Sunday, December 02, 2007

CD REVIEW: Tchaikovsky Sumphony No. 6 "Pathetique"



December 2, 2007


TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique;” Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – Paavo Jarvi, conductor – Telarc
The orchestra occupies an exceptionally wide and deep soundstage. Very highly recommended.

TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 “Pathetique;” Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy – Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra – Paavo Jarvi, conductor – Telarc Multichannel SACD – SACD-60681, 67 mins. ****:Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony is probably my least favorite of the bunch. I find it’s predominantly mournful character depressing, to say the least, but I guess it really resonates with a lot of people, and brings them in touch with the misery of Tchaikovsky’s later life, which perhaps explains its popularity and frequent appearance on orchestral programs. Paavo Jarvi is a superb conductor; his pacing in the slower opening movement and finale are spot-on, and he gives us a lilting second-movement waltz and a lively third-movement allegro. His use of orchestral color is magnificent, and helps lift the entire disc, including the oft-played Romeo and Juliet, to an even higher level of enjoyment and appreciation than our expectations would lead us to believe possible.The disc was engineered by Michael Bishop, who’s also frequents the Audio Asylum hi-res forum, and never fails to offer insightful commentary about the nature of SACD, and SACD recording and mixing to the zany cast of characters that abound there. While I’m not always in agreement with his surround sound choices on jazz and more vocal-oriented jazz and pop material, his recordings in the classical arena are always head-and-shoulders above the pack, and this disc is no different from an acoustic standpoint. He manages to capture an accurate representation of Cincinnati’s Music Hall, and the orchestra occupies an exceptionally wide and deep soundstage. Very highly recommended.- Tom Gibbs


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