyment from his incidental music. 

I would never in a million years torture myself by sitting through Il barbiere di Siviglia but the overture to it is something I will happily sit through and enjoy ... therefore, I don't dismiss Rossini