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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies [Box set, Import]

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky , Riccardo Muti , Philharmonia Orchestra , Philadelphia Orchestra Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Riccardo Muti
  • Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (October 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B000BLI3TI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #289,825 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Riccardo Muti conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New Philharmonica Orchestra in these late-'70s and early-'80s performances recorded by EMI! Includes all seven Tchaikovsky symphonies ( Nos. 1-6 and Manfred ), plus five other orchestral pieces including Suite from Swan Lake and Symphonic Fantasy da Rimini .

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Riccardo Muti recorded the Tchaikovsky Symphonies in this box with the PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA in the mid to late 1970s, and they are well recorded, with excellent sound and fiery playing, which make this a good bargain. Collectors should be aware: Symphonies 4, 5 and 6 were later recorded with the PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA in the 1980s: these are NOT the same recordings - these are Muti's earlier Philharmonia ones. The Philadelphia items here are the 1812 Overture, Swan Lake Suite, Francesca da Rimini, and Romeo and Juliet.

This is a good overall survey, and a bargain to boot, but collectors should be aware there is heavy competition. To collect discs one at a time would be more costly, so the choice remains one of individual taste. Tchaikovsky's 1st Symphony, "Winter dreams" is very well played under Muti's leadership, and perhaps a little driven. Brilliant's sound is much better than the 1st EMI CD issue of this recording.
Symphony 2, "Little Russian" is also well played and recorded, and the Allegros are really FAST. Symphony 3, "Polish" benefits from blistering fast tempos in the Allegro section of I, and V (Tempo di Polacca) is nearly reckless, but with a thrilling coda. Symphonies 4, 5, and 6 are very good, but there are better recordings elsewhere, including Muti's own Philadelphia recording of 5.

Other options? For Symphony 1: Michael Tilson-Thomas/Boston Symphony (DG Originals), Adrian Leaper/Polish National Orchestra (Naxos), Andrew Litton/Bournemouth Orchestra (Virgin); for Symphony 2: Igor Markevitch/London Symphony (Philips Duo);
Symphony 3: Antoni Wit/Polish Natl. Orch.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic Tchaikovsky from Muti July 4, 2008
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This is really a terrific set. As stated elsewhere, don't look here for refinement. This is the set to turn to for uninhibited thrills: growling basses, walloping tympani, and Italianate passion. IMHO this set has the best 2 & 3 out there, making everyone else's sound like they're sleepwalking through the scores. And the Manfred is just stunning. After I got these I still kept Muti's Philadelphia 5; makes a nice contrast. Good fillers, too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The growth of genius January 28, 2012
Ever since I heard the thrilling opening to his fourth symphony, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky has been one of my favorite composers, and so I jumped at the chance to hear this collection of the complete Tchaikovsky symphonies conducted by Ricardo Muti, leading the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the New Philharmonia Orchestra.

The set contains the six numbered symphonies and the programmatic Manfred symphony, an unjustly lesser-known work composed in 1885, between the Fourth and Fifth symphonies, when Tchaikovsky was at the height of his compositional prowess. Manfred is a work in four traditional movements, based on the poem of the same name by Lord Byron, that describes the mystical tale of a man haunted by some unnamed, internal guilt. Tchaikovsky must have felt a personal connection to the story, having to hide his own homosexuality from the world, and apparently being tormented by that situation. Several passages of the Manfred Symphony (especially from the fourth movement) clearly anticipate Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony, and I don't understand why the piece isn't played much more often. Perhaps it is just the need for the organ that makes it less practical. Nonetheless, it is a fantastic piece--literally--and the performance here, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, is first rate.

Muti's tenure at Philadelphia was not without controversy--he is said to have changed the lush "Philadephia sound" created by Eugene Ormandy to a leaner tone, but in these recordings, the strings are as lush as one could want, the brass as powerful, the woodwinds as rich. And when Muti leads the Philharmonia and New Philharmonia Orchestras, the sound is equally wonderful.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, dynamic performances with good sound November 5, 2007
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These performances are dynamic and enjoyable. Yes, sometimes the tympani are quite prominent -- but for me that is a positive. The sound is clean and the presence is really good.
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14 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but sound could be better... December 28, 2005
The Second Symphony recording could be much better. In the final movement, the orchestra sounds too undefined and the drum too near, so the melody loses its energy. Moreover, there's a bit of noise in the other recordings, specially in the calm parts of the works. And, in some occasions, the strings sound a bit far-off (the Fifth final required more strength strings). It's amazing, because these are English EMI recordings, and this combination has always a good result. Despite of it, Mutti's versions of Tchaikovsky symphonies are quite good and, sometimes, very Italian (in rythm and tempo, I mean).
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