Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Russian Overtures and Orchestral works
Russian National Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev
rec. Moscow Conservatory Concert Hall, 16-23 November 1993 – April 1994. DDD
Full tracklist at end of review
NEWTON CLASSICS NC8802037 [62:02 + 67:25]

Experience Classicsonline

 


Newton Classics, while having a predilection for analogue, also have their pick of the best digital efforts in the Universal treasure-house. The 1990s DG originals in this case were for CD 1 439 089-2 5823 (1993) and for CD 2 The Enchanted Kingdom 447 084-2 (1994).

Just one point to mention before we get to the music itself. I had not realised until researching this set that Pletnev (b. 1957) is also a composer. His Yeats Song Cycle for soprano, chorus and orchestra (2003, 2009) was premiered by him with the RNO and Lisa Delan, soprano in the USA in February 2010. I hope that we will get to hear this work: its poems might well have drawn out something rather special. He sets The Wild Swans at Coole, The Shadowy Horses and When You Are Old.

In this all-digital set. Pletnev goes for the famous Glinka overture like a tiger. This is comparable to Golovanov in Mendelssohn’s famous scherzo or Dorati in Brahms. The RNO are driven at a rate just within their very considerable virtuosity. The Borodin overture is full of character – once or twice a touch unfeeling – but some unconventional rallentandos around 3:00 work rather well. It’s all very excitingly done with sappy attention to rhythmic patterning. The RNO retain more than a shadow of the Soviet style of brass playing. After a bumptiously red-cheeked and carefree Shostakovich comes an unfamiliar piece of Prokofiev: the Intro from Semyon Kotko standing poetically in the same misty stream as Mussorgsky’s Dawn on the Moskva River also most lovingly played and recorded here. It is broadly paced but then – much to my surprise – so is the punchy little Kabalevsky crowd-pleaser. Back to Russia’s first nationalistic golden age with Rimsky’s Tsar’s Bride prelude. The rare Tchaikovsky overture takes a while to find its feet. It’s by no means all characteristic stuff with Glinka putting in the odd appearance here and there although there are quite a few balletic and 1812 moments - typical fingerprints. The Glazunov overture also sports a few Glinka moments and a gracious Tchaikovskian clarinet solo which returns, lofted by noble strings, at the close. Its title seems at odd with its content – not at all ‘solennelle’; hardly matters as it has more than few attractive moments.

The companion disc mixes the still unfamiliar Liadov and virtually unknown Tcherepnin with the occasionally recorded Rimsky suite – nicely done in the early 1960s by Ormandy and his Philadelphians on CBS (LP 61586). It shines in a sophisticated light here with the masterful orchestration well complemented by recording technology. The delectable Tsar Dodon as Guest of the Queen of Shemakha movement takes us to Antar territory. In the last movement the French Horns whoop with an impressive delirium – you will remember them. Liadov’s picture of Baba Yaga is taken at a more sedate pace than usual so the blundering hag pauses for reflection. That said, at this gait, one also notices basso profundo brass cannonades more familiar from the final measures of Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini. The whisper-confiding quasi-Sibelian Enchanted Lake is much more successful. It’s notable for being bombast-free, for taut hyper-Rimskian shimmer and magnificently calculated less-is-more orchestration. It is a truly lovely iridescent piece in the same company as the Prokofiev and Mussorgsky on the first piece. It casts a gentle but very strong spell. Kikimora – another witch - takes us to a world not that far removed from Rachmaninov’s Isle of the Dead rich in Slav melancholia and later in suggestions of a witches sabbat. There are some tasty solos for woodwind along the way. The Tcherepnin pieces are rarities indeed and it is very good to encounter them in any context. While Tcherepnin might have been a Rimsky pupil his La Princesse lointaine – on a play by Edmond Rostand – sounds more stormily Tchaikovskian. I see that the subject matter is about a knight dreaming about an oriental princess. There is however a touch of Rimsky in the gorgeous long-limbed melody made airborne and lushly spruced at 6:43. The Enchanted Kingdom gave its name to the whole CD when first issued. This has moved on from La Princesse lointaine. It touches on Kastchei’s garden, without quite Stravinsky’s genius. It reminded me of Bax’s fragile mastery of orchestration and melodic contours in Spring Fire and Nympholept and Burlingame Hill’s Prelude; the latter recorded by Bernstein in the 1950s. There’s some lovely trilling and shimmering magic here. Harp, piano and tinkling percussion and the more conventional instruments sigh, evoke bird-song and other idyllic visions. It’s a real discovery and makes one want to hear much more by the elder Tcherepnin.

There’s no direct digital twofer competition for this set so if you are in the market for a very good, superbly recorded and unhackneyed helping of Russian golden age works look no further than Newton Classics.

Rob Barnett


Full Tracklist
CD 1 [62:02]
Mikhail Ivanovich GLINKA (1804-1857) Ruslan and Lyudmila, Op. 5: Overture (1837-1842) [4:47]
Alexander Porfir'yevich BORODIN (1833-1887) Prince Igor (Knyaz Igor): Overture (1869-1887) [10:16]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Festive Overture, Op. 96 (1954) [5:37]
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Semyon Kotko Suite, Op. 81bis Introduction (1941) [3:37]
Dmitry Borisovich KABALEVSKY (1904-1987) Colas Breugnon, Op. 24: Overture (1938-1969) [5:31]
Nikolay Andreyevich RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) The Tsar's Bride: Overture (1898) [6:30]
Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881) Khovanshchina, Act I: Prelude "Dawn on the Moscow River" (1872-1880) [5:28]
Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Overture in F major (1866 version for full orchestra) [11:05]
Alexander Konstantinovich GLAZUNOV (1865-1936) Ouverture solennelle, Op. 73 (1900) [5:31]
CD 2 [67:25]
Anatol Konstantinovich LIADOV (1855-1914) Baba Yaga, Op. 56 (1892-1904) [3:35]; Volshebnoye ozero (The Enchanted Lake), Op. 62 (1909) [7:04]; Kikimora, Op. 63 (1909) [7:11]
Nikolai TCHEREPNIN (1873-1945) La princesse lointaine, Op. 4: Prelude (1896) [9:17]; The Enchanted Kingdom - Prelude [13:34]
Nikolay Andreyevich RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) arr GLAZUNOV and STEINBERG The Golden Cockerel Suite (1907) (I. Tsar Dodon in his Palace [8:48]; II. Tsar Dodon on Campaign [4:33]; III. Tsar Dodon as Guest of the Queen of Shemakha [6:46]; IV. The Wedding and Lamentable End of Dodon [6:37])


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.