Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Sheherazade - Symphonic Suite
Russian Easter Festival Overture
Capriccio Espagnol

Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy
Rec: Town Hall Philadelphia 11 Feb 1962 (Sheherazade); 17 Feb 1965 (Capriccio); Broadwood Hotel Philadelphia 1 Apr 1959 (Overture)
Budget Price

Crotchet £4.99  AmazonUK £6.99  AmazonUS  Amazon recommendations

As will be evident from the dates above these recordings have been around for quite some time. While the strings still have that 1960s CBS hollow glaze the sound remains as fresh as gaudy paint. True it does not have the brilliance and juicy depth of EMI's stereo tapes of Nikolai Malko in the Prokofiev 7 and Classical but more than justice is done to these works.

What registers most deeply is the razor-like attack and verve of the strings - gutsy playing and mordant excitement aplenty. At a very modest mid-price it would be a mistake to overlook this open-handed collection.

Brusilow is the solo violinist throughout the disc. He only shades into disappointment with his vibrato as the voice of Princess at the end of Sheherazade. Otherwise he is both sharp and throaty in the Capriccio. Anshel Brusilow, by the way, later made a modest name for himself as a conductor. For EMI in 1977 he recorded the First Symphony (1961) of Richard Yardumian (himself a Philadelphia regular). This was with the Bournemouth SO. Brusilov had been the concert master when Ormandy directed the premiere on 1 December 1961. There are also recordings of him conducting the Bournemouth orchestra in Balakirev's Russia. Wilfred Josephs' Third Symphony Philadelphia was dedicated to Brusilow and the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra.

The Sheherazade is strong and deserves consideration against such leading competition as the Beecham RPO EMI version, Stokowski (RCA-BMG) and, for me the current market leader in recordings. the Serebrier version on Reference Recordings. Also you would do well to listen to the technicolour Svetlanov on BMG Melodiya 74321 40065 2 . If only BMG could decouple the Rimsky symphonies 1 and 3 and find some way of coupling Svetlanov's Antar with Sheherazade they would have a highly desirable disc. The other two pieces (once available on CBS LP 61586 with the Coq d'Or Suite) are the kingpins. Ormandy imbues the interpretations and playing with guts, ferocity and passion. The sound is unsubtle but the effect is edge-of-seat.

Rob Barnett

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.