Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.4, String Serenade, Elegy | BIS BISSACD1458

Tchaikovsky - Symphony No.4, String Serenade, Elegy


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Label: BIS

Cat No: BISSACD1458

Format: SACD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 30th June 2008



We have now reached the 5th instalment in the cycle of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Neeme Järvi. Symphony No.4, which Tchaikovsky himself often referred to in the context of ‘Fate’, symbolized by a ‘fate motif’ which opens the programme and is described by the composer as: ‘This is fate, destiny, that portentous power that will not permit our quest for happiness to be successful, that jealously stands guard so that our joyfulness and peace are neither perfect nor cloudless, that hangs like the sword of Damocles above our heads and constantly, continually poisons our soul.

In his description of the end of the work, Tchaikovsky sounds a note of resignation: ‘Look within yourself; do not say that everything in this world is sad. There are simple but strong joys. Rejoice in others’ rejoicing. To live is still possible.’ This last statement seems to be borne out in full by his Serenade for Strings in C major, composed three years later, a carefree expression of happiness that is never seriously disturbed by minor-key sonorities.

The programme finishes off with an Elegy, also for strings.

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