Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Orchestra: Leningrad Philharmonic
Conductor: Evgeny Mravinsky (1903-1988)
Number of Discs: 1 SACD-R
Bit Depth: 64(2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 2.0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon / Universal
Size: 1.68 GB
Evgeny Mravinsky, Leningrad Philharmonic
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No 4
01. 1st movement: ANDANTE SOSTENUTO – MODERATO CON ANIMA
02. 2nd Movement: ANDANTINO IN MODO DI CANZONA
03. 3rd movement:. SCHERZO PIZZICATO OSTINATO – ALLEGRETTO
04. 4th movement:. FINALE ALLEGRO CON FUOCO
Originally Deutsche Grammophon 1961. This SACD used the 2012 DSD of Emile Berliner Studio which was from the original analogue master of Deutsche Grammophon. This is not the 1956 mono version.
The recordings by Evgeny Mravinsky & his Leningrad Philharmonic, taped in the autumn of 1960 in London while on tour, are among the absolute classics of the catalogue. They are readings of the utmost intensity; no one else has had the nerve, or ability, to play the music this way. The treatment is very Russian: the passions more feverish, the melancholy darker, the climaxes louder.
It has been said that the string musicians played as if their lives depended on it. Equally distinctive are the wind & brass timbres; those who heard the Leningrad Philharmonic in performance under Mravinsky say that no other ensemble sounded remotely like it in pianissimo or fortissimo. The sonics are remarkably strong for the time, though a little edgy in the loudest pages. These accounts leap out of the speakers as if they were being played in the here & now.
A Classic of the gramophone, a landmark not just of Tchaikovsky interpretation, but of recorded orchestral performances in general. The Leningrad Philharmonic play like a wild stallion, only just held in check by the willpower of its master. Every smallest movement is placed with fierce pride; at any moment it may break into such a frenzied gallop that you hardly know whether to feel exhilarated or terrified. The whipping up of excitement towards the fateful outbursts in Symphony #4 is astonishing – not just for the discipline of the stringendos themselves, but for the pull of psychological forces within them. The fanatical discipline is not something one would want to see casually emulated – few orchestras would stand for it in any case – but it is applied in a way which sees far into the soul of the music & never violates its spirit.