A Tchaikovsky Triple Play

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In the mood for the passion and excitement of a Tchaikovsky symphony? Well, so are we at the Showdown, but we need you to help us choose which one.

It was a very close race all morning between Symphony No. 4 and No. 6, and you chose the "Pathetique" as the one that moves you the most. We played it at noon.

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Symphony No. 4

Symphony No. 5

Symphony No. 6

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Comments [12]

(DARN!) I missed the lunch hour today ( but I wish I hadn't) All three symphonies are masterpieces, but the sixth is ALWAYS the golden glove Champ! Its got everything a great symphony needs. Its melodic, tender and totally powerful in its delivery....(My favorite Tchaikovsky moment is its third march movement....its a bombastic KNOCKOUT and the best classical climax of all time!)

Apr. 11 2012 02:23 PM
Jorge Aguilar from Costa Rica

I believe the second movement Andante cantabile from the Fifth Symphony in E minor would be a reason strong enough for considering his Opus 64 one of Tchaikovsky's greatest works, just listen to the noble beautiful melody sung by the French horn and its development and you will realize what a major creation this is.

Apr. 11 2012 11:57 AM
Miles

While each of these symphonies represents Tchaikovsky's mastery of melody and orchestral power, in my view the 6th is his symphonic masterpiece. Like the earlier symphonies, it is quintessential Tchaikovsky, but with a unique structural mastery and profound poignancy lacking in the others, ending as it does with the highly unusual (and heartrending) slow movement -- which many believe was written with an awareness, conscious or not, of his impending death.

Apr. 11 2012 11:32 AM
Miles

While each of these symphonies represents Tchaikovsky's mastery of melody and orchestral power, in my view the 6th is his symphonic masterpiece. Like the earlier symphonies, it is quintessential Tchaikovsky, but with a unique structural mastery and profound poignancy lacking in the others, ending as it does with the highly unusual (and heartrending) slow movement -- which many believe was written with an awareness, conscious or not, of his impending death.

Apr. 11 2012 11:30 AM
Bernie from UWS

Why not one of Tchaik's lesser-known symphonies? The Third is quite interesting? And the Winter Dreams is a nice throwback to the season we never had this year.

But among these, the fourth is the most thrilling and least characteristic of the composer's bad traits - his sentimentality, his sloppy excess, his occasional cliched theme. If Michael Meltzer were still around these parts, he'd agree with me!

Apr. 11 2012 11:23 AM
Maryanne Alfano from Oakland Gardens, Queens, NY

I must say that I am with Carol L. and Robert H. #3 and Leonard Bernstein are phenomenal together. And I will never forget the first time I heard it played live - at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (affectionately known as BAM)with my family. The last movement almost blew us out of our balcony seats - what a thrill it was!

Apr. 11 2012 11:17 AM
Bob from NYC

As a young boy in Montana, I first heard the 6th on an old portable radio when I was camping with my family! I was outside looking up at the sky and was so moved by the music and the beauty of mountains at night. Both just blended to beautifully together. Now everytime I hear it those memories come back.

Apr. 11 2012 11:06 AM
Marcia

Having trouble closing one so I can open and listen to the others!
Where's the STOP button????

Apr. 11 2012 11:01 AM
Raymond Banacki from Brooklyn, New York

Ever since I saw Ken Russell's "The Music Lovers", I've become more and more interested in Tchaikovsky - the composer and the man. And, for me, personally, his 6th Symphony - the Pathetique - is the most thrilling piece of music and an enduring meditation on life itself.

Apr. 11 2012 10:51 AM
Carol Luparella from Elmwood Park, NJ

Robert, you and I have had nearly the same experience of the Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony! It holds a special place in my heart also, since it was that very symphony which started my love for classical music. I first heard it on a PBS broadcast of Leonard Bernstein with the NY Philharmonic, and I also had purchased the LP, although I no longer have it. Needless to say, I voted for the 4th Symphony, although I will be happy to hear any of them. I will be glued to the computer through the 12 Noon hour! Thanks, WQXR, for this Showdown!

Apr. 11 2012 10:45 AM
Robert Heffernan

The 4th Symphony, conducted by Leonard Bernstein with the New York Philharmonic, was the first classical recording I ever bought at the long-gone King Carol store on 42nd Street. The work holds a special place in my heart for initiating my love of classical music. I still own the LP with the over-sized, encircled number 4 cover art and continue to play this enduring masterpiece.

Apr. 11 2012 10:15 AM
Judy Siegman from Brooklyn, NY

A vote for Steve Sullivan, whose voice is cool, whose comments are brief and informative, not spun out and evaluative. He's his own man but more in the tradition of very much missed Sarah Fishko. Can he be garnered for daytime broadcasts? If so, how much more willing a listener I'd be!

Apr. 11 2012 05:27 AM

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