Vasily Petrenko / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 3, 4 and 6

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The second volume of Vasily Petrenko's two-part survey of Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky's symphonies presents the Symphony No. 3 in D major, "Polish," the Symphony No. 4 in F minor, and the Symphony No. 6 in B minor, "Pathétique," in exciting performances that fulfill the promise of the first volume, which included 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. This cycle and Petrenko's previous Tchaikovsky releases on Onyx show a particular commitment to this composer's music that translates into powerful performances by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which plays with an intensity and passion comparable to legendary Russian orchestras. While the reputation of the Symphony No. 4 is unassailable and only surpassed by the overwhelming fame of the "Pathétique," the Symphony No. 3 has languished in relative obscurity, along with "Winter Dreams" and the "Little Russian," and despite attempts to raise its profile, true popularity remains elusive. Even so, and despite being split between the two CDs here, Petrenko's energetic performance of the "Polish" is powerful advocacy and should bring many new listeners to the piece. Collectors may choose to wait until these recordings are issued in one box set, but anyone who has access to this volume and its companion should hear them all, not just for their excitement but also for the remarkable clarity of these exceptional recordings.

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