In the depths of the volcano
Many conductors have shaped Tchaikovsky's “Pathétique” movingly, but no-one has led us so far into the depths of this volcano of emotion, (or) brought us so close to the bubbling lava, to the waves of magma whipping up around us, as Dmitri Kitaenko. The first movement is one of the most powerful and passionate you could ever expect from this music, an interpretation which may sound unfamiliar with its slow tempi, but which is ultimately not a second too long. It is wonderfully proportionate and measured, without mawkish sentimentality and moving its listeners all the more for that. Kitaenko maintains the line on a single breath, even in the slowest of ties, compelling us to enjoy the art of his phrasing to the full – he exerts a magical force. (...) Equally significant for the penetrative impact of this music are the quality of the Gürzenich Orchestra whose performers are totally devoted to Kitaenko and the Surround recording whose full and yet spatially transparent sound speaks directly to the listener.
An earth-shattering experience, this recording of the 'Pathétique'. As of now I consider this to be the reference recording of this work.
PS: Another piece of advice – if you get hold of this CD and listen to it, don't plan in any activities for a while afterwards. If your experience is like mine you'll be completely shattered after the 51 minute 'Pathétique'. The most you'll be able to do is close your eyes and live on in the 'Pathétique', or stare into space...
Pizzicato, Rémy Franck, 6/2011