Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic
Conductor: Valery Gergiev
Number of Discs: 1 SACD-R
Bit Depth: 64(2.8 MHz/1 Bit)
Number of channels: 5.1, 2.0
Label: Philips Classics
Size: 3.18 GB
Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor “Pathetique”
01. Adagio – Allegro non troppo – Andante – Moderato mosso – Andante – Moderato assai – Allegro vivo – Andante come prima – Andante mosso
02. Allegro con grazia
03. Allegro molto vivace
04. Finale: Adagio lamentoso – Andante
Valery Gergiev conducts the Vienna Philharmonic the in the Sixth Symphony of Tchaikovsky. This is the second of the 8 releases of Gergiev conducting released by Philips on SACD.
Review by Gary Lemco of Audiophile Audition
Recorded in the Great Hall of the Musikverein, Vienna 2-4 September 2004, this performance of Tchaikovsky’s quasi-autobiographical Pathetique Symphony has the usual Gergiev trademarks of passion and elegance that characterize his readings, cut from a cloth somewhere between Mravinsky’s monumentalism and the Svetlanov predilection for rounded and molded phrases. The Vienna Philharmonic retains its especial sound, which for Tchaikovsky features bold, brazen trumpet work and the silken interplay of bassoon and tympany. While the tristesse of the Allegro con grazia is haunted, the ferocious, often demonic forward motion of the Allegro molto vivace third movement still allows us to hear the discordances in the bass that are soon to undermine its surface confidence and bravado.
With the SACD surround-sound format, we can well appreciate the audiophile qualities that the music’s spacious aural concept provides, the deep grumblings of the basses, particularly as the funereal melancholy of the finale permeates the listening space. Despite the grand design of the performance, its sweep, and its directness of vision, the idea of programming only a 45 minute work on a full-price SACD rather puts me off [That leaves 35 minutes free!…Ed.]. Why the Philips producers could not provide us a relative rarity, like the Sinfonietta by Rimsky-Korsakov, or even Gergiev’s ideas in Francesca da Rimini, eludes me. For Gergiev fans, Definitely; for audiophiles, maybe.
Review from Classic CD Review
The two Tchaikovsky symphonies were recorded in Vienna’s Musikverein, No. 4 October 17-21, 2002, No. 6 September 2-4, 2004. Philip Siney was balance engineer and sound mixer for both, Jürgen Bulgrin was engineer for both assisted by Andrew Wedman (No. 4) and Wolf-Dieter Karwatky (No. 6). In spite of being recorded two years apart, sound just about the same: big, rich and impactful conveying Gergiev’s high-powered interpretations. The Vienna orchestra plays magnificently in both with resplendent brass punctuating the end of the development section of the first movement of No. 6. There is a great deal of information coming from all speakers most of the time providing a fine concert-hall effect—but listening closely to rear speakers it seems there a touch of time delay has been added. However the engineers processed these recordings, the result is entirely satisfactory. A definite minus is the fact that neither symphony has a filler; there’s no excuse for such short playing time on full-priced SACDs.