I admit I approach any new recordings of these, my favorite Tchaikovsky symphonies, with a bit of trepidation. Over the years I’ve encountered one too many recordings, as well as concert performances, that lay on the incurable Romanticism a bit too thick. Thematic presentations are muddled and tempos are stretched so that each movement, regardless of the tempo indication, seems to plod at the same pace.
It’s as if some conductors believed that Tchaikovsky, who always wore his heart on his sleeve, needed help expressing his feelings.
Jill Pasternak welcomes renowned conductor Kurt Masur. The German kappelmeister has led orchestras around the globe, including the New York Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestra National de France, where he is now honorary music director.
Masur celebrated his 80th birthday in 2007 with a series of special events, concerts, and tours, including a performance in Philadelphia. He'll be at Tanglewood working with young musicians and leading the Boston Symphony in a series of concerts through August 22, 2009.