Daniel Barenboim, Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F Minor, Op.36 (1972)
I have a fairly omnivorous approach to classical. I learn on the job. I go in, open-minded, find things I dig, some I don’t – and though I’m not at the level of being able to tell things apart (different versions, conductors, performers) I can usually recognised composers at least. Or certain themes/pieces. I wasn’t brought up with classical music and arrived at it myself. Probably via film scores. And then I started buying those cheap “Greatest Hits” tapes of various classical composers. A good intro. I did a bit of reading too. I’m way off – and have a lot of ground to cover, but there’s time. Or there won’t be – either/or. I’m no serious scholar with this, just enjoying what I find. I really enjoyed this particular find – because it was 50c at the dump-shop.
And though I recognised the conductor’s name and obviously the composer, I didn’t know if I was getting anything worth listening to, of course also there’s the worry of condition. This plays fine. Very good in fact, really decent condition. And a thrilling set of performances. I had it on one Sunday morning recently, doing a bit of the housework. My good friend Paul Ubana Jones was on his way around to record a conversation for my podcast (will be out for you to hear in a few weeks from now…) and as Paul walked down the hallway and heard the music I wondered how good he’d be at spotting it (he’s classically trained, a cellist as well as guitarist – he knows his shit). “Ah, Tchaikovsky”, Paul said with that big smile. Another footstep closer to where the sound was coming from, “the 4th Symphony – New York Philharmonic is it?” Right. And right. Two guesses at the conductor – first one a near-miss, a half-step later, ah, Daniel Barenboim. All of this before getting to the stereo and seeing the cover. I was impressed. I’ve got a lot of learning to go, but surrounding myself with the right people, the right soundtrack and the right approach I reckon…
Sample Track: Adante Sostenuto
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