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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos.4-6

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Valery Gergiev is widely recognized as the greatest modern interpreter of Tchaikovsky s music and the Mariinsky Orchestra holds a peerless reputation in the repertoire. These acclaimed performances were filmed at Salle Pleyel in Paris during January 2010 and directed by Andy Sommer. The themes of fate and death pervade Tchaikovsky s final symphonies. The composition of the fourth symphony coincided with the breakdown of Tchaikovsky s marriage and a failed suicide attempt, and the sixth symphony premiered shortly before Tchaikovsky s death. Both the DVD and Blu-ray discs include a bonus interview of Maestro Gergiev directed by Tommy Pearson.

Review

IRR Outstanding Recording: ''Gergiev directs performances which are totally gripping... his combination of hypnotic gaze and fluttering fingers conjuring up intensely beautiful playing... The performances here are immensely rewarding, expertly crafted and will easily bear repeated viewing.'' --International Record Review

''The Russian maestro's identification with his countryman's music is total... the sound, whether in stereo or surround, is first class.'' --Gramophone

Choc de l'annee & Choc du mois: ''Russian music has found a champion in Valery Gergiev... To see him conduct Symphonies Nos. 4-6 at the Salle Pleyel, Paris, is an experience that is both intense and unique... Everything is fascinating, his expressions, the quick reactions from the orchestra, the incredible sonority... This interpretation attains something that is normally difficult: a naturalness.'' --Classica (France)

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Mariinsky Orchestra
  • Directors: Valery Gergiev
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, Import, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Mariinsky
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005HK8L18
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gerhard P. Knapp on October 15, 2011
Format: DVD
Yes, Tchaikovsky's music can be noisy, repetitive, even banal and sentimental in some passages, especially when it is not played "right" and without the proper feeling for its many layers of emotion, its surprisingly complex structures and its idiomatic syntax. When I approached Gergiev's set of the mature symphonies, my yardstick of excellence was the 1991 DVD Tchaikovsky Cycle by Vladimir Fedoseyev with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra (see my review). These are marvelous, idiomatic performances - though the video and audio are now somewhat dated - and I will return to them. Gergiev has the advantage of state-of-the-art audio and video. He also conducts one of the world's premier orchestras, the musicians on the tip of their collective toes during their tour, here captured in the acoustically benevolent Salle Pleyel in Paris. Gergiev's approach to the scores is free in the best sense: he uses frequent tempo shifts, a wide spectrum of sound from ppp to fff as well as much portamento, rubato, accelerando and diminuendo. He manages to bring off the Fourth (an uneven symphony) with passion and insight, lending it a stature rarely encountered in other performances. Both the Fifth and the Pathétique are poignantly felt, the former as an arduous, but ultimate affirmation of life, the latter in its shattering progression to final dark resignation. These are incredible, stunning and moving performances one must hear to appreciate. The interview with Gergiev shows him as an articulate, thoughtful musician who sheds new light on Tchaikovsky's music and the art of performance.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Review of DVD of Tchaikosvky Symphnies 4 – 6,
Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Saint Petersburg, Valery Gergiev, conductor

It appears to me that composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky remains the undisputed giant icon of Russian music for its people, even to this day despite, ironcially, the resurgence of government-encouraged homophobia rampant throughout the country. His symphonies Nos. 4, 5, and 6 certainly confirm that.

For better or worse, Tchaikosvky's music continues to be popular with conductors and recording companies, and a remarkable number of recordings have been produced over the years. The difficulty is that his music is romantic and requires necessary interpretation by the conductors. This has been met with varying success. Without my naming them, I recall a Soviet-era recording of the “Pathétique” that was uninspired and plodding. I also heard a former Italian opera-conductor who produced a sing-song rendition that lacked the symphony's solemnity and dignity. Other orchestras have produced admired performances that still lacked the full extent of Tchaikosvky's expression of angst, depression, and resignation in his “Pathétique.”

For many years, I was most impressed with the half-century-old recording by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. At last in 2010, conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra have performed and recorded, what I feel to be in my humble opinion, the definitive interpretation of those three symphonies and especially the “Pathétique.” Listening to the orchestra and watching Gergieve conduct leads me to believe that he has plumbed the very depths of Tchaikosvky's mind and soul. Every note, every nuance is expressed with deep understanding and empathy.
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Format: DVD
Not often do we get to see Valery Gergiev up close and this DVD allows us the privilege of seeing the master in action. He is in complete command of the Mariinsky orchestra and the passion and commitment to the music is evident. The camera work is truly wonderful and perfectly in sync with the score. Much care and attention has been put into the making of this DVD and I would urge anyone interested in Tchaikovsky's final Symphonies to buy this above all others.
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Format: DVD
I am so glad to finally have together on disc Tchaikovsky's finest symphonies, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky orchestra. They really earn their reputation as the greatest orchestra for Tchaikovsky as Gergiev displays his ease of control throughout. The concerts are beautifully shot with close-ups on the players and conductor. This disc would be especially valuable as an educational tool to musicians and conductors studying Tchaikovsky and performance techniques.
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I had high hopes of this disc. All 3 symphonies are splendid examples of late-19th-century Russian romanticism, and who better to reveal their riches than an eminent Russian conductor and a Russian orchestra. The answer is a Latvian conductor and a Norwegian orchestra. The first is this DVD of a very recent set of performances, and the second is a moderately old CD. But I will make that comparison based on interpretation alone at the end of this review. The Mariinsky DVD offers impeccable sound and crisply clear images, although the camera work of the French production team has none of the artistry that craftsmen such as Brian Large and Humphrey Burton bring to their task. The shots change at a frenetic speed that often contrasts with that of the music, and we rarely see more than 10 consecutive seconds of poor old Valery. As it happens, that is not such a deprivation, for when he is not using a baton, as in the last two symphonies, he must qualify as the most gauche and visually-challenged conductor ever to have stepped onto a podium. Although I have heard him and the orchestra live on several occasions, thankfully, he has always had his back to me.
The 4th Symphony gets him off to a very unconvincing start. It is not the greatest of the three, and has earned its place in the repertory because it has plenty of fire and spirit, jolly folksy melodies, and a thematic coherence attributable to its programmatic reintroduction of motifs from earlier movements. Gergiev's ultra-slow tempi drain much of the excitement from the first movement, and turn the second from a charmingly wistful lullaby into an ecclesiastical hymn. Things succeed much more convincingly in the last two, although even in these, his slower pace generates a performance less thrilling than those of his rivals.
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