Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Little Russian); Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem; Serenade for Nikolai Rubinstein’s Saint’s Day; The Battle of Poltava and Cossack Dance from Mazeppa

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COMPOSERS: Tchaikovsky
LABELS: Chandos
WORKS: Symphony No. 2 in C minor (Little Russian); Festival Overture on the Danish National Anthem; Serenade for Nikolai Rubinstein’s Saint’s Day; The Battle of Poltava and Cossack Dance from Mazeppa
PERFORMER: LSO/Geoffrey Simon
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 9190 DDD (1982/81)
This symphony enjoyed immediate success when premiered in 1873, but Tchaikovsky’s misgivings prompted radical revision, and the destruction of the original score. Those familiar with the 1879 version will note major changes, particularly in the first movement; some may even prefer Tchaikovsky’s first thoughts on the matter. Geoffrey Simon’s superbly detailed Chandos account remains the only available recording of the 1872 version. It has figured in the catalogues since 1984, but now represents rather better value for money, thanks to the addition of several other Tchaikovsky rarities. Worth hearing, especially if previously you’ve harboured reservations about this fascinating work. Michael Jameson

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