Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
The Ballets – 125th Anniversary Edition
USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra/Gennady
Bonus disc: Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2 conducted by the composer
rec. 1938-1990. Mono/stereo
Reviewed as a 16-bit lossless download
Pdf booklet not included
Detailed listings at end of review
[9 CDs: 9:39:09]
Billed as a birthday tribute to Sergei Prokofiev this set is also a testament to the talent – and longevity – of the conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who
turned 85 this year. Apart from bringing together all the ballets in one box this reissue also benefits from being newly remastered. And the good news
doesn’t stop there; I downloaded this set from Qobuz – in 16-bit lossless form – for €49.99 (£43). By contrast the deluxe CDs are priced at anything
between £80 and £100. Downloaders don’t get it all their own way, though, as no booklet is provided. Melodiya’s UK distributor kindly supplied me with one.
Of all Prokofiev’s ballets Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella are probably the best known. And deservedly so, for they contain some of his most
memorable – and dramatic – music. Both works have fared well on disc, and my comparatives include two classic Decca/Cleveland recordings with Lorin Maazel
(Romeo and Juliet) and Vladimir Ashkenazy (Cinderella). I’ve also listened to Valery Gergiev’s second recording of the Shakespeare piece –
with the LSO – and Pristine’s ‘ambient stereo’ version of the Rozhdestvensky, originally recorded in mono.
Of the less popular ballets I’ve chosen these as my comparatives: Michail Jurowski’s Chout (The buffoon), Le pas d’acier (The steel step), Le fils prodigue (The prodigal son) and Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The tale of the stone flower), all on CPO; add to that the Valery
Polyansky/Chandos Sur le Borysthène (On the Dnieper). As so often my chosen recordings are a mix of discs and 16-bit downloads. I must applaud
Chandos and LSO Live –not to mention Hyperion and BIS - for providing Pdf documentation with all their own product; I wish other lebels were so diligent.
Strictly speaking Chout wasn’t Prokofiev’s first ballet. Sergei Diaghilev had commissioned Ala i Lolly for the Ballets Russes but dismissed
the score before it was even finished. Undaunted, Prokofiev turned it into the Scythian Suite, an orchestral showpiece that’s also done well on
record. I can heartily recommend Neeme Järvi’s sensational RSNO version, coupled with a chart-topping Alexander Nevsky (Chandos CHAN10482). Indeed,
I’d say that’s one of the best things the esteemed Estonian has ever done. For a more recent, equally spectacular account of the Scythian Suite –
paired with Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony – I’d suggest you try Andrew Litton and the Bergen Phil on BIS (review).
Despite that initial rejection Diaghilev went on to commission three more Prokofiev ballets: Chout, Le pas d’acier and Le fils prodigue. Even then the composer was persuaded to make changes to the original score of Chout, which he did in 1920. The fickle
impresario declared himself satisfied with these revisions and the ballet was eventually premiered by his celebrated troupe at the Théâtre Municipal de la
Gaîté, Paris, in May of the following year. The French, perhaps more attuned to the folk tale’s bend of brutality and the bizarre, liked the piece well
enough; the British, introduced to it a month later, loathed it.
It’s certainly a strange story. A buffoon kills his wife and persuades seven other fools to do the same, claiming their spouses can be brought back to life
with a magic whip. Not a good plan, as it happens, and the buffoon is forced to disguise himself as a woman in order to protect himself from the ire of his
now-wifeless colleagues. He’s then betrothed to a wealthy merchant, whom he deprives of 300 roubles before making his escape. Got that? Good.
The rasp and raunch of The USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra’s brass section is perfect here, but then all Rozhdestvensky’s players respond to
this music with alacrity and a thrilling sense of shape and style that left me grinning from ear to ear. Those who remember the agricultural-grade sound of
so many Melodiya releases will be delighted to hear that there’s little sign of such coarseness here. True, there’s some edge to the treble but one could
argue that’s in keeping with the manic character of the piece. Absolutely no qualms about the bottom end though, as the bass drum is superbly caught. In
short, a very accomplished remastering by M. Pilipov.
However, it’s Rozhdestvensky’s way with the score – it’s punchy, persuasively paced and precisely articulated – that deserves the most praise. I suppose
one shouldn’t be surprised that he does ballet so well, as his other recordings in the genre – Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich spring to mind – are highly
regarded. Perhaps most important in a score that invites excess at every (comic) turn this conductor refuses to exaggerate or underline. Indeed, the
astonishing originality of Prokofiev’s writing has never been so clearly demonstrated, its colours so vividly realised or its rhythms so naturally sprung.
Brave words, I hear you cry. Listening to Jurowski’s recording (CPO 999 975-2) is certainly instructive. What it lacks in sheer, unbridled dynamism it more
than makes up for in detail and sophistication. The playing of the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln – supple and varied, discreet and explosive – is very
impressive indeed. Jurowski is measured, but on the whole he skirts sluggishness; also, he scales climaxes very nicely. There’s a metropolitan suavity to
this performance that’s at odds with Rozhdestvensky’s rougher, intensely Russianate one. Most appealing, perhaps, is that this is an eminently danceable
performance. Indeed, I wouldn’t want to be without it.
CD2 is devoted to the remaining Diaghilev ballets, Le pas d’acier and Le fils prodigue. In the former – premiered at the Théâtre
Sarah-Bernhardt, Paris, in June 1927 – Prokofiev attempted to replace a comforting folkloric past with his vision of a collective, mechanised future; hence
scenes set in a factory and railway station. After all, the Revolution was still young, its ideals still deemed noble and necessary. Le pas d’acier
now seems hopelessly naïve, not to mention relentless, but I suppose it’s a piece one should hear at least once.
Musically that sense of optimism is reflected in the Technicolor opening, which soon gives way to the motoric rhythms that mimic trains and great
manufactories. The human interest is minimal, but then how could it be otherwise in such a loud and crude scenario? The 1990 recording is full and
immediate, the raspberry brass as telling as ever. Neither Rozhdestvensky nor Jurowski can save this one; indeed, the music of ‘Factory’ and ‘Hammers’ is
as grindingly awful as it gets. At least the spacious and commendably refined CPO recording – with lots of colour and redeeming detail – is less punishing
to listen to (999 974-2).
After that aural drubbing Prokofiev's Le fils prodigue, based on the well-known parable, comes across as a far more engaging and grateful work. The
last of his Diaghilev commissions it was premiered by the Ballets Russes at the Théâtre Sarah-Bernhardt in June 1929. Even at its most extrovert – in the
‘Meeting with friends’ and ‘Drinking bout’, for instance – there’s a lovely bounce and character to the writing that you won’t find in its pounding
predecessor. Indeed, there’s a melting loveliness to many of the tunes, not to mention tantalising glimpses of the great ballets still to come.
I listened to Jurowski’s performance first – it’s on the same disc as Le pas d’acier – and relished its point and rhythmic pliancy. The recording is
first class and there’s a pleasing breadth and depth to the soundstage. The playing of Jurowski’s Cologne band is alert and idiomatic, too. And goodness,
the gurgling woodwinds in ‘The robbery’ are simply splendid, the darkly downbeat ‘Awakening and remorse’ keenly felt. As for ‘The return’ it’s nicely paced
and genuinely affecting. This is a mandatory purchase, even if you don’t care for the coupling.
Predictably the Melodiya performance has added pith and perk; the bright, almost crystalline sound certainly amplifies that impression. What did surprise
me about this reading, though, was its comparative lack of appeal and character. Indeed, Rozhdestvensky seems to focus on rhythms and raw power at the
expense of colour and nuance. It’s also weighty, and that general lack of lightness and transparency veils much of the work’s inherent charm. So, a robust
performance rather than an inspired one.
The next two discs are allocated to Romeo and Juliet, which is not only one of the greatest ballets in the repertoire; it’s also one of Prokofiev’s
most inspired creations. The work had a difficult gestation, and politics – both artistic and otherwise – meant the premiere only took place in 1940.
Fortunately Prokofiev also ditched the happy ending in favour of the Shakespearean original. Anyone interested in seeing a truly memorable performance of
the work on Blu-ray or DVD should investigate the 2007 Covent Garden production with Carlos Acosta and Tamara Rojo as the ‘star cross’d lovers’; it looks
handsome, the dancing is unforgettable and the playing is incandescent. No wonder it was one of my Recordings of the Year in 2011 (review).
Rozhdestvensky’s Introduction has splendid surge, and in the numbers that follows he ensures plenty of lilt and lift. In fact I’ve rarely heard ‘The street
awakens’ so infectiously done. The remastered mono sound is pretty good, although the bass is rather boomy at times. Despite that, and the slight but
constant hiss, there’s no denying the thrill and thrust of Rozhdestvensky’s reading, especially in the fight and the dark, drenching music of the Duke’s
righteous fury. The unmistakably Russian brass are just marvellous in those fanfares, adding a real frisson to the mix.
Splendid in the ballet’s public scenes Rozhdestvensky is just as accomplished in the private ones. ‘Juliet as a young girl’ displays vigour and mischief,
not to mention flashes of real tenderness. the cymbals in ‘The arrival of the guests’ are somewhat constrained but those bass-drum thuds are very
effective. As for the violins in ‘Masks’ they’re in sharp focus but, at this stage at least, they aren’t too fierce. V. Obodzinskaya has done a good job
with this remastering, which has few of the audio nasties one might expect from a recording of this provenance and vintage.
One of the hallmarks of a successful ballet recording is a sense of dramatic continuity, and that’s emphatically the case here. Also, Rozhdestvensky knows
just how to sustain interest and he seldom overdrives the music or overplays the tuttis. Indeed, he makes ‘Madrigal’ seem unusually expansive. And if
you’re wondering if this is a danceable performance just listen to the finely judged ‘Gavotte’. As for ‘The balcony scene’ it’s as sublime, as deeply
affecting, as ever.
If there’s one aspect of the original recording that I’d want to change it would be the increasingly prominent strings, which glare uncomfortably in ‘Love
dance’. For the first time I had to cut the volume to lessen my discomfort. The remaining dances on this disc are also a tad aggressive at times. Again the
violins are the main culprits, but even they can’t dampen my enthusiasm for this reading as a whole. I wouldn’t quibble with Rozhdestvensky’s abundance of
energy and decisive rhythms either. As for those energetic mandolins – fuelled more by vodka than wine, perhaps – they’d surely bring the house down.
The second part of Rozhdestvensky’s Romeo and Juliet is no less enthralling or eventful. The nurse is nicely characterised, as is the benevolent
monk. How feelingly the Bolshoi orchestra play in ‘Juliet at Friar Laurence’s’, and how animated they are in the revelry at the start of [Act 2] Scene 4.
The trumpets are a special delight. But it’s the fight and Mercutio’s death that find conductor and players at their breathtaking best; just listen to that
soft stuttering beat that’s so like a heart pumping itself to extinction. After that Romeo’s revenge and the finale of Act 2 – what a hair-raising side
drum and cymbals – are simply devastating in their rage and reach. Even at this dramatic and dynamic apogee the hitherto variable sound remains remarkably
Rozhdestvensky doesn’t put a foot wrong here; but then neither does Prokofiev, whose instinctive response to the play’s dramatic peaks and subtleties is
just astonishing. Speaking of subtleties just sample the delicacy and point of ‘Morning serenade’ and ‘Dance of the girls with lilies’. These inspired
musicians are just as sensitive to the ballet’s dark finale, which is played with a quiet, sustained gravitas that’s very moving indeed. In short, the
perfect conclusion to a simply unforgettable performance.
Maazel’s Cleveland recording of Romeo and Juliet is highly regarded, not least for Decca’s sumptuous sonics. Recorded in 1973 this set has an almost
epic quality that, while undeniably exciting, isn’t remotely theatrical. That’s a perennial problem with concert performances and recordings of ballet
scores, although some conductors – Ansermet and Rozhdestvensky among them – manage to create and sustain the illusion that we’re watching the dancers and hearing the music. For all its felicities Ashkenazy’s Cinderella is also more suited to the concert hall; that’s probably why the
performance falls flat when used as the soundtrack to Les Ballets de Monte Carlo’s video of the piece. It’s strangely deadening, not unlike the effect one
gets in films dubbed from another language.
Listening to the 24/96 Studio Master of Gergiev’s Romeo and Juliet – LSO Live LSO0682, downloaded from Hyperion – I was struck by how comparatively restrained he sounds after the
sleek, big-band Maazel and the urgent, often volatile Rozhdestvensky. Where Gergiev and the LSO triumph, though, is in the care and finesse of their
approach; and then there’s the dark, velvety sound. That said, they too must yield to Rozhdestvensky and his Bolshoi band in terms of feeling.
Indeed, the latter’s reading reduced me to tears at times, something that neither Maazel’s nor Gergiev’s could do.
What about Andrew Rose’s Pristine remastering? He has won plaudits for his restoration
of older recordings, many of which have been reviewed on these pages. I was particularly impressed with his work on Bruno Walter’s classic 1947 account of
Mahler’s Fifth Symphony (review), so I was keen to
hear what he’s done with Romeo and Juliet. The 24/48 ‘ambient stereo’ version is slightly more refined, but some of the immediacy, that elusive
presence, has been lost along the way. And while the bass is still rather diffuse – some things are much harder to ‘improve’ – the shrill violins have been
tamed a tad. Also, the soundstage seems wider, but not by much.
In an attempt to compare like with like I also downloaded Pristine’s 16-bit mono remastering and, as I expected, it sounds more vital and involving than
the 24-bit ambient stereo one. To be honest, I’m not a great fan of ersatz stereo – it tends to subtract rather more than it adds – and while I admire what
Pristine have tried to do, here the remastered Melodiya version is superior in almost every way. However, if you do decide to take the Pristine route go
for the cheaper 16-bit files – €18, as opposed to €30 – or even the 320kb/s download, priced at €14. Full documentation is provided, whatever the
It’s remarkable that Cinderella, one of Prokofiev’s most luminous scores, could have been penned during the darkest days of WW2. Even more
surprising is that the premiere, conducted by Yuri Fayer, took place so soon after the cessation of hostilities. In any event it’s a lovely work, full of
imagination, and even if that Ashkenazy/Cleveland recording is similar to Maazel’s Romeo and Juliet in scale it has a charm and attention to
character that make for a thoroughly engaging performance. And then there’s Decca’s 1983 recording, with its thrilling detail and dynamics.
Rozhdestvensky’s Cinderella, set down in 1965, still sounds pretty good, as shown by the warmth and amplitude of the Introduction. However, there
are several very audible changes of balance in this recording, beginning with the ‘Shawl dance’. The treble is a little fierce, too, but these things
hardly matter when the music-making is so pert and punchy, the characters so lovingly presented. As with his Romeo and Juliet Rozhdestvensky is
utterly immersed in the score; not only that, his reading has all the heat and light of a live event. As for the father and fairy godmother – the booklet
refers to the latter as The Beggar Fairy – they’re drawn with disarming ease and affection.
Speaking of balances the violin solo that accompanies ‘The sisters’ new clothes’ may be too prominent but it’s delightfully done. How melting Cinderella’s
dreams of the ball, and how nimble the little gavotte that follows. It’s at moments like these that one’s reminded of the richness and variety of this
music; one also has to marvel at Rozhdestvensky’s unerring ability to bring it all to life. In the presence of such vividness even the splendid Ashkenazy
can seem a little pale. Even more impressive is the playing of this Moscow band; the woodwinds in ‘The summer fairy’ are a special delight. And how well
it’s all been caught. Full marks to the original engineer I. Veprintsev and to M. Pilipov for his magnificent remastering.
The recording isn’t perfect – there’s some steeliness and another marked change of perspective in ‘The autumn fairy’s variations’ – but these are minor
issues that don’t get in the way of the music. Don’t write Ashkenazy off, though, for he’s intensely dramatic at the close of Act 1, where the sheer
amplitude of his recording always beings me out in goose-bumps. Arguably Rozhdestvensky’s dance rhythms are more supple, more infectious, as in the ‘Dance
of the courtiers’ at the start of Act 2. Rather oddly the ensuing ‘Passepied’ sounds like it’s been ‘dropped in’ – a later take, perhaps?
Rozhdestvensky’s Act 2 thrums along nicely; there simply isn’t a dull moment here. Yet again I’m astounded by the extent of Prokofiev’s musical
imagination, that carousel of catchy tunes as entertaining as ever. Indeed, Cinderella’s arrival at the ball –which begins without fuss or fanfare – moved
me in ways it’s never done before; then again, this entire set is full of wonderful surprises. As Alfred Hitchcock observed suspense is the opposite of
surprise, so there’s a delicious sense of anticipation as we await the fateful hour. Before that we have Cinderella’s gorgeous duet with the prince, a
highlight of Ashkenazy’s set as well. The latter’s chimes are formidable compared with the Russians’ carriage-sized effort, but both conductors bring this
Act to a thrilling close.
This conductor’s grip is just as firm in Act 3. The music of the prince and his cobblers, not to mention his three galops, is taut and full of bounce.
There’s no diminution of delight here – or anywhere else, for that matter – but then that’s a core strengths of this performance. Even the normally
attention-getting Russian brass seem discreet, and Rozhdestvensky ensures a long, unbroken line from start to finish. And oh, if only everyone else’s
morning after were this refreshing! At first there’s pleasure, and then overwhelming tenderness, as the lovers are reunited; Prokofiev responds with some
of the most ravishing, heartfelt music imaginable. Honestly, if you’re unmoved here or in the crowning ‘Amoroso’ you must have a heart of stone.
The rest of CD6 is devoted to Sur le Borysthène (On the Dnieper), commissioned by the Paris Opéra and premiered by them in December 1932. The ballet
wasn’t well received by the critics and was soon withdrawn. It’s not difficult to see why, as this post-WW1 tale of Sergei, a Red Army soldier who returns
home to find he’s no longer in love with Natasha, is dramatically weak and musically uninspired. Even the ending, in which Natasha ‘saves’ Sergei and his
new bride Olga from the irate villagers, seems even more contrived than usual.
That said, Rozhdestvensky and The USSR Ministry Of Culture Symphony Orchestra, recorded in 1982, do the best with what they have. The playing is good, but
the sound is rather shrill at times. Also, there’s little of that transfixing sense of theatre that we get with Rozhdestvensky’s Romeo and Juliet
and Cinderella. The work’s episodic structure doesn’t help. Listening to the Chandos download of Polyansky’s more engaging version, coupled with
the Op. 76 suite Songs of our days, doesn’t change my feelings about the piece as a whole. The sound is spectacular though, and the red-blooded,
very Russian, filler – for orchestra, chorus, mezzo and baritone – is superbly sung. Go on, give it a whirl.
CDs 7 and 8 contain The tale of the stone flower, Prokofiev’s final ballet composed between 1948 and 1953. The piece was only premiered in 1954, a
year after the composer’s death, the indefatigable Yuri Fayer presiding. It’s based on a folk tale from the Urals, in which the young gem-cutter Danila
goes in search of the legendary stone flower. But before he can see it the Mistress of Copper Mountain tests his love for his fiancé, Katerina. He’s
literally spellbound by the exquisite object, leaving Katerina to repel the evil steward Severyan. Predictably the villain is punished, the lovers are
reunited and the ballet ends with much rejoicing.
The tangy Russian brass are simply electrifying in their depiction of the Mistress of Copper Mountain at the very start. Yes, the treble is a tad fatiguing
but the energy and focus of this performance is beyond doubt. In his review of Gianandrea Noseda’s Chandos
recording of the piece Rob Barnett says listeners shouldn’t expect every page to hold their attention. I can only agree. Musically and dramatically the
piece isn’t a patch on Romeo and Juliet or Cinderella; then again it seems more cinematically conceived, rather like Alexander Nevsky,
and that makes it hard to imagine it being played out behind a proscenium arch.
Bold of colour and sweeping of gesture, this ballet is perfect fodder for these Russians, who play with almost frightening conviction. As ever, the dances
are idiomatically done, but the bridging episodes just aren’t as inventive as I’d like. Not even the redoubtable Rozhdestvensky can disguise that fact,
which is probably why progress seems so fitful at times. That said, the magical setting allows Prokofiev some startling sonorities, most scenes painted in
the most garish colours.
Don’t dismiss the piece altogether, for there are some lovely moments. ‘The dance of the maidens’ in Act 1 is especially attractive, and ‘The unmarried
men’s dance’ is wonderfully virile. Alas, that’s offset by some rather lumpy, four-square writing. The less-than-compelling music Prokofiev provides for
the scene where the Mistress of Copper Mountain lures Danila away is a case in point. As for the duets and dances that follow, including that of the
precious stones, they seem curiously underwhelming.
The recording is forthright, so the imposing music of Danila’s monologue, the Mistress of Copper Mountain’s reply and the unveiling of the stone flower
has tremendous impact. Rozhdestvensky also lets rip in the Russian and gypsy dances. The bass drum is splendid here, and the death of Severyan packs quite
a punch. It’s not all atavism though; in between the beautiful rhapsody is typical of the composer’s more atmospheric and tightly constructed sections.
In Act 4 music associated with the Fire Spirit – inexplicably called the Firing Hopper in the booklet – seems rather crude, but then Prokofiev lurches into
swooning, melodramatic mode as the lovers are reunited and the Mistress of Copper Mountain showers them with gifts. Rozhdestvensky doesn’t hold back here
either, and the upfront recording – I had to reduce the volume by about 7dB – adds to a sense of imminent sensory overload. Subtle this isn’t, but as I’ve
already discovered a different approach and/or a more judicious recording can bring unexpected rewards.
And so it proves. Listening to the Jurowski version – via a lossless download from eClassical – is much more pleasant, both musically and sonically. That
said, his brass players are just as bracing as Rozhdestvensky’s at the start, but the CPO sound has added depth and some much-needed ‘air’. As a result I
was able to ‘hear through’ the music in a way that simply isn’t possible in the Melodiya recording. And I’m delighted to report there’s a sense of theatre
here that the often overblown Russians can’t quite manage.
Jurowski, who’s already proved his credentials with the three Diaghilev ballets, is just as adroit with this one. In this appropriately scaled, beautifully
nuanced reading the score takes on a delectable shape – call it character – that I don’t hear in Rozhdestvensky’s more robust reading. Where the latter
goes for the primary colours the former brings out the subtler shades, and that raises the ballet’s stock by several points. Alas, neither eClassical nor Qobuz supply a booklet with this download, but Chandos do.
The bonus disc, a 1938 recording of Prokofiev conducting the Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2, is certainly interesting. As expected, the
recording is thin and breaks up in the climaxes. Still, it’s a steady, unspectacular performance that’s certainly worth hearing. For a superb modern
account of the suites, do try the amalgam offered by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony (review). And if you have a soft spot for
this ballet in general you simply must hear Ashkenazy’s magical account of the Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75, which he recorded in 1995 (review).
Once in a while a performance – or set of them – forces one to re-evaluate old favourites and recalibrate expectations of new ones; Rozhdestvensky’s
Prokofiev ballets certainly do that. Despite some reservations – more technical than musical – his accounts of Chout, Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella blow rivals into the proverbial weeds. Downloaders will be happy to discover that any or all of these can be downloaded separately from
the Qobuz portal. As for the rest, Jurowski’s versions are the ones to go for.
There are three unforgettable performances here, in fair to good sound; a fine tribute to composer and conductor alike.
(The buffoon), ballet in six scenes, Op. 21 (1915, rev. 1920)
The USSR Ministry Of Culture Symphony Orchestra
Le pas d’acier
(The steel step), ballet in two scenes, Op. 41 (1925-1926)
Le fils prodigue
(The prodigal son), ballet in three scenes, Op. 46 (1928-1929)
The USSR Ministry Of Culture Symphony Orchestra
Romeo and Juliet, ballet in four acts (nine scenes), Op. 64 (1935-1936) (first part)
The Symphony Orchestra of The Bolshoi Theatre
Romeo and Juliet
Cinderella, ballet in three acts, Op. 87 (1940-1944) (first part)
The Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
M. Chernyakhovsky, A. Futer (violin)
The Stage Brass Band of the Bolshoi Theatre
Sur le Borysthène
(On the Dnieper), ballet in two scenes, Op. 51 (1930-1931)
The USSR Ministry Of Culture Symphony Orchestra
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke
(The tale of the stone flower), ballet in four acts with prologue and epilogue, Op. 118 (1948-1953) (first part)
The tale of the stone flower
The Symphony Orchestra of The Bolshoi Theatre
Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2, Op. 64ter (1936)
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra/Sergei Prokofiev