Does it make sense to revive an early stereo recording of one of the most recorded works and put it on the market again? Certainly a valid question when one considers the enormous number of recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. But when one listens to the Russian maestro's mature work, it becomes quite clear why there is such a flood of recordings - although one often has the feeling that they are taking part in a musical Olympics, trying to go faster or louder, rather than achieving musical depth.
"Brasses blaze forth heroically in the opening movement, then flexible tempos in the Moderato con moto that follows contribute to a pensive mood and sense of respite. The overall performance is immensely satisfying. The closing pages raise the roof all right, but this isn't mere grandstanding: it's coherently connected to all that came before." - Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound, October 2011
"Sonically, this is one of those records where the better your system is, the better it will sound. The aural perspective is ideal, close enough for subtle depth cues and textural nuances to register yet removed enough to provide an excellent sense of the LSO's ensemble sonority." - Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound, October 2011
With his unfailing, meticulous analysis of the score, Markevitch demonstrates just how much substance lies between the fateful, morbid fanfares on the brass at the beginning, the phantasmal arabesques of the pizzicato third movement, and the explosive, intoxicating finale: a dance-like verve that is reminiscent of his opera "Eugene Onegin" which was composed at the same time, the rising up and ebbing away of the passionate melodies, and the close-knit interplay of the voices allow us to share in the elation and enthusiasm Tchaikovsky felt during the work's composition. But why this particular recording? Because Markevitch shows that the key to a thrilling Tchaikovsky recording lies neither in sheer force nor superficial exaltation and a swift tempo, but in resoluteness, great perceptiveness for the melodies, and a passion for detail.
180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
High Quality Pressing
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering
London Symphony Orchestra
Igor Markevitch, conductor
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 4 in F Minor Op. 36
1. 1st Movement: Andante sostenuto - Moderato con anima
1. 2nd Movement: Andantino in modo di canzona
2. 3rd Movement: Scherzo (Allegro)
3. 4th Movement: Finale (Allegro con fuoco)
Recorded October 1963 in Brent Town Hall, London