Made during the pioneering days of stereo technology when everyone was vying for a piece of the cake, it is hard to believe that this absolutely top-notch recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique has never been brought to the ears of music lovers until today. And it is even more unbelievable since it was made by a first-class orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, and conducted by one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, Ferenc Fricsay. The reasons for the non-release are a matter of speculation because those responsible have kept them under their hat.
Not even the man behind the microphone, Werner Wolf, can recall making this recording - although a yellowed recording protocol discloses carefully noted details about the recording venue and date. No wonder that the tapes never got made into records. It is not with a little pride and much joyful anticipation that the announcement can be made: the record is spinning on the turntable at last.
And at long last a gap in Fricsay’s repertoire can be closed. Specially recommended: listen to the wonderful clarity of the upper strings which is preserved even in the softest passages.
Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74 (Pathetique)
Satz: Adagio - Allegro non troppo
Satz: Allegro con grazia
Satz: Allegro molto vivace
Satz: Finale. Adagio lamentoso