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  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / 1812 Overture / Marche Slave (Essential Classics)
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / 1812 Overture / Marche Slave (Essential Classics)


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Audio CD, April 5, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

P. Tchaikovsky ~ Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / 1

Amazon.com

Eugene Ormandy's great Tchaikovsky recordings were all made for Sony (then CBS), and this performance of the Fourth Symphony and other goodies features his typically lush, Romantic string sonority, along with a few orchestral retouchings, particularly at the very end. Generations of music lovers grew up on these performances, and hearing them again (in much better sound and at budget price) is like meeting an old friend after a long absence. --David Hurwitz

1. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: I. Adante sostenuto; Moderato con anima in movimento di valse; Moderato assai, quasi andante; Allegero vivo
2. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: II. Andantino In modo di canzona
3. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato; Allegro
4. Symphony No. 4 In F Minor, Op. 36: IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco
5. 1812 Overture, Op.49
6. Marche Slave, Op. 31

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
  • Composer: Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (April 5, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000276L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

This CD has captured the soul of the music and the soul of Russia!
Kendal B. Hunter
For such a really cheap CD, this is positively worth buying and listening!
Shota Hanai
And the canon's at the end....This was like finding a long lost friend.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt on September 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is a Fourth that sparkles and shimmers. The Philadelphia Orchestra never sounded better--even the brass is magnificent--and this repertiore fits them perfectly. Ormandy seems at home with the Tchaikovsky 4th--he must have conducted it a thousand times when this 1970 recording was made. Tempi are middle-of-the-road and balances are perfect. The pizzicato third movement is the *fattest* I've ever heard, and the rip-roaring finale will get you doing an infectious Russian dance and longing nostalgically for the Tzar, even if you were born in the USA in the second half of the 20th century.
But some of the lushness and comfort in this performance are also a minus. Compared to a Mravinsky, for example, or a Bernstein, Ormandy never got too far below the surface of this music. The same beauty of sound could also be compared to cotton candy--a little goes a long way. So, as usual, I'll say you should supplement this recording with some other viewpoints, such as Mravinsky and Bernstein. (I've reviewed one of Mravinsky's recordings elsewhere on this site, if you're interested.)
I can't really comment on that old warhorse, 1812. I'm not nuts about the piece, and don't have a lot of different performances to compare this one to. So you'll have to rely on other reviews.
As for Marche Slave, this is a perfectly fine performance, but nothing will ever match the incredible 1969 Stokowski/London Symphony Orchestra performance on London ("Phase 4 Quadrophonic" in its first release on vinyl). I don't know if that has been released on CD, but that is the yardstick if you want a Slave that's larger than life and viscerally thrilling.
(P.S.: Feel compelled to straighten out a couple of errors.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pack on August 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording is a wonderful mix of one of his most notable symphonies, along with the two shorter pieces that are most widely known. Symphony No.4 is good, but not great; buy this album for "1812" and "Slavic March."

"1812" is moving and spirited; a choral introduction replaces the more traditional instrumental, and although it is in English, it works very well with the spirit of the piece. Throughout, the tempo is spirited, the music compelling, and of course, the cannons appropriately bombastic.

"Slavic March" is not nearly as well known as "1812," but this recording shows it deserves equal attention as a great short work, capturing the essence of the great Russian musical traditions.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Tchaikovsky's music on this cd can be very accurately summed up in one word- power. The fourth symphony opens with the triumphant horn call, formidably telling what is to come. Marche slave, with the mournful sound of a dirge at times and a nationalistic flair at others, is enough of a reason to purchase this cd. Philadelphia does an excellent job with the pieces, and I highly recommend it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shota Hanai on June 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Rather than the fourth symphony, I am more concerned with 1812 and Marche Slave. Ormandy's version of 1812 is far from original; the choir is added, like Karajan and Jarvi. Some classical people often say that 1812 is supposed to be arranged into different versions, although the composer himself probably wasn't willing to do that. 1812 is one of my favorite music by Tchaikovsky, and Ormandy's arranged version of 1812 is truly awesome. The cannons especially you don't want to miss hearing a shot! Marche Slav is another music I like very much, and Ormandy's performance is truly the best. The tempo is slow and melancholy at first, but the finale is absolutely thrilling! For such a really cheap CD, this is positively worth buying and listening!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Make no mistake. This CD is about the difficult to find Ormandy rendition of the 1812 Overture. It is the gold standard to which all others must compare. Be careful, there are at least two Ormandy renditions out there. This is the one!
Battleship cannon fire and the Morman Tabernacle chorus are balanced with Ormandy's famous Philadelphia Orchestra string section to create a soul-stirring 17 minutes. Ormandy takes his time and lets the music blossom as it should.
Too bad the disc version could not have cleaned up the hiss sounds a bit better. Hiss or no, it still deserves 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew R. Barnard on February 11, 2013
Format: Audio Cassette
I agree completely with the reviewers who argue that Ormandy doesn't give everything Tchaikovsky's 4th asks for in terms of concentration and passion. But what the naysayers aren't moved by is Ormandy's direct homey feeling. Schmaltziness shouldn't be equated with greatness, but I felt moved repeatedly throughout this performance--too moved to nonchalantly pan it. I guess it comes down to a matter of pure personal tastes. I couldn't listen to this reading without picking up on a delightful old-fashioned feel of heart-warming beauty, while others only hear what's missing.

The Philadelphia Orchestra was an orchestra of great color and finesse under Ormandy, but Ormandy wasn't a conductor to push for intensity. This reading is full of rich, vibrant string playing that is unabashedly sentimental at times. If you're a longtime fan of the orchestra, the plucking in the scherzo will send chills down your spine. For me, the highlight of the performance was the two inner movements, which aren't supposed to be as barnstorming anyway.

I'm not sure how to prepare listeners for this album. Many seem acclimated for Ormandy's plush sweetness while others hear only a long nap. I'm in the middle, staying awake and enjoying the slushy emotionality while recognizing that true greatness goes beyond gushy feelings. It's mushy without being fussy, if you like my rhyming scheme.
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