Monday, March 4, 2013

Columbia SAX 2368

Columbia SAX 2368

Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" Symphony

Carlo Maria Giulini, conductor
Philharmonia Orchestra

Pressing:  ES1

YAX 408-4
YAX 409-7

Condition:  NM

Performance:  10/10

Sound:  9/10


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!  


  1. Like you, I love this recording. The US Seraphim issue was the very first classical LP I ever bought....way back in 1971. I was in 6th grade at the time. I've been a classical music nut ever since.

    This recording still ranks very high in my opinion. I still have that old Seraphim LP and I also have this on CD. Just for nostalgic reasons, I'd love to find a good copy of the original British Columbia, such as you discuss here. The original cover art is rather nice, I think.

    1. Hi - thanks for checking out our blog and for your comment! I think that this album comes up on Ebay time and again, and if you just happen to look at the right time, you can probably get a reasonable deal on this. Popsike is showing a mean price of about $57 for a blue/silver copy. I would say that it is entirely worth it, since the sound is representative of the best of UK Columbia and the performance, as you've already noted, is excellent. Good luck!

  2. I am not aware of any UK reissues. Just saw your reissue on youtube;

    I don't associate the original Seraphim label with quality sound, but it sounds pretty dynamic.