NOT FOR SALE IN THE U.S.A.
Koussevitzky’s early biographer Lourie reports that in his salad days Koussevitzky–like his
mentor Arthur Nikisch–“based his performances of Tchaikovsky on the emotional side of the music… (but in later years) after undergoing a great and serious evolution… [Koussevitzky] adopted a correct and entirely new method of treating this composer”. While that new method may have emphasized the music’s symphonic structure and Beethovenian dynamism, Koussevitzky never slighted the seething emotions that permeate this composer’s
scores. Ever the showman, Koussevitzky deftly portrays the composer’s shifting moods, from the ink-black darkness and devastation of the Pathetique to the incredible resilience of the human spirit captured in the closing moments of the Fourth Symphony, immediately following the last and most disturbing appearance of the fate motif. The playing of the Boston Symphony in this set is utterly fearless, no matter how fast the tempo or intricate the writing. Just listen to the snap of the pizzicato strings in the Fourth Symphony’s scherzo or the boundless enthusiasm of the brass in finale from the Fifth.
CD-1138(2) SERGE KOUSSEVITZKY CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY SYMPHONIES.
Symphony No 4 in F Minor, Op. 36 rec: Centennial Symphony Orchestra, March 11, 1949; Symphony Hall, Boston; Symphony No 5 in E Minor, Op. 64 rec: Centennial Symphony Orchestra, November 6, 1943; Symphony Hall, Boston; Symphony No 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 “Pathetique” rec: Centennial Symphony Orchestra, February 9, 1946; Symphony Hall, Boston. Previously unissued live performances.
CD 1 = 68:26. CD 2 = 63:47. Technical reconstruction (2004): Aaron Z. Snyder; notes by American Record Guide contributor Tom Godell. (AAD) UPC#17685-1138-2. Not available in the USA for copyright reasons.