Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian" (2012)

Tchaikovsky

Russian National Orchestra

Mikhail Pletnev

Following the long and rocky road to the First Symphony, on which, due to his teaching duties at the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky had been forced to work at night, the Second Symphony was composed mainly in the summer of 1872, hot on the heels of his second opera, The Oprichnik. At this time, Tchaikovsky was once again tak- ing a holiday on the country estate of his sister Aleksandra, located near the Ukrainian town of Kamianka, in the Kiev Governerate. Numerous anecdotes report Tchaikovsky’s touching assertion that he was not the true creator of the work, but rather, that it actually had been composed by one Pyotr Gerasimovich, one of the older servants in the household of his sister and her husband, Lev Davydov, for it was Pyotr Gerasimovich who had sung the folksong, The Crane, to him, which provided the basis for the work’s finale. Regardless of the story’s veracity, there is no other work in Tchaikovsky’s symphonic oeuvre that contains such a wealth of authentic folksong themes beside freely composed folksong-like creations. The work’s unofficial title, Little Russian Symphony, is indeed attributable to the fact that so many Ukrainian folksongs are employed in it, ‘Little Russia’ having been the standard term for the central and northern portions of today’s Ukraine in Tsarist times.

 

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Russian National Orchestra

The Russian National Orchestra was founded in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev and is today recognized as one of the world’s top orchestras.  Maintaining an active international tour schedule, the RNO appears throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, and is a frequent visitor to major festivals such as Edinburgh, Shanghai and the BBC Proms.  The orchestra presents its own RNO Grand Festival each September to open the Moscow season, and is founding orchestra of Festival del Sole, held every July in California’s Napa Valley.

RNO concerts are regularly aired on National Public Radio in the United States, the European Broadcasting Union, and Russia's Kultura channel.  The orchestra's critically acclaimed discography, launched with a 1991 CD cited as the best recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathéthiquein history, now numbers more than 80 recordings, with conductors that include Founder and Music Director Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Vasily Petrenko and Carlo Ponti. 

Mikhail Pletnev

After his studies at the Central Special Music School, Mikhail Pletnev entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1974, where he studied with Jakob Flier and Lev Vlasenko. Aged only 21, Pletnev was the Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. He has since appeared as soloist with the major orchestras under conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano and Kurt Sanderling.

In 1990, following the collapse of the Soviet system, Mikhail Pletnev was able to realize his dream of forming the Russian National Orchestra. Under his artistic leadership, the RNO has become known as one of the world’s leading orchestras. Although his conducting career is primarily focused on the RNO, he also makes appearances as a guest-conductor with such prestigious orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Sinfonieorchester and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1999, Pletnev was appointed the RNO’s Conductor Laureate and his collaboration with the orchestra has continued in many of its recordings and concerts. In February 2003, he conducted the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Berliner Konzerthaus for the official opening of the Russian Year of Culture. 

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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian" (2012)

Tchaikovsky

Russian National Orchestra

Producer: Job Maarse
Recording Engineer: Erdo Groot, Roger de Schot
Recording location: DZZ Studio 5, Moscow
Recording Software: Merging / Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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PTC5186382: Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian"
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Tracks.
1.
Andante sostenuto - Allegro vivo
Tchaikovsky
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2.
Andantino marziale, quasi moderato
Tchaikovsky
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3.
Scherzo - Allegro molto vivace
Tchaikovsky
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4.
Finale - Moderato assai-Allegro vivo
Tchaikovsky
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5.
Symphony No. 2 Original First Movement (1872) - Andante sostenuto - Allegro commodo
Tchaikovsky
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