Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, 'Pathétique'
1. Allegro non troppo
2. Allegro non grazia
3. Allegro molto vivace
4. Finale, adagio lamentoso
The Imperial Symphony Orchestra
conducted by [Lilian Bryant]
Pathé 2079 & 2089
(Matrix Nos.79629; 79630; 79659; 79660)
London: March & June, 1912
1 Flac , Here at Mediafire. [about 48Mb]
There is everything to like about these records. It is the first Tchaikovsky Symphony to be recorded, it is conducted by a woman, it has not been heard much, the records are uncommon, difficult to play and equally hard to transfer and listen too in decent sound. What more could a record buff wish for!
The symphony is more than a bit curtailed for some two-thirds of music has been lopped out, but by some very clever arranging the essence of the work still somehow holds together. One wonders why Lilian's name did not appear on the records for Pathé in March 1912 mentioned that The Imperial Symphony Orchestra directed by Lilian Bryant was increased to 30 players.
Anyway this is the first attempt at a complete recording of the Pathétique; indeed one of the earliest 'complete' anything symphonic from this period. Landon Ronald and the New Symphony Orchestra recorded the third movement, or at least 4 minutes of it in January 1912 and in 1913 recorded the second movement, maybe they where thinking to do more but nothing came of it. It was not until 1923 that all four movements were attempted again and this time the work was indeed complete running to 20 sides and once again conducted by Ronalds.. As the symphony was performed every year at the Proms from 1898 to 1974 excepting 1927 (three time in 1898, 1899 and 1904 and often twice in several other season) it was certainly then, as now, very popular.
As was usual practise at this time the two records were announced at separate times with the first two movements issued in April 1912 and the last two movements in July 1912. The records were deleted, as were all 14" discs at the end of 1916.
Understanding Pathé numbering
One other interesting facet of these records is a very, very faint date that can be discerned to the left of the transfer number. This mirror image scratched in gives us the day on which the stamper was made. Only the fourth side in this set has this complete reading '28/9/12' - side 3 just having 8/9 and side 2 with just letter 'B' this may just equate to side 2. In any case it gives a date that the recording could not be after. I have flipped and and inverted the image above to make it a this a bit clearer.
Maybe not the best day to push something Russian onto 'my public' just one of those coincidences.