Date of purchase: June 2017.
First listen: 31-7-2017.
CD 5 from 5.
Recording dates: September 2003 & January 2004.
Recording venue: Gothenburg Concert Hall, Sweden.
Recording engineer: Michael Bergek.
Running time: 69:02.
Relevance to me: Essential.
Symphony No. 6 in B minor opus 74. "Pathétique".
Francesca da Rimini, opus 32, Fantasy for Orchestra.
Gothenburg SO, Neeme Järvi.
The last CD in this box.
Tchaikovsky said of the sixth symphony that he poured all of his soul in it, and one readily believes that. He found it to be the best of his works, and that is understandable. Järvi comes close to a perfect interpretation, but the full weight of the 6th does not come out in the appropriate passion that it needs. A little underwhelming, the somewhat cool approach and rationality does not fit the content. Thus tempi are well chosen, but the emotional impact is missing. The second and third movements are played in a breeze, blowing over instead of blowing you out of countenance. In itself this is a choice, but considering that the soul of the composer was in it, it is sadly missing in this instance. I cannot find blackness of a existence, and the pathos is missing too, although I wonder if that is in the fabric of the music, despite its title. Well at least there is no false sentiment and that counts for something too I guess. I like it but I do not love this account.
Well then, Francesca da Rimini, that is actually a full blooded account of a ferocity that perfectly fills the bill of this music. Järvi clearly found the right key to release the floods of passion, and a heartfelt directness. Punch is a mild expression for parts of the music, for it hits home pretty often and effectively so. Tchaikovsky remarked of this work that he really loved it, so that must count for something. This is a performance with character and excitement, of orchestral weight, and boisterousness that shakes the very frame of your mind countless times. And yes that means Järvi does well, very much so actually.
The sound is clear and detailed.