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If the young suicide Eduard Zak, whose death continually haunted Tchaikovsky, hovered around the doomed love of Romeo and Juliet, he partly inspired the Fifth Symphony, where fate is again protagonist. Despite an irresistible waltz, the symphony struggles less against the inevitable than No 4. Indeed the concluding bars, apparently affirmative and triumphant, celebrate only a hollow victory in face of the LPO's virtuosity and a sense of commitment that does everything to stir Tchaikovsky from his obsessive gloom [listen -- 5 86168 2 track 8, 10:48-11:45].

Copyright © 6 February 2005 Robert Anderson, London UK

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5; Serenade in C

5 86168 2 DDD/ADD Stereo REISSUE 78'09" 1979,1991 and 2004 EMI Records Ltd

London Philharmonic Orchestra; Sian Edwards, conductor (Symphony); Normal Del Mar, conductor (Serenade)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): Serenade in C Op 48; Symphony No 5 in E minor Op 64

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Tchaikovsky Symphonies 4 and 6

CD-9920/21 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE (2 CDs) 59'09"/61'08" - TT 120'17" 2004 Angelok1 Records

Russian Federal Orchestra; Vakhtang Jordania, conductor

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): Capriccio Italien Op 45; Symphony No 4 in F minor Op 36; Polonaise from 'Eugene Onegin'; Symphony No 6 in B minor Op 74 'Pathetique'; Romeo and Juliet (Overture-Fantasia)

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