The latest in Signum's edition of live recordings of the Philharmonia Orchestra is one of the most satisfying, featuring the late Charles Mackerras conducting Tchaikovsky's Pathétique.
If there were no further releases in the series, the composer's final symphony would make a fine valedictory effort for Mackerras, who leads the Philharmonia seamlessly through the piece's emotional roller-coaster. The opening movement alone is a masterful journey, the slick staccato phrase-swapping between strings and woodwinds presaging the languorous theme of majestic pathos, before the dramatic sturm und drang that erupts nine minutes in. A brilliant recording.
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