Let's say your tastes usually run to the Austro-Germanic, but you already have all of Beethoven's and Brahms' symphonies, most of Bruckner's and Mahler's symphonies, and many of Mozart's and Haydn's symphonies, so now you're thinking about trying out Tchaikovsky's symphonies. The question is: how many should you get? Should you get just the famous last three symphonies? Should you get all six numbered symphonies? Should you get all six symphonies plus the Manfred Symphony. Or should you get all symphonies six plus Manfred plus the orchestral suites? The answer, of course, depends on how much of Tchaikovsky's richly melodic, fabulously colorful, and extravagantly emotional orchestral music you're up for.
Lepo Sumera (8 May 1950 – 2 June 2000) was an Estonian composer and teacher. Considered one of Estonia's most renowned composers along with Heino Eller, Eduard Tubin and Arvo Pärt, he was also his country's Minister of Culture from 1988 to 1992 during the days of the Singing Revolution…
David Hurwitz on Symphony No. 3 & Symphonic Dances
One of the great Rachmaninov recordings ever made, these accounts of the Third Symphony and Symphonic Dances by Mariss Jansons and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic recall the heady days of Mravinsky and the (then-named) Leningraders at their finest–only in top-quality sound. The whiplash strings in the second movement of the Symphonic Dances, hair-trigger discipline in the same work's outer movements, and the razor-sharp modernity that Jansons brings to the Third Symphony all combine to make this reissue irresistible. There are too many memorable moments to list here, but the central section of the Third Symphony's slow movement, full of mordant wit, and the rhythmically thrilling ending of the Symphonic Dances come immediately to mind. If you missed this issue the first time, don't let it pass by again. It belongs in every serious record collection. [5/7/2004]