Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Romeo and Juliet

During many of the years when Arturo Toscanini’s career flourished in the full glare of broadcasting’s media spotlight, Serge Koussevitzky was making music on far different pathways. Koussevitzky conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949, building it into a performing unit unmatched in its time for its richness of tone and the perfection of its technique; he used that orchestra, furthermore, to explore and advance the cause of new music. It’s high time RCA began to examine its considerable vault treasury of Koussevitzkiana; the label’s new release of Tchaikovsky performances from 1930 and 1936 is an excellent start. The sound may be faint, but Koussevitzky’s version of the ”Pathétique” symphony remains clear and powerful, bending tempos freely to drive home moments of high passion. Even better, the sound on the later Romeo and Juliet, in a reading overpowering in its sheer energy, is advanced enough to reveal the fabulous Boston sheen in close to full glory. B+

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Romeo and Juliet
  • Music