Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks - BRSO

P. I. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 – “Mazeppa”

CD: Zubin Mehta – Tschaikwosky und Liszt © BR-KLASSIK Label

BR-KLASSIK presents the first CD release of a recording with the Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by its highly esteemed guest conductor Zubin Mehta: Peter I. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and his symphonic poem “Mazeppa” in a live recording from 2013.

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The Indian conductor Zubin Mehta is closely associated with the city of Munich and the orchestras based there. From 1998 to 2006, he was General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and has similarly close ties with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra’s 2018 Asian tour with Zubin Mehta was voted No. 1 in the “10 Top Concerts 2018” by Japanese critics. In January 2020, he conducted the memorial concert of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for their late chief conductor Mariss Jansons. This BR-KLASSIK CD features recordings of concerts on February 28 and March 1, 2013 in the Philharmonie im Gasteig.

The Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky wrote his Symphony No. 5 in E minor, op. 64, the so-called “Fate Symphony”, in 1888. It was composed within just a few weeks at his country house Frolovskoye near Klin, and the first performance took place on November 17, 1888 in St. Petersburg with Tchaikovsky himself conducting. All four movements of the work are permeated by the so-called “fate” theme. For the opening movement Tchaikovsky wrote: “Introduction. Complete surrender to fate or, which is the same, to the inscrutable predestination of Providence. – Allegro: grumbles, doubts, complaints, reproaches.” The third movement, a quiet waltz, is the only one in which the fate motif appears peripherally. In the finale, it is finally transformed into D major, forming a solemn conclusion.

Together with his fourth and sixth (“Pathétique”) symphonies, the fifth is one of Tchaikovsky’s most popular. Franz Liszt’s symphonic poem “Mazeppa” is based on a poem by Victor Hugo and uses musical material from the composer’s fourth “Etude d’exécution transcendante” from 1846. The symphonic poem was composed in 1850 during Liszt’s tenure as court conductor in Weimar, and was first performed on April 16, 1854 (the subject bearing no relation to Tchaikovsky’s opera “Mazeppa”, based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin, which was premiered three decades later). Liszt’s symphonic poem describes the wild ride across the steppe of the emaciated and exhausted Ivan Masepa (Mazeppa), tied to the back of a horse. He is finally rescued by Cossacks, who take him to Ukraine.

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Zubin Mehta conductor

Total Time: 59’55 min.

  • Tchaikovsky’s popular Fifth Symphony and Liszt’s symphonic poem “Mazeppa”, in exemplary interpretations
  • Live recording of performances on February 28 and March 1, 2013 in Munich’s Philharmonie im Gasteig
  • Zubin Mehta, closely associated with the city of Munich and its orchestras, conducts the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
  • Also after a long and good cooperation is this the first CD release of a recording of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, conducted by Zubin Mehta!