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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The Tchaikovsky Project Vol. 1

The Tchaikovsky Project Vol. 1


Tchaikovsky:

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

Romeo & Juliet - Fantasy Overture


“What is this music that we love so deeply if not our beloved friend? I’ve loved Tchaikovsky’s music ever since I can remember. Like all first loves this one never died” [Semyon Bychkov]

Cementing their new relationship with Decca Classics, the Czech Philharmonic embark on a cycle of Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies under the baton of Semyon Bychkov.

This first release showcases Tchaikovsky’s greatest Symphony, the Pathétique. Tchaikovsky himself felt that his Sixth Symphony, a confident and dramatic work, was “the best thing I have composed”. This outstanding recording is paired with Tchaikovsky’s magical Fantasy Overture, Romeo & Juliet.

Volume 1 marks the start of Decca’s first Tchaikovsky cycle for nearly 40 years (and the first in high-definiton 96k/24bit sound). Future recordings – covering all Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies, Piano Concertos, and other orchestral works – will follow as Maestro Bychkov delves deeper into the composer’s life and music, supported by innovative concert programming in major cities across the world.

The first of three Tchaikovsky Project concerts takes place in London in October 2016. In January/February 2017, Bychkov takes the project to New York.

Bychkov will continue to champion Tchaikovsky’s music over the next few years, with further Tchaikovsky residencies planned in London, New York and Prague, plus Tchaikovsky Project concerts in Vienna and Paris.

“Bychkov’s Russian roots make him mindful of Tchaikovsky’s classicism, the emotion always ‘contained’ until it can be contained no more. The explosive development section is a controlled panic attack, classical in form, neurotic in nature…a very fine performance…and supplemented by a Romeo and Juliet of similar qualities – keen and articulate in strife, rich in romance. And it feels personal in a way that the warm, homespun playing of the Czech Philharmonic only accentuates” Gramophone Magazine, October 2016

“these are musically intense and illuminating readings superbly played and clearly and openly recorded...There is no doubt in my mind however that this beginning to Semyon Bychkov’s Tchaikovsky Project series whets the appetite for further recordings.” classicalsource.com, October 2016

Presto Discs of 2016

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GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - October 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Decca - 4830656

(CD)

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Iván Fischer conducts Borodin & Tchaikovsky

Iván Fischer conducts Borodin & Tchaikovsky


Borodin:

Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

Czech Philharmonic Choir Brno

Tchaikovsky:

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


When Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky stepped onto the stage in Saint Petersburg on 28 October 1893 to introduce his Sixth Symphony to the public, he was received with a roar of applause. Three quarters of an hour later the astonished audience was dumbfounded. How could a symphony begin so softly and end even more so? And what about the second movement with its undanceable waltz, and the third with its unstoppable march? Nine days after the premiere, Tchaikovsky died in a city ravaged by cholera.

The truly Russian mood that we associate with Tchaikovsky is also felt in the music of Borodin. His opera ‘Prince Igor’ remained incomplete when he died, but the Overture, the Chorus and Dance of the Polovtsian girls, the Polovtsian March and the on this recording added well-known Polovtsian Dances, gained a place of its own in orchestral repertoire.

“Fischer once again doesn’t disappoint; indeed, he’s brought to light elements of this work, in particular textural detaileven during the loud brass-led sections, the strings can still be heard over the top with a clarity that seems barely believable.” David Smith, Presto Classical, 23rd September 2016

“The sheer natural musicality of Fischer’s Budapest players is, as always, refreshing...the March is poised and brilliant, and if the finale could be even darker, it is eloquently played.” Sunday Times, 2nd October 2016

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23rd September 2016

Released or re-released in last 6 months

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Channel - CCSSA37016

(SACD)

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Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6

Shostakovich & Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6


Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54

Live-Recording, Munich, Herkulessaal 2013

Tchaikovsky:

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

Live-Recording, Munich, Philharmonie im Gasteig 2013


Mariss Jansons ranks as one of today's most renowned interpreters of Russian symphonic music. Together with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, he presents the Sixth Symphonies of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich in recent live recordings.

“Jansons, who in the Leningrad Philharmonic days was Mravinsky's assistant...approximates his master's style, not in terms of tempo but in the quick-witted exchanges between desks and soloists...Jansons's precise approach veers in the direction of chamber music writ large.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2014

BR Klassik - 900123

(CD)

$14.00

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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

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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

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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5 & 6

Recorded at Salle Pleyel , Paris – 25, 26 & 29 January 2010


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'


Valery Gergiev is widely recognised as the greatest modern interpreter of Tchaikovsky’s music and the Mariinsky holds a peerless reputation in the repertoire. Together they deliver definitive interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s most popular symphonies. These acclaimed performances were filmed at Salle Pleyel in Paris during January 2010, directed by Andy Sommer.

The themes of fate and death pervade Tchaikovsky’s final symphonies. The composition of the Fourth Symphony coincided with the breakdown of Tchaikovsky’s marriage and a failed suicide attempt, yet he considered it to be his greatest. In contrast he believed his Fifth to be flawed and uninviting, yet today this heartfelt work is widely regarded as one of his finest. The subject of fate is further instilled in the Sixth Symphony, premiered shortly before Tchaikovsky’s death. It was posthumously entitled ‘Pathétique’ by his brother and is a deeply melancholic work, full of dynamic extremes and an inherent sense of finality.

Additional bonus features interview with Valery Gergiev. Tommy Pearson - director.

BD 50 ALL REGIONS, 1080i HD 16:9

5.1 DTS HD Master Audio

DURATION 150 MIN APPROX

“Tchaikovsky's last three symphonies are familiar to the Mariinsky Orchestra and their conductor Valery Gergiev, so one can expect their performances of them to be immaculate. Not a note is out of place, even in the most desperate and hectic passages of these performances...Yet the overall impression is of a paradoxical combination of coolness and hysteria” BBC Music Magazine, December 2011 ***

“Gergiev unusually conducts with a baton and creates performances that are both well contoured and emotionally charged. The camera catches all his characteristic poses and photo-frames the pizzicato workings of the Fourth Symphony’s third movement in welcome detail. The Mariinsky musicians have played this repertoire so often that they could probably do it in their sleep, but there’s no sense of routine.” Financial Times, 22nd October 2011 ***

Blu-ray Disc

Region: all

Mariinsky - MAR0515

(Blu-ray)

$31.50

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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)

$13.00

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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)

$14.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

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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)

$6.00

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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.

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