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Dances and Overtures

Kuchar National So of Ukraine , Tchaikovsky Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 12.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Overture
2. Fatum-Symphonic Poem, Op.77
3. Overture
4. Entr'acte Between Acts I And II
5. Danse Des Bohemiens (Act II)
6. Danse Des Polichinelles Et Des Histrions (Act II)
7. Danse Russe (Act III)
8. Danse Des Cosaques (Act III)
9. Introduction
10. Danse Des Histrions (Act I)
11. Gopak (Act I)
12. Danses (Act IV)

Product Description


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Now For Some Tchaikovsky You Haven't Heard March 30 2006
By Timothy Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In high school I learned an important lesson all classical music lovers should learn. There were a number of good budget labels that issued great and varied LP's. Sine Qua Non, Vox, and Seraphim are some that come to mind. Each of these labels issued recordings of works not in the standard repertoire and I learned that if I didn't grab a title as soon as I saw it, I may never see it again. I grabbed and accumulated a varied record collection. I still have this temptation when I see Naxos recordings, especially if I see a recording of works by one of my favorite composers with music that is not that familiar.

This collection of dance music and overtures from operas, and a symphonic poem (not from an opera but it still fits the collection) contains music that would largely be unfamiliar to most listeners outside of Russia. The overture to PIQUE DAME and "Gopak" from MAZEPPA are probably the only pieces that could be considered familiar. In the Boston area the dances from OPRICHNIK get airtime on our local classical station but the other works are largely unheard. The excerpts are enjoyable and area wonderful example of the creativity that is so much a part of Tchaikovsky.

Since so many of the pieces were unfamiliar to me prior to this recording, it's difficult to compare them to what may be available on other discs. However, I do have other recordings of the overture to PIQUE DAME and "Gopak" and while the performance is good, I have heard more robust renditions. Still it's a worthwhile disc with great musical gems.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album of Little-Known Tchaikovsky Feb. 24 2009
By Aronne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The recorded sound is not in the top bracket, but it is still excellent. The playing of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is very consistent; Theodore Kuchar does a good job of avoiding blandness. Only rarely does the orchestra sound as though it could be more polished.

The opening Queen of Spades Overture is a prologue divided into two sections much like the Sleeping Beauty Prologue (if not as memorably). Fatum, the next track, is a much underrated symphonic poem with many pleasing ideas. Kuchar strikes a convincing balance between too much and too little weight in his approach. The Voyevoda Overture is pleasing, if not as great as the later Symphonic Poem of the same name.

The three excerpts from the Maid of Orleans are splendid. The two dances are typical Tchaikovsky, full of energy, both delicious examples of his abilities to compose.

The remaining excerpts, including the somewhat well-known Gopak from Mazeppa, are all fine works, if not "great." As a Tchaikovskian, I am glad to have all of these works on one disc, given a good performance by Eastern European forces.
3.0 out of 5 stars rare pieces worth exploring Nov. 17 2010
By Pietro Zanette - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Both the Orchestra and the conductor do not seem at their best here, but Tchaikovsky is Tchaikovsky and worth attention even in his less famous piece as it is the case here. Worth going for it, the price is also inviting, no regret at the end.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rare Tchaikovsky Repertoire; Uninspired Performances April 12 2006
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The primary reason to purchase this CD is that it contains music of Tchaikovsky rarely encountered. Occasionally one hears the overture to 'The Queen of Spades' in the opera house, but otherwise I hadn't ever heard any of them. I was curious about the twenty-minute tone poem, 'Fatum', one of Tchaikovsky's earliest pieces for orchestra, but it is a huge disappointment. Apparently Tchaikovsky thought so, too, because he destroyed the score within a year after its premiere. (And its premiere did bring him to the attention of some of 'The Five.') After his death some friends reconstructed it from parts that had survived. Although one can hear Tchaikovsky's recognizable sound in every bar, it is awkwardly constructed and orchestrated. As for the other pieces here, they are pleasant enough, some of them more than that, but the listless and sometimes downright under-rehearsed and occasionally out-of-tune performances by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Theodore Kuchar, don't make much of a case for them. Add to that the somewhat tubby sound, and this is not a CD I could recommend except for those who want recordings of everything Tchaikovsky ever wrote.

The recording was made in 2000 and is just now being released for the first time as far as I can tell. I suspect Naxos knew they didn't particularly have a winner here.

Scott Morrison

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