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Herbert von Karajan: 3 Classic Albums - Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites; Symphony no.6; String Serenades / Berlin Phil.

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Symphony no 6 in B minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 74
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48
>Dvorak, Antonin : Serenade for Strings
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20)
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

3 GREAT albums presented in original cover art, by one artist, at the price of just a single full-price album. TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony no. 6 "Pathétique" (1977) "I have put my whole soul into this work," Tchaikovsky declared, and he called it "the best thing I ever composed or ever shall compose." But even during rehearsals for its first performance - in St. Petersburg in 1893 - which did not go well, it was misunderstood, and the premiere on 28 October, nine days before his death from cholera (possibly suicide, though we may never know the real reason), incredibly failed to make much of an impression. It was his brother Modest who attached the enigmatic title "Pathétique" to Tchaikovsky's greatest orchestral masterpiece, one of the most original and powerful symphonic utterances ever created. It has been said that Karajan's approach was not to air the secret but rather to present it while maintaining its mystery. Looking back at the conductor's mid-1970s Tchaikovsky symphony recordings from Berlin, BBC Music Magazine's Ates Orga wrote: "Here is Karajan at his inspirational best, with a faultlessly disciplined band of players and a sound balance offering a mixture of luscious warmth, hard-edged tutti attack and physical presence. It has you on the edge of your seat...The 'Pathétique' is electrifying."

TCHAIKOVSKY: Serenade for Strings op. 48 DVORAK: Serenade for Strings op. 22 In early 1875, Dvorák secured a government scholarship that allowed him to give up teaching and devote himself entirely to composition. The immediate result was a flood of new works. That year alone saw the birth of several important chamber and vocal works, his Fifth Symphony and opera and - produced in just over ten days in May - the delightful Serenade for Strings, with its engaging melodious and wonderfully varied textures. Premiered in December by the combined strings of Prague's Czech and German theatres, it was an enormous success and - along with Tchaikovsky's exquisite effort in the same genre - one of the 19th century's most popular works for string orchestra. Tchaikovsky wrote his Serenade "from inner conviction," he wrote to his patroness Nadezhda von Meck in autumn 1880. "It is a heartfelt piece and so, I dare to think, is not lacking in real qualities." Reviewing this digital recording of the two works made by Karajan and the Berliners in 1980 in the Philharmonie, Gramophone Classical Music Guide (2010) praised the "naturally balanced" sound and "marvelous playing".

TCHAIKOVSKY: Ballet Suites: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty Tchaikovsky will probably always be revered as the ballet composer, although he wrote only three. The first, Swan Lake, was produced to an 1875 commission from the Moscow Imperial Theatres. He accepted it, Tchaikovsky told Rimsky-Korsakov, "partly because I want the money, but also because I have long had the wish to try my hand at this kind of music." The Sleeping Beauty, premiered at in St. Petersburg in 1890, is based on the famous fairytale by Charles Perrault. In 1891-92, when he composed his score for The Nutcracker ballet and its fairytale-like Christmas libretto, Tchaikovsky could not have foreseen that it was to be the last of his completed stage works. In early 1892 he arranged several of the score's finest numbers into a concert suite that has become as popular as the ballet itself. Karajan's Berlin Nutcracker recording was first released in 1967, the other two ballet suites in 1972. He was "unquestionably a great Tchaikovsky conductor," wrote the Gramophone Classical Music Guide in 2010 about these performances. "The triptych of ballet suites can be recommended almost without reservation, with the Sleeping Beauty suite memorable for some very exciting climaxes."

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Berlin.



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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Symphony no 6 in B minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 74
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 45 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1893

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 29 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1880

>Dvorak, Antonin : Serenade for Strings
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 30 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Sleeping Beauty Suite, Op. 66a
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 21 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1890

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20) :: 1. Scène. Moderato
  • Performer: Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 2 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20) :: 2. Valse. Tempo di Valse
  • Performer: Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 7 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20) :: 3. Danse des cygnes. Allegro moderato
  • Performer: Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 1 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20) :: 4. Scène. Andante - Andante non troppo - Tempo 1
  • Performer: Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 6 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20) :: 5. Danse hongroise (Czardas). Moderato assai - Allegro mod
  • Performer: Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Swan Lake (Suite from the ballet Op. 20) :: 6. Scène finale. Allegro agitato - Alla breve. Moderato e
  • Performer: Michel Schwalbé (Violin)
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 5 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1875-1876

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
  • Conductor: Herbert Karajan
  • Running Time: 22 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1892