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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6 Pathétique
Artist - Tchaikovsky

For those not in the know, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (25 April/7 May 1840 – 25 October/6 November 1893), often anglicized as Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire.

He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Released this past February 2nd, 2018 on luxurious 3 vinyl LP's, Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6 "Pathétique" is now, and quite easily, one of my favorite new vinyl releases in-house.

1. Symphony No.4 In F Minor, Op.36
2. Symphony No.5 In E Minor, Op.64
3. Symphony No.6 In B Minor, Op.74 -"PathÉTique"

To my mind, there has never been a more legendary set of Tchaikovsky's last three symphonies than these 1960 interpretations.

Performed so magnificently by the great Yevgeny Mravinsky and "his orchestra" the Leningrad Philharmonic, viewing these recordings as anything less than spectacular, thrilling, or simply deeply moving, let alone definitive, is pure madness!

Mravinsky pushes the music and the orchestra to the absolute limit in every way, and by all rights, both the music and the playing should fall apart, but they don't.

Instead, what emerges is so revelatory, so shocking in its beauty, intensity, passion, and even wildness. There is a *truth* to these performances that makes you feel like this is exactly what Tchaikovsky intended to say, and wanted us to hear, that makes it difficult to imagine there is any other valid approach.

Mravinsky's performances here of the 4th and 5th are revelatory and spectacular. Yet best of all to my ears (if that's even imaginable) is the recording of the 6th. Mravinsky's performance of the 6th is not simply as good as the others, but even more so, it sets off shockwaves.

There is such an intensity to this 6th that it's impossible for me to listen to it and not be moved to tears, every single time. The pain is real and visceral, as are all the other emotions that Tchaikovsky conveys, including joy, sorrow, momentary triumph, and ultimate tragedy.

Again, and not just to my mind folks, but this is one of the greatest recorded legacies in all of classical music, and essential listening.

Anyone who loves Tchaikovsky and does not hear these performances is cheating themselves out of one of the greatest musical experience imaginable.

3LP Purchase Link