Nikolay Andreyevich RIMSKY-KORSAKOV(1844-1908)
Suite from The Snow Maiden (1880-81) [12.34] (Introduction
[4.46]; Dance of the Birds [2.45]; Cortege [1.25];
Dance of the Clowns [3.38]) Sadko - Musical picture, Op. 5 (1869, rev. 1892) [10.53]
Suite from Mlada (1889-90) [18.24] (Introduction [3.19];
Redowa [3.57]; Lithuanian Dance [2.01]; Indian
Dance [4.14]; Cortege [4.53])
Suite from Le Coq d'or (1907) [28.13] (King Dodon in his
Palace [10.10]; King Dodon on the Battlefield [5.42];
King Dodon with Queen Shemakhan [6.32]; Marriage Feast
and Lamentable End of King Dodon [5.51]) Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz
rec. 9, 18, 30 March, 19 April 2011, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington,
NAXOS 8.572787 [70.04]
An excellent release from Naxos, this disc presents three orchestral
operatic suites, from The Snow Maiden,Mlada and
Le Coq d'or, and the “Musical Picture”, Sadko.
Gerard Schwarz’s version of Sheherazade, also for
and again with the Seattle Symphony, received critical acclaim.
This disc, likewise, gives the impression of a conductor who
is fully in sympathy with the music and who brings out the best,
both in the works performed, and from this really rather good
The disc opens with the Suite from The Snow Maiden, and
one is immediately struck by Schwarz’s sensitivity to
orchestral colour. The Seattle Symphony respond well to him,
the strings offering a pleasing clarity, with the whole section
playing every note - not as common as one might think or hope!
The trumpets are buoyant, yet without the brashness that they
can all too often bring - listen, in this respect, to the two
Corteges, in the Suite from The Snow Maiden and
the Suite from Mlada. The Dance of the Clowns is taken at a sensible tempo
- not ‘hyped up’ to make it sensationalist as is
so often the case. It nevertheless retains a wonderful sense
of exuberance and energy. It is also good, in the same movement,
to hear the tambourine actually in time with the wind, instead
of a demisemiquaver behind: a common failing in The Dance
of the Clowns.
There is also an impressive clarity in the timps, especially
in the Cortege from the Suite from Mlada, each
individual note being audible. The disc is accompanied by good
booklet notes, albeit the presentation is rather cramped, as
with all Naxos notes. My only criticism is that the recorded
sound could do with a little more warmth, which would enhance
the orchestral playing still further. Nevertheless, these are
extremely fine performances indeed.
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