Tchaikovsky 4th Preparation

Preparing a Performance: Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony

I have participated in music making and preparation at the chamber music level, and at the orchestral level. For those of you who love music, and do not know what it takes to prepare a composition for performance, this has to be a ‘must purchase’ for you.

Michael Tilson Thomas brings the viewer the insight on what he is trying to achieve with his interpretation of this work. We see the meeting at Thomas’ home with the orchestra’s concert master, as the two musicians discuss different alternative violin bow movements, and the difference this can create in the ultimate sound.

This DVD is also an excellent educational tool, for those who want to learn more of the background of this composition, and to learn the various instruments that are featured in this piece.

We get a very thoughtful and interesting narration by Michael Tilson Thomas, as he prepares for the performance with his orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony. There is also a scene in which the orchestra talks with a group of children about how the orchestra works, and this includes a personal moment where the piccolo player discusses how nervous she gets playing the very difficult solo in the Tchaikovsky Fourth’s third movement.

The rehearsal scenes are then followed by an exciting and very satisfying live performance of the piece in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall. Sound and video are outstanding.

Click below to see/hear Mr. Thomas conduct the 4th movement of the Symphony:

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