Columbia SAX 2368
Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" Symphony
Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
Okay, so I have decided not to pursue my original plan of going through the SAX series in the order of catalog number but rather by what album I happen to be in the mood to listen to on a given day. I happened to be at home working this morning and had the opportunity to listen to four of the albums in a row. Lately, I've been listening to the last three Tchaikovsky symphonies (4-6), particularly the Mravinsky recordings on Deutsche Grammophon as I mentioned in a previous post. Inspired to check out another interpretation of the 6th symphony, I pulled this record from the shelf this morning. Boy, what a treat. I'm a great admirer of Giulini's work, and his early recordings for British Columbia were, in my opinion, a superb testament to his talent as a conductor. This record is no exception. It might not pack quite the same "punch" as the Mravinsky, but it has plenty of drama and excitement. My favorite movement is the 3rd. As for the recording, the surfaces of my disc are quiet, and the music plays with great dynamic range without any distortion during louder passages. Again, like many of the orchestral recordings in the SAX series, one gets the impression that you are sitting somewhere in the middle of the concert hall listening to the performance. Highly recommended. I should note that this performance is readily available on CD from EMI. You should be able to get both the Tchaikovsky 2nd and 6th symphonies on the same disc at a budget price. Highly recommended!