Tchaikovsky: Symphony Nos. 1-3, London Symphony Orchestra/Valery Gergiev

From the wintery flute melody at the beginning of the first symphony, to the weighty strings at the end of the third, Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra prove Tchaikovsky's earlier symphonies should not be ignored. Classic FM Drive, Featured Album, 17 September 2012.

The darker symphonies Tchaikovsky composed in later life often eclipse his earlier works, but his first symphony in particular contains a wealth of beautiful poignant melodies, soupy string lines, and haunting oboe tunes. Nicknamed 'Winter Daydreams', the music is beautifully chilling and suitably emotional.

It's not all wintery music, however. The music thaws in the gorgeous folky tunes of the Symphony No. 2, nicknamed 'Little Russian', and the quirky 'Scherzo' of Symphony No. 3 is a particular highlight.

Whether you love Tchaikovsky's later symphonies, or you are new to the music, the balance of folky melodies and bittersweet orchestral playing makes this album a perfect addition to any collection.

Tchaikovsky