Album: Tchaikovsky, Symphony No 6/ Dumka – Philadelphia Orchestra/Eschenbach (Ondine)

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The Independent Culture

Music director since 2003, Christoph Eschenbach has galvanised the Philadephia Orchestra and transformed its style. The orchestra's sleek tone is still well-nourished but its phrasing is more muscular and less sentimental.

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. Any reservations over using "Dumka" as an epilogue are instantly banished. Eschenbach's clean, expressive playing makes the solitude of the pianist utterly harrowing.

Pick of the Album: Eschenbach's clear-eyed solo performance of 'Dumka'