Peter Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Christoph Eschenbach, piano



1 Hybrid SACD (SACD Surround 5.0 / SACD Stereo / CD Stereo - playable on all SACD and CD players); booklet with liner notes in English, French and German; luxurious slipcase


June 2008

Catalogue No.:
ODE 1131-5


Track listing

Disc 59:38
Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" 49:45
1 I. Adagio - Allegro non troppo 19:48
2 II. Allegro con grazia 7:56
3 III. Allegro molto vivace 9:12
4 IV. Finale. Adagio lamentoso - Andante 12:36
5 Dumka, Op. 59 (Russian rustic scene) 9:43

Also recommended...

Awards '10/10'

Press review

Eschenbach (...) delivers an outstanding performance on all counts. (...) The listener is wrapped in the sonic splendor that Tchaikovsky composed and the engineers have delivered. (The symphony) is a near 50 minute outing of sublime musicianship and sound that both the neophyte and disciplined listener will enjoy. (...) strongly recommended.
Richard S. Foster, Hi-Fi+, issue 63, Recording 10 / Music 9

Eschenbach's interpretation of the "Pathétique" Symphony is the best in his traversal of the big three Tchaikovsky symphonies. Ondine has captured the acoustics of Verizan Hall accurately in what must be considered a model for multichannel sound in the way it enhances instrumental imaging and ambient information.
Arthur Lintgen, Fanfare Magazine, November/December 2008, The Want List 2008

(...) played with thrilling ferocity, grace and poignancy in this live recording by the Philadelphia under Christoph Eschenbach. This must be one of the finest performances on disc.
Anthony Holden, The Observer, August 3, 2008

Playing of vintage American class, as here, makes a wonderful difference. So does Eschenbach's way of zeroing in on the music's essence rather than on its extremes; the detail is immaculate, the poetry beautiful. Eschenbach also hits a near-perfect, not-too-quick tempo in the march-like third movement so that this builds up huge momentum and excitement.
Malcolm Hayes, Classic FM Magazine, August 2008, ****

Do we really need yet another Pathétique? In this case, the answer is "yes". The sheen of the Philadelphia strings and the orchestra's mellow wind bring their own qualities to a performance that, under Christoph Eschenbach, has real fire and passion.
Matthew Rye, The Daily Telegraph, July 26, 2008

(...) the latest instalment of Christoph Eschenbach's riveting, if maddening, Tchaikovsky series.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, July 11, 2008

This is the finest and most expressive playing on disc since Bernstein's enthralling (and sprawling) 1986 version with the New York Philharmonic.
Victor Carr Jr.,, July 2008, Disc of the Month, Artistic Quality 10 / Sound Quality 10

(...) a vivid, deeply passionate performance.
Rick Jones, The Times, June 28, 2008

This lack of sentimentality is crucial to the impact of Eschenbach's bold, disciplined reading of the "Pathétique" Symphony. There's real ferocity behind the string melodies and the clarity of the textures is astounding.
Anna Picard, The Independant, June 22, 2008

Complete description

Building on a legacy... - One might well call The Philadelphia Orchestra playing a Tchaikovsky symphony the perfect marriage. Few ensembles have built such a legacy and strong association with the great Russian master. This recording features the final Symphony No. 6 'Pathétique'. Written in the last year of his life, this most melancholic of Tchaikovsky's symphonies is forever associated with the tragedy of his sudden death in 1893. As an added bonus, the disc includes the seldom-heard piano masterpiece Dumka, performed by Christoph Eschenbach on piano.

With this release, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach have now completed their recordings of the last three Tchaikovsky symphonies for Ondine. Enthusiastic press and success followed on the release of the previous recordings of Tchaikovsky's Fourth (ODE 1104-5) and Fifth (ODE 1076-5) Symphonies, coupled each with one half of The Seasons. Finest SACD recording technology highlights the unique spirit of a live performance of the legendary Orchestra, as well as of its world-renowned and magnificent "Philadelphia Sound".