Posts Tagged ‘Tchaikovsky’

Russian romantic music performed like this in a 1992 recording by Antoni Wit and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra is the reason the Naxos label came out of nowhere to the kind of well-deserved prominence that makes ‘budget music’ seem an irrelevant misnomer.

Tchaikovsky’s great Symphony Number 5 is played with exceptional verve. The stirring Andante tempo that predominates in three of the four movements comes off majestically. If Tchaikovsky teetered on the edge of madness, he managed to transpose whatever chaos gusted in his soul into memorable late romantic lines that occasionally make one almost shudder. This fifth symphony set him up for the unforgettable sixth (‘Pathetique’), in which emotion burst whatever dam was still standing as he wrote this, its precursor. (more…)


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In the mid-90s, London’s Sunday Times produced a cheap CD series that managed to be both eclectic and excellent. In the ‘Classical’ branch of that series, High Romantics appeared, presenting tuneful offerings from Glinka, Arensky, Liszt, Saint-Saëns, Brahms, Grieg, Delibes, and Tchaikovsky.

It all adds up to 43 minutes of fine listening, by about minute 22 of which one begins to wonder why we ever moved on from the Romantic period.

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