Dimitrij Kitajenko (Dmitry, Dmitri, Dimitri, Kitayenko, Kitaenko)

"Pathétique" without pathos

Ever since Tchaikovsky's brother Modest foisted the title “Pathétique” on to the 6th Symphony, every conductor has taken it as a license to express precisely this emotional state. In contrast, however, the Russian conductor Dmitri Kitaenko, together with the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, cleanses the famous elegiac theme in the first movement of any tearfulness, following instead Tchaikovsky's directions “tenderly, in a singing style, expressively” word for word. In vigilantly maintaining the equilibrium of the symphony's precarious structure, Kitaenko confirms in the second step in his complete recording of all Tchaikovsky symphonies the reason why the orchestra named him honorary conductor two years ago. Tchaikovsky is taken seriously and suddenly, in the final movement, he stands as close to Gustav Mahler as until now only to Leonard Bernstein.

Guido Fischer, k.west, Mai 2011