Hannibal | Los Angeles, CA USA | 06/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Casting one's eyes at the veritable glut of performances listed of Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique" makes one wonder what could still be said that hasn't been said before, and yet...and yet...guess what? Eschenbach and his orchestra bring something new to the table.
Instead of trying to be more Russian than the Russians, or more visceral than Dudamel and the over-the-top school might have it, Eschenbach and his fabulous orchestra perform this great symphony as if it were straight out of the German/Brahms romantic school: with poise and seamless majesty, and IT WORKS!
Ladies and gentlemen: You should hear this. It is a beautiful and moving experience and the SACD recording process plays an important part in allowing us to hear this Brahmsian approach, convincing us that this symphony has qualities that we never quite realized before.
Give yourself a surprising treat: listen to this recording. Believe it or not, it's something else!"
Excellent performance and recording
D. Paper | Logan, UT | 09/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have not traditionally been much of a Tchaikovsky fan given my penchant for composers like Mahler, R. Strauss, and Bruckner. But, this recording has changed my perception. The recording is stellar in SACD, but I don't know about surround sound given that I only listen through 2 channels. The performance, in my opinion, is also stellar.
If you like excellent SACD recordings and wonderful performances, you can't miss with this one. The only caveat I can even fathom is that traditional Tchaikovsky fans might not like the conductor's interpretation. That is, the performance is dynamic, intense, and dark if anything compared to other Tchaikovsky 6 recordings. Although I don't hate other versions (i.e., Bernstein's DG digital Tchaikovsky 6), every time I listen to one (with the exception of the one I'm recommended here) I get this kind of 'syrupy' feeling in parts of the symphony. I'll start to become immersed in the symphony and then the performance just becomes a bit too sweet for me. This recording is different. I don't know if it is a Germanic influence as indicated by another reviewer or if this symphony is really darker than I thought.
All said, I highly recommend this disc without reservation. Buy it and you won't be sorry.
Good, but not perfect
M. Muckler | Pennsylvania | 09/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have all of Eschenbach and PO's Tchaikovsky Symphonies. While he hits the fifth out of the ball-park, this one is less well done. Some of the emotional power seems off. In addition, it seems that the style the PO uses doesn't mesh well with the text and what Tchaikovsky was trying to do. The recording quality also doesn't help things. I know this is a SACD, but it doesn't "feel" as if it reaches quite that level. However, it is otherwise very well done and for that reason it gets four stars."