Tchaikovsky : Symphony No. 6

Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting the New York Philarmonic Orchestra

Columbia MS 6006

Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

  • Contents & Details

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) : Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74

    Recorded in November 1957 at Columbia 30th Street Studio in New York City

    The Symphony No. 6, also known as the Pathétique Symphony, is Tchaikovsky's final completed symphony, written between February and the end of August 1893. The composer entitled the work "The Passionate Symphony", employing a Russian word, Патетическая (Pateticheskaya), meaning "passionate" or "emotional", that was then mis-translated into French as pathétique, meaning "solemn" or "emotive".

    The composer led the first performance in Saint Petersburg on 16/28 October of that year, nine days before his death.

    "Let them rack their brains over a programme that shall remain a mystery to everyone". These words coming from Tchaikovsky himself gave ample grounds for a myriad of extra-musical interpretations of his last symphony, his swan song. For example, the slow, doleful final movement instead of a fiery allegro was a daring break with traditional musical form and sparked conjectures about the composer’s approaching death, which overtook him only nine days later.

    But even without such biographical references and programmes, the "Pathétique" has stirred people’s hearts and minds. The impression left by the first movement, in which the hectic main theme struggles to assert itself against threatening chords on the strings and where the open end is calmed by a grandiose consolatory song on the violins, is as indelible as a watermark in Tchaikovsky’s composition. Among all the various recordings of this work, this particular reading by Dimitri Mitropoulos is a sure favourite. His masterly interpretation of the highly sensitive score finds the ideal path between sentiment and sentimentality. The maestro conveys the sharp contrasts coherently and in a well-balanced manner, allowing the melodies to flow powerfully but restrainedly. This conductor is no magistrate, but an advocate of the written notes.

    The "golden age" of recordings was from 1955 to 1965, at the beginning of the LP and the stereo era, where pure vacuum tube amplification helped produce recordings demonstrating unparalleled fidelity and warmth, lifelike presence and illumination.

    This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the original analogue studio tapes through to the cutting head, and was pressed with virgin vinyl at Pallas. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com

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