Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor; Symphony No. 5 in E minor; Symphony No. 6 in B minor (Pathétique); The Voyevoda; Andante Cantabile in B flat

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
LABELS: BMG Melodiya
WORKS: Symphony No. 4 in F minor; Symphony No. 5 in E minor; Symphony No. 6 in B minor (Pathétique); The Voyevoda; Andante Cantabile in B flat
PERFORMER: USSR SO/Evgeny Svetlanov
CATALOGUE NO: 74321 40066 2 ADD 1968/87
At best Svetlanov’s 1967-8 Tchaikovsky cycle had temperament. At worst it was bombastic, pompously (symbolically?) gestured and short-winded. Pathétique apart (a reading of evident intensity and climax), these performances don’t quite convince. No. 4 in particular may have plenty of raw physical excitement but is hard-driven to the point of suffocation. The Fifth (a loose-tensioned account five minutes slower than Mravinsky) goes to the other extreme. The sound has been cleaned up using the latest digital technology. Crisper in attack, the original analogue vinyl format (Melodiya/EMI) was brighter and less reverberant, with greater harmonic presence. Ates Orga

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