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Classical - Released December 22, 2014 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Classical - Released August 2, 2011 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
Had this been a conventional CD release, Mikhail Pletnev's studio recording of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathétique," might have stood out as an excellent rendition of this extremely popular work, but like too many comparable recordings on the glutted market, it might have been lost in the shuffle. What makes it considerably more noticeable and desirable is the DSD recording and the hybrid-SACD format, which make it a stunner. The "Pathétique" is so familiar and beloved of audiences that it is easy to treat it casually, like aural wallpaper. But this 2011 PentaTone release makes the symphony sound utterly revitalized and refreshed, so listening to all the details and dimensions of the Russian National Orchestra's playing is a pleasure, and not an obligation. A work as perennial and, yes, timeworn as this piece can only benefit from the audiophile treatment, and the multichannel reproduction is as spacious, lush, and visceral as any live performance, bringing across full sonorities, vibrant bass lines, rich timbres, and cutting attacks. Pletnev also includes the Capriccio Italien as filler, a sunny piece that brightens the mood after the dark depression of the symphony, so this is a well-balanced program, in addition to being a sonic spectacular. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 5, 2012 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Choral Music (Choirs) - Released May 1, 2020 | Ondine

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This album presents a sequel for the album of Tchaikovskys sacred choral works by the Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Sigvards Kava. These two albums together form the composer's complete sacred works for the choir. The All-Night Vigil, Op. 52 for mixed choir, also known as the "Vesper Service", was written between May 1881 and March 1882. It was first performed by the Chudovsky Chorus conducted by Pyotr Sakharov in Moscow at the concert hall of the All-Russian Industrial and Art Exhibition on 27 June 1882. Tchaikovsky described the work as "An essay in harmonisation of liturgical chants". For this work the composer carefully studied the tradition of musical practice in the Russian Orthodox Church, which could vary considerably from one region to another. This beautiful, yet rarely recorded work is accompanied by four other choral works all written during the same decade: Hymn in Honour of Saints Cyril and Methodius as part of commemorations of the 1000th anniversary of the death of Saint Methodius, A Legend, originally coming from the collection "Sixteen Songs for Children", Jurists Song, for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in St Petersburg, and The Angel Cried Out, a beautiful traditional Russian Orthodox Easter hymn and Tchaikovskys final choral work. © Ondine
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Classical - Released January 20, 2017 | Onyx Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Record of the Month
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Chamber Music - Released November 29, 2019 | Signum Classics

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Classical - Released May 19, 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Though less well-known than his operas, his symphonies and concertos, Tchaikovsky’s piano music nonetheless contains at least essential works of his, i.e. the cycle The Seasons Op. 37b, and the Grand Sonata Op. 37. Composed at a period of crisis in the composer’s personal life, they illustrate two quite different aspects of his style: on the one hand we have the fashionable worldliness of The Seasons, pieces that almost belong to the genre of salon music; on the other hand, we see him ambitiously grappling with the large format of the classical sonata, in the tradition of his illustrious predecessors. Composed between December 1875 and May 1876, the cycle of The Seasons was written like some kind of musical calendar for the year 1876, to a commission by the publisher of the monthly review Le Nouvelliste, the idea being to issue a piano piece every month. Composed in 1878 when the classical sonata – which composers deemed to be too restrictive – was largely abandoned in favour of free-form pieces, Tchaikovsky’s Grand Sonata in G major upheld the ancient four-movement structure. The pianistic writing of the Grand Sonata conveys a sense of forceful power that seems to go beyond the tonal dimensions of the piano and conjure up the multiple sound resources of a symphony orchestra, as might be expected from someone of the composer’s power. In a letter to his younger brother, Tchaikovsky complained about the difficulties he faced in writing his sonata: “I'm working on a sonata for piano... [and its composition] does not come easily. I worked unsuccessfully, with little progress. I'm again having to force myself to work, without much enthusiasm. I can't understand why it should be the case that, in spite of so many favourable circumstances, I’m not in the mood for work. I'm having to squeeze out of myself weak and feeble ideas, and ruminate over each bar. But I keep at it, and hope that inspiration will suddenly strike.” Tchaikovsky isn’t particularly a piano composer; and the only recording of him that Nikolai Lugansky had made up till now was of the First Piano Concerto; even though the pianist had played several of his works for the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1994. He has been described by Gramophone as ‘the most trailblazing and meteoric performer of all’ for his extraordinary depth and versatility. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 4, 2014 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released June 10, 2016 | Onyx Classics

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The first volume of a survey of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's symphonies, this two-fer from Onyx presents the Symphony No. 1 in G minor, "Winter Dreams," the Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Little Russian," and the Symphony No. 5 in E minor, in thrilling performances by Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. This package follows their 2015 release of The Tchaikovsky Album on the Classic FM label, and noting their 2014 release of Tchaikovsky's first two piano concertos on Onyx, it appears that they have made a special commitment to the composer. This is an auspicious beginning for a Tchaikovsky cycle, with atmospheric and expressive interpretations that Petrenko makes his own, and the vibrant and passionate playing of the Liverpool musicians is convincingly Russian in its rich sonorities and weighty emotional depth. Even though the first two symphonies are less familiar to listeners than the Symphony No. 5, which is one of the most popular works in the repertoire, they are just as rewarding and exciting in these spontaneous performances, and Petrenko adds a fiery intensity that is seldom heard in the early works. This series warrants serious attention, and admirers of Petrenko will want to hear all of these superb recordings. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 24, 2014 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released May 3, 2011 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Hi-Res Audio
There is no shortage of recordings of the Symphony No. 5 in E minor by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, so the discriminating listener need not settle for one that falls short of true excellence, however good it may be in some particulars. Such is the case with Mikhail Pletnev's multichannel recording for PentaTone, which for the most part is a respectable effort that has fine sound quality, but which is somewhat less than extraordinary. In such an audiophile presentation, one expects the Russian National Orchestra to be marvelous in sonority, deep in textures, and expansive in spatial dimensions to raise it above the levels of a merely good or satisfactory recording. Yet in spite of the resources at hand, considering that PentaTone has produced some of the finest SACDs available, it sounds about as good as one might expect of a CD, not a state-of-the-art recording. Pletnev's interpretation is lyrical and elastic, so the music sounds fresh and organically conceived, and the orchestra is responsive to the conductor's nuances. But this familiar work falls short of being exciting when it needs to be and seems to be a bit more studied than felt. (There is one unfortunate passage in the Finale where Pletnev indulges in a ritardando that slows down to a farcical sostenuto, showing bad taste.)The filler work, Francesca da Rimini, is played with melodramatic flair and flexibility, but again, the sound is nothing special for a collectors' package. © TiVo
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Opera - Released October 14, 2016 | Mariinsky

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Classical - Released February 1, 2011 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony represents a turning point in the composer's symphonic output. By the Fourth, Tchaikovsky had really found his own voice, tragic as it was, and began writing symphonies with much more poignancy, depth, and fervor. Many stressors were present as Tchaikovsky was writing the Fourth Symphony: constant financial worries, his brief marriage intended to deflect scrutiny about his own orientation, and the subsequent dissolution of the marriage to name but a few. Whether a listener subscribes to the theory that the Fourth Symphony is a musical translation of these events in the composer's life or not will play a role in their interpretation of the symphony as entirely absolute or semi-autobiographical. Lending their own interpretation on this PentaTone Classics disc are conductor Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra. Founded in 1990, the RNO has already achieved a great many accolades for its technically polished performances. With a fellow Russian at the helm of the orchestra, one would likely expect a robust, vigorous, assertive performance that accentuates the fatalistic elements of the score, particularly in the outer movements. While Pletnev and orchestra certainly deliver a technically flawless execution, their performance may be seen as a bit too nice. Where's the punchy, almost belligerent brass? The triple fortes that should make hairs stand on end? The free, sorrowful song of the English horn that opens the second movement? All of these elements are just too polished, too status quo, too nice. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released October 9, 2012 | LSO Live

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Classical - Released September 25, 2015 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released October 2, 2012 | PentaTone

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Symphonic Music - Released November 2, 2015 | Orfeo

Distinctions 4 étoiles Classica
Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony, a programmatic work based on Lord Byron's Manfred via the Russian critic Vladimir Stasov, has been performed less often even than the three earlier Tchaikovsky symphonies, to say nothing of the mighty final three (although most of the major Russian conductors have recorded it at some point during their careers). It was composed in 1885, at the height of the composer's career. Tchaikovsky was ambivalent about the work, at first proclaiming it one of his best, but later threatening to destroy it. The symphony shows the influence of Berlioz's program works (including an "idée fixe"), and is not boring in the least. The reasons for its neglect include its length, its orchestral complexity (it calls for two harps, not something all orchestras can provide, as well as a harmonium or organ and gigantic brass and wind sections), and a certain lack of cohesion. Russian conductors may bull through the work and thus avoid the latter issue, but Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons, leading the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in a live recording, tries for a more measured approach. Listeners may wish for more blood and guts as the finale proceeds, but there are many attractions: the Birmingham players punch above their weight in a perilously difficult score (apparently, it's true, having four spliced-together chances), and Nelsons gives the work a level of detail and balance that's especially impressive in a live performance. The Marche Slave, Op. 31, serves as a curtain raiser, and Nelsons' energetic reading works very well: annotator Tobias Hell points out its thematic similarities (the Marche Slave was about the Serbian struggle against the Turks, Manfred about the Greek independence war). If this is not the last word on the Manfred Symphony, it is one that will be welcomed into many collections. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released October 11, 2011 | Mariinsky

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Symphonies - Released November 2, 2015 | Orfeo

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Classical - Released January 3, 2012 | PentaTone

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Mikhail Pletnev's 2012 release of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1 in G minor, "Winter Dreams," is a sonic showcase, presented in the multichannel super audio format and given the best reproduction PentaTone can provide. This Romantic symphony offers much in the way of atmospheric orchestration and dreamy moods, and some of the most memorable passages are soft and evocative of misty Russian landscapes, so it really helps to have these delicate effects reproduced through sensitive direct stream digital recording. But when the Russian National Orchestra rises to its climaxes, which are many in Tchaikovsky's passionate and exciting music, the surround sound recording captures it all with full spatial dimensions, so the orchestra's sections have distinctive but balanced placement. Pletnev's interpretation is a little unusual, insofar as his tempos in the first three movements are considerably slower than one usually hears, and his emphasis on sharp accentuation seems almost mannered. But these are minor considerations in a performance that in other regards is brilliantly executed and quite effective in depicting the melancholy images the composer intended. This hybrid SACD also contains a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's popular Marche Slave, which is as bold and bombastic as the First Symphony is subtle. Highly recommended, especially for audiophiles. © TiVo