Ferenc Fricsay - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 'Pathetique'


Speakers Corner (Deutsche Grammophon)



Product No.:
ADGR 138135
EAN: 4260019711717
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180 Gram Vinyl Record

180 Gram LP

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Made during the pioneering days of stereo technology when everyone was vying for a piece of the cake, it is hard to believe that this absolutely top-notch recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique has never been brought to the ears of music lovers until today. And it is even more unbelievable since it was made by a first-class orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, Ferenc Fricsay. The reasons for the non-release are a matter of speculation because those responsible have kept them under their hat.

Not even the man behind the microphone, Werner Wolf, can recall making this recording - although a yellowed recording protocol discloses carefully noted details about the recording venue and date. No wonder that the tapes never got made into records. It is not with a little pride and much joyful anticipation that the announcement can be made: the record is spinning on the turntable at last.

And at long last a gap in Fricsay’s repertoire can be closed. Specially recommended: listen to the wonderful clarity of the upper strings which is preserved even in the softest passages.

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (Pathetique)
Satz: Adagio - Allegro non troppo
Satz: Allegro con grazia
Satz: Allegro molto vivace
Satz: Finale. Adagio lamentoso

Customer Reviews (5.00 Stars) 1 person(s) rated this product.

Better Late than Never!

posted on 01/23/2008
5 Stars
Reviewer: Wade Rice
The item description states that it remains unknown why this recording was never released. But the notes to the album state that Fricsay, a perfectionist, was not satisfied with the takes made thus far, and that additional recording sessions kept being rescheduled, canceled, and rescheduled, with the eventual result that the recording was never endorsed by Fricsay for release. However, years later, the Fricsay Society and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, a staunch advocate for the conductor, finally consented to its release.

The recording is revelatory, with Fricsay saving everything for the last movement, conveying the pain that Tchaikovsky must have felt in composing this work. Sound is definitely early stereo, with slight variances in the sound stage between movements likely due to the numerous takes, retakes, and adjustments made in the microphone placement. It is too bad that there is no previous release of this recording to give audiophiles a reference point as far as the sound.

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