Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2

5.0 1
by Mikhail Pletnev
     
 
Due to the extreme popularity of Tchaikovsky's "Fourth," "Fifth," and "Sixth" symphonies, his earlier, less dramatic symphonies have been more or less eclipsed, and though there are certainly recordings available, they are usually overlooked by newcomers. This hybrid SACD by Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra of the

Overview

Due to the extreme popularity of Tchaikovsky's "Fourth," "Fifth," and "Sixth" symphonies, his earlier, less dramatic symphonies have been more or less eclipsed, and though there are certainly recordings available, they are usually overlooked by newcomers. This hybrid SACD by Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra of the "Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Little Russian," is sure to get attention from audiophiles because of its spectacular sound quality, and it is likely to draw in Tchaikovsky collectors because it includes the 1879 version of the symphony with a bonus performance of the 1872 version of the first movement. But listeners approaching the piece for the first time will benefit the most from hearing Pletnev and his musicians playing the heart out of the "Little Russian," rendering it with the passion and coloration that only a Russian orchestra can achieve. The work gets its nickname from the Ukrainian melodies Tchaikovsky adapted for it, though there is no programmatic narrative behind the music, and unlike Tchaikovsky's famous "Symphony No. 6, Pathétique," it is free of autobiographical associations. Pletnev and the RNO sound magnificent in PentaTone's multichannel recording, which captures the spacious acoustics and the ensemble's details with exceptional separation and realistic presence. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2012
Label:
Pentatone
UPC:
0827949038266
catalogNumber:
5186382
Rank:
195474

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Little Russian"), Op. 17: Andante sostenuto - Allegro commodo  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Alexei Bruni  - Job Maarse  - Mikhail Pletnev  -  Russian National Orchestra  - Rick Walker
  2. Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Little Russian"), Op. 17  - Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky  - Alexei Bruni  - Job Maarse  - Mikhail Pletnev  -  Russian National Orchestra  - Rick Walker

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Ted_Wilks More than 1 year ago
In Tchaikovsky's time, the Ukraine was called "Little Russia." Because Tchaikovsky used several Ukrainian folk melodies in this work, his Second Symphony, the critic Nicholas Kashkin nicknamed it the "Little Russian." Despite the fact that recording companies have traditionally neglected this symphony compared with the last three Tchaikovsky symphonies, there are plenty of recordings from which to choose. The symphony exists in two versions; dissatisfied with the first version of 1872, Tchaikovsky revised the symphony in 1879. Most CDs offer the final version, although the 1872 version, conducted by Geoffrey Simon, is available on a CD. What makes this CD unique is that the 1879 version is offered, together with a fifth track that offers the 1872 version of the first movement. It is interesting to compare the two versions of the opening movement, originally called Andante sostenuto - Allegro comodo, but subsequently renamed Andante sostenuto - Allegro vivo and shortened from ca. 16 minutes to 11 minutes. To shorten a 16-minute movement to one of 11 minutes, Tchaikovsky pruned it drastically, and to me the revised version is the better of the two. The original contains material that seems to me to add little or nothing to the movement's overall structure and detracts from the momentum. Unlike the original (1869) version of "Romeo and Juliet," which is startlingly different from the 1880 version, there are, to my ear, no corresponding radical changes here, just removal of superfluous material. This new version, by the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev, will surely please those who want to hear the original and revised versions of the first movement, plus the rest of the symphony, all on one CD. Don't let the strange album picture put you off; the recorded sound is first-rate. Ted Wilks