Although music deemed as Classical Music is deemed very much an old fashioned genre and very limited in mainstream appeal apart from those who are over the age of 60, this is quite the contrary to the appeal of the music itself. There have been many amazing recordings over the centuries of orchestral based music that are quite amazing to this day. It is no surprise that these pieces of music are still popular amongst people. This is a compilation designed to highlight the works of the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Let’s explore this compilation and hear what it sounds like. It’s a double-disc set, so this will be an interesting exploration into Tchaikovsky’s world.
Romeo And Juliet Fantasy Overture (3rd Version, 1880) begins this album as an over 10-minute piece, named after the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet. It begins slowly with clarinets and other wind instruments galore and sounds a little dark. Soon enough, a string section emerges that is equally as dark and dramatic, and this piece certainly sounds unusual. In any case, this is an interesting orchestral listen that sounds really interesting and fascinating. Some fluttering harps are here to add to the darkness, and the general ambience of this piece is very much along the lines of music to surprise one. A very much disturbing listen, the subtle instrumentation and melodies make this a strange listen. It’s not your usual orchestral piece that one would typically listen to. Soon enough, it enters a dramatic stage where this piece switches from dark to not so dark, which is captivating. A really different and interesting piece of music, it gets very loud and chaotic towards the middle, with a quick climax. The music that then plays is soul searching. If indeed, this were recorded with the Romeo and Juliet play in mind, this would make total sense. Some grand string sections follow, which sound interesting and exciting, and just are a great musical tale. As this reaches another climax, it sounds great with super-fast string sections, banging drums and trumpets galore. Soon enough, it goes into a quieter part. This is somewhat like manic depression (no, not the Jimi Hendrix song) set to Classical Music. A brooding piece of music follows, with some iconic melodies that sound great. This is an outstanding listen and is very much world-class. The melody here towards the end that is repeated is very famous. A great and melodramatic piece of music that is essential listening if you don’t know Tchaikovsky. Towards the end, the piece fades out with some limited instrumentation. Good effort.
Serenade in C Major, Op. 48: I. Pezzo in forma di Sonatina comes next. It has some truly beautiful and amazing string sections to launch this piece with and sounds interesting and pretty. This is surprisingly good, it just sounds killer and amazing. A very lovely piece of well written and structured melodies, this is Classical Music bliss. The melodies eventually become more subtle, this is a composer who made some very decent and variable works of musical art. Soon enough, it changes to something more upbeat, joyful and romantic sounding. A really cool and awesome piece of music, there are some varied melodic sections here, more so than your average musician could muster. The melodies here then change, and this sounds very lovely and pretty. This just flows well and is underrated music and content that sounds really dramatic and interesting. For Classical Music, there is not a dull or boring moment present here. A straight-up wonderful and joyous tune, this sounds decent and full of surprises. Very spot on listening is here, and this holds one’s interest throughout. The layering of violins is wonderful in this instrumental piece, it certainly sounds dazzling. In the second half, the violins compete with each other for space and melody, which is grand and illuminating. This sort of music is undervalued and underrated, and it just sounds really lively. Towards the end are fast-paced string sections before a sweet-sounding climax emerges to top it all off. This is fairly moving, and it ends very well.
The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: VIII. Waltz of the Flowers begins with some melancholy melodies and a harp section that sounds quite good. This harp playing is very intricate and continues on nicely for some time. It then quietly goes away. The legendary melodies from this piece then emerge, and we are in a Classical Music nirvana here. This piece sounds lovely and grand, and it does do justice to the listener. The main melody in this song is really unforgettable, and never should be forgotten. There are wind instrument breaks in between the main melodic sections, and this is an amazing and impressive listen. A truly awesome and melodic listen, this sounds very pretty and lively music. It doubles up on the violins in the second half of this piece, before returning to the main melody after a descriptive instrumental. Eventually, this instrumental builds up very well at the end to reach a wonderful and emotional climax, speeding up greatly. The ending is great, nice listen.
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op. 41: The Cherubic Hymn is a shorter piece with some pretty vocal harmonies, to begin with. These sound rather eerie, to be honest, especially with the vocal harmonies being on their own. A really interesting and unsettling listen, this doesn’t at all sound like your normal slice of Classical Music. Eventually, these vocal harmonies come to the fore and the singing is very passionate and emotional. A different and good listen, this is more so for Opera fans than Classical Music fans, to be fair. A really different listening experience from what is generally on the radio, this is deep and soul searching music. Great to listen to all the same, this is a moody and brooding sort of tune. It’s not exactly happy-sounding. In the second half is some Russian sounding sung vocals (Tchaikovsky was Russian) that sound very deep, followed by a higher tenor singing, then a chorus singing more joyfully. Really good music, all the same, this is a really extraordinary listen. It ends just before six minutes, a weird yet wonderful piece.
Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36: IV. Allegro con Fuoco begins with a dramatic orchestral section that sounds super intense. It has super-fast violins, a subdued wind section and a pulsating piece of intricate, clever and quick listening for Classical Music fans. It is a piece of drama that is very impressive, and each and every melody and section is cleverly delivered. This is an iconic piece of orchestral music that is a highlight from this compilation so far and is certainly worth hearing. There is a bit of a breakdown, followed by a dramatic rise in melody and tempo to impress you. The call-and-response styled melodic sections present in this piece are nothing short of amazing. This is a very pretty and undeniably awesome listen, and Tchaikovsky’s sense of melody and delivery is really amazing here. In the middle is a small breakdown for the listener to enjoy well, and the whole piece is very entertaining. The music here is really fantastic and audibly wonderful, it just sounds clever and intelligent enough to be loved. A really dramatic piece of music, this is proven so in the second half, which has a warlike theme to it. The piece continues along well, which has some gorgeous subtlety to it. A very interesting Classical Music journey, it almost finishes after seven minutes, but the next and more optimistic-sounding part emerges. A really cool and awesome tune, the string section returns dramatically to finish up this wonderful piece and the orchestra play wonderfully for all to hear. A great climax and finish then occur, and it sounds cool. A really great piece of music.
Schwanensee, Op. 20: Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act II No. 10: Scene, “Swan Theme” is very short at over two minutes long. This is a snippet of Tchaikovsky that sounds dramatic and impressive and is a good starting point musically if you have never heard his music before. It launches into an anthemic section that sounds really great and different. The music here is sure memorable, and the main melody throughout is so. This is a really cool piece of musicality that is a taste of the world of Classical Music. Excellent overall, it ends in a dark and moody way.
String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11: II. Andante cantabile is a popular piece from Tchaikovsky. It begins with luscious string sections that sound like ear candy. This is a very strong start for this popular piece, it just sounds clearly beautiful, pretty and amazing. In fact, this whole album is superb as being music that speaks softly to the human soul, not loudly as a crazy and compressed piece of work as you would find on the radio today. Eventually, this piece gets going nicely and sounds really quite gentle, just like a lullaby of sorts. A really very captivating sounding piece of music, it also sounds expressive and pretty. Just really gorgeous and awesome, this uses a subtle melodic section and beauty to captivate one’s listening ear. Indeed, if you cannot appreciate this sort of music, then this is clearly not for you. A decent and gentle listen, this does sound very good throughout. The string sections tell their story very well, and this still sounds exciting today. A really great piece of music, although it sounds a little melancholy at times. Great, it ends gently.
Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op. 64: Waltz: “Allegro Moderato” begins with a really sweet violin section that sounds great. Soon enough, the rest of the orchestra join in on this fabulous piece of music. A really sublime and gorgeous piece of orchestration, this sounds different and really great. There is a good intermission section here with wind instruments that sound excellent. This is followed by fluttering strings that just sound amazing and fresh, and this piece of unique Classical Music does wonders. The interaction between the instruments here is really top, this definitely sounds like a wonderful and lively piece of music. The racing string instruments are really fantastic and sound beautifully luscious. A really wonderful and unique piece of music, this sounds incredibly awesome. A nicely layered and original set of melodies, this is real music for when that intellectual mood strikes or you want to surprise that Cardi B fan with your unique musical tastes. Towards the end, a glorious finale is structured and delivered just perfectly. A really awesome and great listen, no doubt many world leaders and fans of Classical Music will enjoy this piece. It ends with a strange finish.
The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66: Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66: Act. I No. 8: Pas d’action: Adagio is a five-minute-long piece that begins with some synchronised melodies and musical sections to boot. Some harp emerges which is dreamlike, and illuminates the musical setting very well. Soon enough, this piece gets going with a beautiful string section and just sounds really great. A quirky number, typical of Tchaikovsky, this sounds really awesome and interesting. There are some decent mish-mash styled sounds that are really very good here, and the whole piece flows nicely as a whole. Indeed, this is amazing and wonderful music to hear, and in the middle, it gets super dramatic. Brass sections then emerge to support the string sections very nicely, this sounds really excellent and wonderful. In the second half are fluttering sounds that sound loose and fancy, a really interesting combination of sounds, once again. This whole piece sounds really fine and well constructed and is very memorable. It ends with a sort of enjoyable finish that builds up dramatically, a brilliant tune indeed.
12 Morceaux, Op. 40: 12 morceaux, Op. 40: No. 2. Chanson triste in G Minor is a shorter piece on the piano. It sounds slow and melancholy but is nicely played all the same. This is another good piece if you wish to try a sample of Tchaikovsky. A good and simple piano section that makes a short impression, this is a great piano piece, and there should be more like it. A great, simple and a little melancholy to hear, this is a very good listen. Interesting playing throughout this three-minute-long piece, this is the calm before the storm of longer instrumental pieces on this release. Good and slower listening for when the time is right for such a thing.
Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35: III. Finale: Allegro vivacissimo is a dramatic and loud piece from the start. It goes for over 11 minutes long, and is very layered, more so than other pieces of Tchaikovsky’s music. Soon enough, this launches into an ascending and interesting violin solo that sounds great. This eventually has supporting instrumentation that adds some colour and flavour to the mix, which is really amazing. A great and enjoyable listening experience, this sounds really fast and lively. Soon enough, this piece continues on and paints a musical story that sounds decent and dynamic. This tune sounds very, very good. This is a very strong and excellent quality Classical Music instrumental, everything about it is enjoyable and memorable. The violin solos throughout make for a fantastic listen, and the sounds present are really top and interesting. A call-and-response section between the different violins emerges here, it just sounds literally enthusiastic and inviting. A really cool and excellent piece of orchestration, this takes the mind elsewhere. This music is quite captivating and interesting sounding, a really well delivered and interesting number is present here. Towards the end of this instrumental are more violin solos that actually have some darkness to them, which is different. This lightens up a little after some time and continues on nicely. A great piece of music, it builds up further right towards the end and sounds ecstatic and interesting. The violins culminate in a stunning listen before this piece concludes well. A really great Tchaikovsky effort, nice work. This is the end of disc one.
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 23: I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito is a very long title for a very long piece, at just under 20 minutes long. It begins with some interesting melodies via horns, before launching into a violin led section that is great. This is stunning and captivating Classical Music with many different sections and elements. The piano on this piece is really gorgeous, and it plays nicely on its own accord. A really very dramatic and interesting tune, this sounds really lovely and wonderful. A great and interesting piece of music that sounds really divine, this is extraordinary and pretty listening through and through. The orchestration present in this piece is suspenseful and different. There is a multitude of sections here with what sounds like the whole orchestra being used to full effect, although this is mainly piano-led. The clanging piano in the first half is upbeat and fresh sounding, it just does the job very nicely. A really strong and interesting composition, this is a great piece of music that is undeniably enjoyable. Violins emerge after some time and compete with the piano for attention. This sounds like an awesome piece of music with some intricate and clever piano playing to hear. Towards the middle, this piece gets really going with what sounds like chaos at hand, and it has overtones of darkness about it. This is followed by a lighter section of music that is mainly orchestra led, but this still sounds exciting. There are partial violin melodies and other instrumentation to match, which sounds different. In the middle, the orchestra gets really loud and moving. The piano eventually gets going again and begins the second half with some melodic playing. The tune sounds very descriptive and impressive and is a fine work of art. Soon enough, horns of doom (or sounding like it) follow and the various sections of the orchestra fight it out. The piano then comes along very well and sounds like rapid-fire melodic warfare. Wind instrument playing then resumes, and this piece goes melodic again. A great piano sound then enters, and this piece is a marvellous wonder of melody and beauty. The piece gets more and more rapid with its melodies as it progresses. If you are still with us, then you are experiencing a great array of musicality and joy. The piano playing here is pretty and dramatic, just sounding totally interesting. A really fine and wonderful listen, this sounds awesome. The piano playing goes subtle, and super quiet, before making a dramatic finish with the orchestra here. This piece concludes with a supercharged and emotional conclusion, which is grand and great. Fine and fantastic listening, this sounds very energetic. It ends nicely.
The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: III. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies is less than two minutes long. It has some interesting sounds about it and has been used a lot in movies per se. It is interesting with triangles aplenty and other very creative sounds. A really quirky and odd piece of music, this is pretty weird. It is over before you know it.
The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: VII: Dance of the Reeds comes next, and sounds really upbeat and joyful, with a prominent flute. It sounds amazing and just is really fantastic. Violin follows, and this is pretty and fluttering music that must be heard. A really great and unusual piece of orchestration, this is a sampler of music from the time that sounds legendary. Wonderful, it ends after two minutes. Nice work.
6 Romances, Op. 6: No. 3. Why? (arr. P. Breiner): None but the lonely heart, Op. 6, No. 6 is another shortish piece beginning with clarinet. It sounds more moody and dramatic compared to what has come before and has a bittersweet violin thrown in for good measure. A really slow and moody four-minute-long piece, this does sound interesting. This does sound rather sad a piece of music here, it just delivers exactly what one needs at a certain point in life. Somewhat brooding in emotion, this is very different. This is a sad and dramatic piece of music that makes an impression. Good to hear when necessary. Different, it ends gently.
Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74, “Pathetique”: II. Allegro con Grazia begins with some more upbeat melodies and this is one of the more famous pieces by Tchaikovsky. A very pretty, interesting and dramatic listen, this sounds catchy and memorable. Grand music, this is a great example of totally enjoyable and tasteful Classical Music that has aged like fine wine. A really awesome and interesting listen, this is one of the better pieces from this double album. Very interesting and decent, this travels along very nicely as a piece of music. It sounds very decent. The music and melodicism travel very nicely on this part of the album, and the whole thing sounds incredibly amazing to hear. A very enjoyable and listenable piece of music, including for non-Classical Music fans, this does sound really top. In the second half, the dramatic sound continues, as do the infectious melodies. Right towards the end are some softer string melodies and playing that go hand in hand nicely. A great listen. It ends really softly.
6 Morceaux, Op. 19 (version for cello and strings): 6 morceaux, Op. 19: No. 4. Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor (arr. for cello and orchestra) is a sub-five-minute long piece that sounds incredibly sad. It has violins and strings galore and is fairly simple musically, but is rather quite melancholy sounding. Still, this is a good effort regardless, it just sounds different. As it progresses, it gets louder and more noticeable with the combination of sounds. A very different piece of music, even for Classical Music, this is a very deep and different sounding piece. A Flute lightens it up somewhat in the second half, and the whole thing sounds very interesting. A rather sad and depressing listen, but a good one at that. It ends gently.
Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, Act II Scene 2: Where, o where have you gone?, “Lensky’s Aria” is a six-minute piece that begins with flutes and clarinet. Some violin follows, which is excellent. This is accompanied by some decent Opera vocals, which may or may not make great sounds, to your own personal taste. The Opera vocals on this piece are a bit much, to be fair. This piece is very much an old fashioned European journey through time via music, it sounds really good in that respect. The dramatic vocals do make an impression here, but Opera won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. A great piece of nicely driven music, despite the length and the Opera overtones here, this is quite good to hear. It ends dramatically with horns.
Schwanensee, Op. 20: Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act I No. 2: Waltz in A flat (Corps de Ballet) is a quirky piece to begin with. It evolves into an excellent and dramatic piece of European Classical Music that is lively and energetic. Its moment of triumph quickly emerges, and this is one of the better pieces from this double album. It really sounds great, quirky and interesting. This should make those who are Classical Music fans very happy and they will be no doubt enjoying this decent and uplifting tune. A really great listen, this is stunning stuff. A pretty, interesting and gorgeous tune, this sounds very musically tasty. It is a really wonderful listening experience through and through, and just sounds majestic. A very dramatic tune, this comes leaps and bounds in a rich instrumentation setting. A really great and different piece of Classical Music, this is most definitely worth hearing. An interesting listen, the ending is amazing with the tempo changes and percussion as well. Nice effort. Very dramatic.
Les saisons (The Seasons), Op. 37b: Les Saisons (The Seasons), Op. 37b: No. 6. June: Barcarolle is a slow piano led piece that sounds melancholy and dramatic from the start. This is a more unusual piece of music that has nothing else in the way of other sounds present, it is a piano solo. A very good piece of piano playing that changes dramatically after a minute or two, this is a really interesting listen. A great piano solo that does wonders for the listener, this is very wonderful and dramatic. This piano solo takes many emotional twists and turns throughout. An interesting listen all the same, if you dig piano, you should hear this. The piece ends with some gorgeous piano fills, great job.
1812 Festival Overture, Op. 49: 1812 Overture, Op. 49 is the very last piece on this double album, and also the most popular out of all of them as well. It begins with some gorgeous string section playing and familiar melodies. It sounds very dramatic and lovely, and is a pretty thing to hear. A very beautiful and mood swinger of a piece, this is often quoted as a classic piece, and you can hear why. Soon enough, the dramatic side of the music enters and this sounds rather melancholy as a result. This piece has some chugging violins and beauty about it, it just sounds really different. A great set of music and musicality, this is really interesting and dramatic. There are all matters of light/shade and quiet/loud here, and this piece has an edge to it. The strings here on this recording are very beautiful indeed. The playing is immaculate and wonderful, sounding unlike anything else out there in terms of real precision. The sounds are memorable and amazing, and it is likely that Star Wars composer John Williams was inspired by works such as these. A really great and awesome listen with some wonderful string instrumentation, this is very amazing. The midsection is just wonderful, and is a great combination of beauty and lovely precise playing. A really pretty and grand sounding piece of instrumentation, this is quite mindblowing. In the second half, some joyful and wonderful sounds emerge that change the scene entirely. Before long, it goes super quiet before resuming back into a musically dynamic and interesting listen. It quickly gains momentum sonically, and grows in volume. A very excellent piece of music, this sounds upbeat and happy in this section. It then launches into a section that sounds fairly romantic here, and is an upbeat and lovely piece of gorgeous string work. A real classic of a tune, this grows dramatically and melodically as a piece. A very wonderful and war like piece with makeshift sounding cannons (actually percussion) and fluttering string sections, this then slows right down very well. Some church bells then enter under the string sections, and this piece sounds very different. A strange piece of music, but an excellent listen, this then is followed up by a super fast section and more “cannons”. A great piece, no doubt, this ends after 15 minutes and some prolonged drum rolls. Good job.
This is a super long Classical Music album that, to be fair, requires a ton of patience to get through. However, having said that, this is an interesting listen to a career that existed centuries ago. The material here is good, even if some of the selections are not as good as they could be. Still, if you like what has been written about here, seek it out but to be fair, two and half hours of Classical Music and Opera is a bit much to get through in one sitting. Still, it is a fascinating journey through time and music from another time.
Decent for Classical Music.