Jansons: Tchaikovsky "Pathetique" Symphony (r. 1986) - Chandos ABRD 1158 (DDD)
Jacket EX / LP NM
This handsome LP from Chandos (ABRD 1158, German pressing, blue/black label, DDD stereo) features Mariss Janson and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra’s landmark recording of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor Op. 74 “Pathetique”, recorded in the spacious acoustics of Oslo Philharmonic Concert Hall during 11-13 August 1986 (producer: Brian Couzens / engineers: Ralph Couzens and Dag Kristoffersen). It was this remarkable Tchaikovsky Symphony cycle that put both Jansons an the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra firmly on the map and 25 years on these recordings, this stirring “Pathetique” in particular, have lost none of their power, bite, and elegiac beauty.
Wrote the eminent critic Edward Greenfield in the January 1989 issue of The Gramophone:
“Mariss Jansons's outstanding Tchaikovsky series with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra makes a welcome appearance in this boxed set, confirming all I have said about the individual issues over the last three years, It may still seem odd to those who have not sampled these consistently refreshing, beautifully paced and structured performances that the Oslo Philharmonic can so successfully match itself against the world's greatest orchestras, but the evidence here seems clearer to me every time I hear them and make comparisons.
“Jansons in Tchaikovsky has the gift of conveying the full power and poetry of these works, naturally without indulging in wilful distortions or exaggerations. The whole set provides a bench-mark in this area, not only for interpretation but for brilliant and atmospheric recording quality too, against which others now have to be judged.”
Incidentally, the cover art reproduces Nicolaes Berchem’s “Peasants with Cattle by a Ruined Aqueduct”, held at the National Gallery, London. The outstanding liner notes on the reverse side are by Noël Goodwin, and there are also appreciations of both conductor and orchestra.