Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

This page lists all recordings of Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique', by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Manfred Honeck conducts Tchaikovsky & Dvorak

Manfred Honeck conducts Tchaikovsky & Dvorak


Dvorak:

Rusalka Fantasy

arr. Honeck & Ille

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky said of his Symphony No.6: “But I absolutely consider it to be the best, and in particular, the most sincere of all my creations. I love it as I have never loved any of my other musical offspring.” The comprehensive notes by Manfred Honeck offer an in-depth look into the composer’s soul, and a fascinating look at the mind and decisions of a great conductor. To quote from Honeck’s music notes: “it is undoubtedly clear that Tchaikovsky truly put all of his soul into this unique masterpiece. I dare to say that in a way, Tchaikovsky experienced his own death through the music. One can be sure that only somebody who is deeply empathetic about both life and death can be capable of creating such an atmosphere and I am deeply grateful for the great musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra who went with me on this journey, requiring the utmost technical perfection to reach such a level of expression.” FR720 also includes the world premiere of the Rusalka Fantasy, an orchestral suite drawn from Dvořák’s opera by Mr. Honeck and arranger Tomáš Ille.

This release is the fifth in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of multi-channel hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! series from Reference Recordings. Each has received dozens of critical accolades. Dvořák/Janáček (FR710SACD) and Bruckner 4 (FR713SACD) have each received Grammy nominations for Best Orchestral Performance.

Since 1896, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been known for its artistic excellence, a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included many of the greats, including Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944, and John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony also has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. And, with a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including 37 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America — the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

This release and the entire Pittsburgh Live! series are recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 70 Grammy nominations and awards. Soundmirror has recorded for every major classical record label, now including Reference Recordings. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings’ mission to encourage unique and fine artists, and give them a strong platform for promotion and sales nationally and internationally.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

Reference Recordings Pittsburgh Live! - FR720

(SACD)

$15.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 & Tone Poems

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6 & Tone Poems


Tchaikovsky:

Capriccio italien, Op. 45

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture

1812 Overture, Op. 49

Marche slave, Op. 31

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


Between January and December 1951 Dutch conductor Paul van Kempen recorded a series of major Tchaikovsky works with the Concertgebouw Orchestra. The performances are at once fiery and incandescent – a kind of meaningful sound and fury – and have long been out of the catalogue. But even when they were issued they divided critical opinion, some seeing the recordings as revelatory, others as hysterical. Van Kempen’s Tchaikovsky recordings are clearly those of a man who was not only a spiritual descendent of the Great Romantic conductors of the past, but was also a fiery, audacious and temperamental musician with a number of deeply personal things to say. Born in 1893, Van Kempen joined the first-violin section of the Concertgebouw when he was 17. In 1934 , he was appointed conductor of the ailing Dresden Philharmonic, whose fortunes he guided during the next eight years. During his tenure, Van Kempen transformed the orchestra into one of the best in Germany, earning special praise for his precise yet sweeping interpretations of the major choral and orchestral scores of German Romanticism. His recordings of the fifth and sixth symphonies of Tchaikovsky have long been prized among collectors. Here then are all of Van Kempen’s Tchaikovsky performances with the Concertgebouw collected on a 2CD set. As James Svejda points out in his illuminating notes, ‘Compared to the often bland and faceless time-beating that passes for Tchaikovsky ‘interpretations’ today, the Van Kempen recordings are a souvenir of a long-vanished era when conductors were men, not anonymous ciphers, a time when the composer and his major interpreters could all be unabashed, unashamed Romantics.’ Clearly, this isn’t Tchaikovsky for the faint-hearted!

Recordings: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 1951 (1812 Overture), May 1951 (Symphony No. 6, Marche slave), July 1951 (Romeo and Juliet), December 1951 (Symphony No. 5, Capriccio italien)

“Van Kempen delivers hyper-Romantic, viscerally exciting Tchaikovsky in the manner of his Dutch mentor, Willem Mengelberg.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2014 ****

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4808536

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32


Helicon - HEL029650

(CD)

$9.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


EMI Masters - 0852122

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.25

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture


The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and its music director Andris Nelsons here present their second Tchaikovsky CD, in an ongoing cycle, for Orfeo. Besides the Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet, we offer his Symphony No. 6 in B minor, the so-called ‘Pathétique’. If one takes the first version of Romeo as a starting point, then a full 25 years lie between these two works (the Symphony reached its first performance only nine days before the sudden, mysterious death of its composer). But both works bear the marks of Tchaikovsky’s emotion-laden compositional style. They alternate between a brooding, muffled downheartedness and a sudden effervescence and rearing up; and Nelsons and the CBSO follow these emotional gear-changes closely from bar to bar. This performance offers the full and varied palette of Tchaikovsky’s lush and glowing orchestration, from the brusque accents in the wind and gnarled embellishments in the strings in the faster sections to the downright ecstasy of the broad melodic passages.

Yet over it all there reigns a lucid clarity, which allows for a soulful treatment of the musical motives that is never geared just for effect nor descends into mawkishness, be this in the love motive of Romeo and Juliet, the chorale in the first movement of the 'Pathétique' or the (death?) march in the third. To Andris Nelsons, this symphony has a continuous pulse that can be heard from the very beginning that signifies Tchaikovsky’s insight into his unavoidable fate – and we can hear it in this interpretation. This is important to Nelsons, for above and beyond the beauties of this music he has a deep concern for its earnest, deeply personal messages – whether euphoric, pugnacious or resigned – both in the Overture and in the Symphony. And indeed, the CBSO and Andris Nelsons make Tchaikovsky’s passion and melancholy so compelling that listening makes one forget one’s reserve, leaving one both deeply impressed and moved.

“The choir of low woodwind, stinging fugato and dewily youthful love theme [of the Overture] are vividly contrasted. Tchaikovsky's last symphony is more challenging. The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra strings use a lot of bow, and a little too much fabric conditioner in the valedictory 'Adagio Lamentoso'.” The Independent on Sunday, 5th December 2010

“Andris Nelsons draws nuanced playing from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra” Financial Times, 11th December 2010

“Nelsons and the CBSO respond to the Pathétique symphony's mood of fate-shrouded tragedy in a way that's lyrical rather than melodramatic...Even among the formidable recorded competition, the CBSO's classy, supple playing is a major asset, reflecting Nelsons's impressive influence.” Classic FM Magazine, February 2011 ****

“There are recordings of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” that wring every last drop of gloom from the music. But I’m not sure that makes them more affecting than this intelligent, beautifully paced performance...Nelsons makes the groping emergence of the first movement cohere with almost Beethoven-like purposefulness, and he brings out the balletic grace of the music.” The Telegraph, 21st January 2011 ****

“Nelsons's conception of the first movement leaves nothing to chance. Sombre but never earthbound, the slow introduction leads seamlessly to a first subject whose fugitive progress is the more ominous for its understatement.” International Record Review, January 2011

“the Pathétique receives a deeply felt interpretation as painstakingly prepared as it is beautifully proportioned. Right from the outset, one cannot fail to be struck by the healthy sheen, tasteful refinement and infectious temperament displayed by the Birmingham orchestra...Nelsons is not afraid to cut loose when the music demands it...A Pathétique of considerable distinction, then, and it's preceded by a comparably winning account of Romeo and Juliet.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011

“His performances can stand comparison with the best...In these performances you won’t find novelty for the sake of it, yet somehow Nelsons manages to make both these familiar works sound fresh...The playing is very eloquent and the reading has a strong emotional charge. I was very moved by it.” MusicWeb International, 18th December 2013

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - May 2011

Orfeo - C832101A

(CD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & Nutcracker Suite

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & Nutcracker Suite


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Large Symphony Orchestra of the Ministry of Culture, Russian Federation, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Moscow State Symphony, Pavel Kogan


“As I have often felt with Rozhdestvensky's recordings, their warm, easy spontaneity...suggests sessions where the aim was to communicate immediately and warmly in a near equivalent to live performance” Gramophone Magazine

Alto - ALC1106

(CD)

$6.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6


Tchaikovsky:

Swan Lake, Op. 20 (excerpts)

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33

Maurice Gendron (cello)


The three 2-CD Tchaikovsky/Ansermet sets The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake represent his complete Tchaikovsky recordings for Decca. For many, Ansermet's recording of The Nutcracker is in a league of its own, and many will find fascinating his own sequencing of numbers from Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty. Refined, yet passionate, many of the pieces on these recordings make their first international appearance on CD.

Australian Eloquence - ELQ4800563

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.00

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 'Pathétique' & Romeo and Julia - Fantasy Overture

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 "Pathétique" & Romeo and Julia - Fantasy Overture


Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture


Presto CD

DG - 4297402

(Presto CD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Sir Georg Solti in Concert

Sir Georg Solti in Concert

From the Gasteig Philharmonic Hall, Munich 1990


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


Directed by Klaus Lindemann
Recording Date: 1990
Place of recording: From the Gasteig Philharmonic Hall, Munich
Running Time: 72 min
Picture Format: 4:3
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Menu Languages PAL: GB

“Solti at his finest with the Bavarian catching the right ambivalent humour in the Shostakovich. His Pathétique is restrained and darkly brooding, never over-sentimental or blatant.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2006 *****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: PAL

Arthaus Musik - 100302

(DVD Video)

$22.50

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

and Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht


Schoenberg:

Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4

Tchaikovsky:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 'Pathétique'


Sony - SK93537

(CD)

$8.50

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

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