Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony was the first symphony Christian Lindberg ever heard, at the age of ten. Nine years later it was the first he performed as a professional musician – in the brass section of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Having embarked on a successful conducting career, the trombonist-turned-international-soloist has since had the opportunity also to conduct the work, most memorably at the Mariinskij Theatre in St Petersburg, the city where the composer himself gave the first performance in 1888. With his Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra, based in the Norwegian city of Bodø well north of the Arctic Circle, Lindberg has now recorded this symphony, which has become one of the composer's best-loved works. Especially the hauntingly beautiful second movement has gripped audiences, while the work's very clear exposition of the idea of 'ultimate victory through strife' especially during World War II made it a staple in the concert halls. The symphony is here coupled with the equally popular six-movement suite from the Swan Lake, the first of the composer's three great ballets. The suite was compiled and published after the death of the composer, but provides a faithful reflection of the atmosphere, colour, melody and, above all, rhythmic invention that made Tchaikovsky such a master of music for the dance.
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