Soundbite 60: A sixty-word précis-review of the latest CD releases

Symphony No.1 in G minor, Op.13 (Winter Dreams)
Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 (Little Russian)
Symphony No.3 in D, Op.20 (Polish)
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)
London Symphony Orchestra
Igor Markevitch

Recorded between 1962 and 1965
CD No: NEWTON CLASSICS 8802036 (4 CDs)
Duration: 4 hours 17 minutes
Reviewed: December 2010
These passionate, detailed, superbly played performances still sound great. Markevitch conducts the underestimated first three symphonies with panache and conviction, conjuring thrilling and moving versions of the others. Unnecessarily, timing-wise, Symphony 2 is broken between discs; regrettably, the Byron-inspired Manfred is missing despite Markevitch and the LSO recording it. A separate issue is required to properly complete Tchaikovsky’s symphony cycle.


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