Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, op. 36 (Movts. II-IV); Symphony No. 5 in E minor, op. 64
Label: Sony Classical
Although Bernstein's penchant for highly emotional interpretations gives an emotional glow to the broad themes of Tchaikovsky's fourth, the second movement is something to savor, as the lilting themes of the strings swell with a casual elegance that feels just right. The pulse here -- just faster than a heartbeat -- is tense and exciting, and arguably more of a rush than the scherzo which concludes the work. This repackaged release of the symphony was originally recorded in 1959, during Bernstein's long run with the New York Philharmonic.