Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 7/Ormandy

Review by: Victor Carr Jr

Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 7

Eugene Ormandy’s 1962 Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 7 enjoyed an all-too-brief life on CD before CBS/Sony banished it from its catalogue. This work, actually a reconstruction by Sergei Bogatyryev of a symphony Tchaikovsky began before the Pathétique and later abandoned, has had scant recorded presence–primarily Ormandy, Järvi, and the recent Skripka (type Q7406 in Search Reviews). Of these, Ormandy’s easily is the most compelling. The Symphony had only recently been completed, and the excitement of discovery is present in every bar of his reading. The Philadelphia Orchestra is pretty excited too, as the players launch into this music with their characteristic finesse. This level of commitment and enthusiasm helps to overcome the occasional dull spot or un-Tchaikovskian passage in Bogatyryev’s otherwise well-done completion.

Variations on a Rococo Theme of course is pure Tchaikovsky, and Leonard Rose offers a superb rendition of the solo cello part. This, along with Ormandy’s fleet and sensitive conducting make the work engaging in a way that most comfortably bland performances do not. Pay no attention to the “Stereo/Mono” labeling on the CD cover–both recordings feature bright and clear stereo sound, with the Variations quite vivid and spacious. Bravo to for making this enjoyable recording newly available.

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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This one

PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 7; Variations on a Rococo Theme

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