Various Artists

Tchaikovsky: Greatest Hits

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Here's what could be called a sampler disc of all of Tchaikovsky's most memorable themes, you know, the ones used over and over in movies and commercials. So you have the dramatic opening of the Piano Concerto No. 1, the Nutcracker's "Waltz of the Flowers," the Andante Cantabile, the theme from the "Pathétique" Symphony, what many consider to be the essential part of the 1812 Overture -- the canons in the finale -- and other themes, all in one handy package. Plus, you get the bonus of hearing the song None but the Lonely Heart actually sung, and in Russian, too! Usually, it's heard in an arrangement for orchestra or piano or other instruments. The performances are by such accomplished artists as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Leila Josefowicz, and the Gabrieli Quartet; and conductors Seiji Ozawa, Herbert von Karajan, and Valery Gergiev, with the Boston Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, and Kirov Orchestra, respectively. And considering that these all come from different recordings, the sound quality isn't that bad. There aren't major differences between the sound of one track and the next. The disappointment, for those who are more familiar (or would like to be) with Tchaikovsky's works, is that some of the selections are only excerpts, not even whole movements of larger works.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23
1 9:09
Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71
2 7:01
The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20
3 2:55
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
5 5:21
Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions)
The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66
7 4:10
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36
8 5:33
String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
9 6:34
Eugene Onegin, opera, Op. 24
10 5:02
Serenade for strings (or piano, 4 hands) in C major, Op. 48
11 3:58
Symphony No. 6 in B minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 74
12 5:09
13 3:10
1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49
blue highlight denotes track pick