tones

Focus on...Tchaikovsky

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Men who love men often make supreme composers of both music and the written word.PT was no exception to this and Munch conducting the BSO, ranks among the best Romeo and Juliet recordings.

Plebeian, plus one delusional sycophant.

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Some other essentials:

- 1812 Overture (which has been one of my absolute favourite Tchaik pieces since I was 8)

- Marche Slave

- Capriccio Italianno

I bought the 'Pickwick' CD issue (LPO/Handley) for peanuts with these 3 pieces many years back & it's a good recording.

Big military band, cannon bangs & all. Superb.

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I bought the 'Pickwick' CD issue (LPO/Handley) for peanuts with these 3 pieces many years back & it's a good recording.

Big military band, cannon bangs & all. Superb.

It is indeed surprisingly good, with pungent sound.

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The best Marche Slave I've heard is this one:

4276756.jpg

The climax, where it works itself into a frenzy and rasps out the old Tsarist National Anthem (also used in the 1812), nearly blew the windows out.

This is a great record - Night on a bare mountain, In the steppes of central Asia, Borodin's Nocturne, all wonderfully played

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Nothing by Tchaikovsky is non-essential listening for me. His fifth symphony was the first classical work I purchased and heard in full. And of course, before that, I had heard snatches of his greatest melodies which were used in tv commercials.

I don't reckon he was the greatest melodist among the composers but he was surely the most prolific. His greatest achievements are the three ballets, all so full of the spirit of dance. For that same reason, this ability to infuse his music with that spirit, I find his symphonies so wonderful, even though the early one have been criticised for structural flaws as compared to LvB and Brahms. The 3rd with that brilliant Polonaise is a personal favourite. I don't think Tchai's waltzes superior to the Strausses or R.Strauss's, but as a writer of polonaise-s he is the absolute master!:^

Oh, the violin and piano concertos are masterpieces too. It's often the non-Russian listeners who like to dump on them.:P

SS

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Nothing by Tchaikovsky is non-essential listening for me. His fifth symphony was the first classical work I purchased and heard in full. And of course, before that, I had heard snatches of his greatest melodies which were used in tv commercials.

I don't reckon he was the greatest melodist among the composers but he was surely the most prolific. His greatest achievements are the three ballets, all so full of the spirit of dance. For that same reason, this ability to infuse his music with that spirit, I find his symphonies so wonderful, even though the early one have been criticised for structural flaws as compared to LvB and Brahms. The 3rd with that brilliant Polonaise is a personal favourite. I don't think Tchai's waltzes superior to the Strausses or R.Strauss's, but as a writer of polonaise-s he is the absolute master!:^

Oh, the violin and piano concertos are masterpieces too. It's often the non-Russian listeners who like to dump on them.:P

SS

A very eloquent appreciation of a composer, I hate to admit, I have largely overlooked. I would much appreciate any particularly recommended recordings to get me started.

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"The Nutcracker" is such a charming piece, it's almost perfomer-proof. I frequently listen to the Lanchbery(EMI) and Gergiev(Phillips) recordings.

"Swan Lake", the iconic Tchaikovky ballet! Dutoit (Decca) is light and ethereal, Tilson Thomas (Sony) is dramatic and powerful, Previn (EMI) is sensual, with superbly played instrumental solos.

"The Sleeping Beauty", possibly finer than Swan Lake in orchestration, although unlike Swan Lake, its better appreciated with a DVD video. I like (Previn, LSO)

...

Symphony No. 1 Winter Daydreams

(Tilson Thomas, DG) or (Karajan, BPO)

Structurally its not a LvB monolith, but it has more lovely melodies than LvB's first four symphonies combined. I find it so evocative of a wintry landscape, and love playing it whilst reading a russian or classic english novel of gloom and doom, i.e. Bronte or Hardy. Karajan conjures up a misty atmosphere in the second movement where time seems to stand still. All-round, TT's brilliantly played version should win over any casual listener.

Symphony No. 3 "Polish"

My favourite Tchai symphony because its so meltingly beautiful in the middle movements and unshamedly dancey at the end.:P Jansons (Chandos) and Slatkin (RCA) do it justice. Markevitch's LSO is a must-listen too, due to a superb realisation of the first movement.

Oh, it's devastating when played through valve gear.:love:

4, 5 and 6th Symphonies

Any modern version with a reputable conductor and orchestra is unlikely to disappoint. The legendary Mravinsky recordings are references.

Violin Concerto - Oistrakh, Ormandy (Sony)

I have many versions, but this vintage is the most special. David Oistrakh's interpretation and rich tone suit Tchai's concerto very well.

cheerSS

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Here it is again! - this time as a recommendation for Tchaiko's Serenade for Strings.

(The Grieg piece is wonderful on this incidentally).

Also recommend Karajan's version with the BPO on DG - a minty vinyl version I own.

51FbcFo67oL__SY450__PJautoripBadgeBottomRight4-40_OU11___zps29037799.jpg

That recording is a true classic that belongs in all record collections. Nev and the ASMF did some of their finest work for Argo, and the three works receive some of the best ever performances. No group sparkled like the ASMF, and this is the ASMF on full sparkle.

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I don't believe Tchaikovsky held Brahms in low regard.

http://wiki.tchaikovsky-research.net/wiki/Johannes_Brahms

If Tchaikovsky's feelings about Wagner and even Beethoven can be described as ambivalent, alternating in the former case between repulsion and fascination, and in the latter between profound empathy and a certain awe, then his attitude towards Brahms's music, judging from the evidence we have, seems to have been unequivocal. Thus, in his earliest recorded comment on Brahms, an article written in 1872 (see TH 268 and the more detailed list below), Tchaikovsky pronounced him to be a "mediocre composer", who had not lived up to the messianic hopes placed on him by Schumann back in 1853. And in one of the last interviews he gave — to a Russian newspaper in 1892 — Tchaikovsky observed that Brahms could hardly be said to have made a lasting contribution to the treasure-house of German music

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http://wiki.tchaikovsky-research.net/wiki/Johannes_Brahms

If Tchaikovsky's feelings about Wagner and even Beethoven can be described as ambivalent, alternating in the former case between repulsion and fascination, and in the latter between profound empathy and a certain awe, then his attitude towards Brahms's music, judging from the evidence we have, seems to have been unequivocal. Thus, in his earliest recorded comment on Brahms, an article written in 1872 (see TH 268 and the more detailed list below), Tchaikovsky pronounced him to be a "mediocre composer", who had not lived up to the messianic hopes placed on him by Schumann back in 1853. And in one of the last interviews he gave — to a Russian newspaper in 1892 — Tchaikovsky observed that Brahms could hardly be said to have made a lasting contribution to the treasure-house of German music

I think that the truth of the matter was that in Tchaikovsky and Brahms you had two superstars in their own musical universes - the Real Madrid and Barcelona of musical Europe. In many ways they were similar in that they both lurched from egocentric hyperbole to suicidal self-depracation from one moment to the next. Brahms in particular tried to maintain a bravado in public which hid a desperately self-critical centre within.

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If you read the rest of that article its saying that Tchaikovsky's hostility to Brahms was mostly informed by the fact that the people who trumpeted Brahms in Europe tended to be the same people who denigrated Tchaikovsky's music - and naturally Tchaikovsky resented that. But when he later actually met Brahms in person he found him to be very likeable and got on very well with him - but just never really got into his music.

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but just never really got into his music.

But that was exactly my original point, Alan, he didn't rate Brahms as a composer. But he absolutely adored Mozart, hence the Rococo Variations.

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"The Nutcracker" is such a charming piece, it's almost perfomer-proof. I frequently listen to the Lanchbery(EMI) and Gergiev(Phillips) recordings.

"Swan Lake", the iconic Tchaikovky ballet! Dutoit (Decca) is light and ethereal, Tilson Thomas (Sony) is dramatic and powerful, Previn (EMI) is sensual, with superbly played instrumental solos.

"The Sleeping Beauty", possibly finer than Swan Lake in orchestration, although unlike Swan Lake, its better appreciated with a DVD video. I like (Previn, LSO)

...

Symphony No. 1 Winter Daydreams

(Tilson Thomas, DG) or (Karajan, BPO)

Structurally its not a LvB monolith, but it has more lovely melodies than LvB's first four symphonies combined. I find it so evocative of a wintry landscape, and love playing it whilst reading a russian or classic english novel of gloom and doom, i.e. Bronte or Hardy. Karajan conjures up a misty atmosphere in the second movement where time seems to stand still. All-round, TT's brilliantly played version should win over any casual listener.

Symphony No. 3 "Polish"

My favourite Tchai symphony because its so meltingly beautiful in the middle movements and unshamedly dancey at the end.:P Jansons (Chandos) and Slatkin (RCA) do it justice. Markevitch's LSO is a must-listen too, due to a superb realisation of the first movement.

Oh, it's devastating when played through valve gear.:love:

4, 5 and 6th Symphonies

Any modern version with a reputable conductor and orchestra is unlikely to disappoint. The legendary Mravinsky recordings are references.

Violin Concerto - Oistrakh, Ormandy (Sony)

I have many versions, but this vintage is the most special. David Oistrakh's interpretation and rich tone suit Tchai's concerto very well.

cheerSS

Tchaikovsky is my favourite russian composer (together with Rachmaninoff).

Here's a (6 part) documentary on Janine Jansen's recording of the Violin Concerto:

Cheers,

Ric

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