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Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite; Kabalevsky: The Comedians; Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien; Rimsky-Korsakoff: Capriccio Espagnol

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 9 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00000GV4H
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Masquerade Suite
2. "The Comedians, Op. 26"
3. "Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34"
4. Waltz
5. Nocturne
6. Mazurka
7. Romance
8. Galop
9. Prologue
10. Comedians' Gallop
11. March
12. Waltz
13. Pantomime
14. Intermezzo
15. Little Lyrical Scene
16. Gavotte
17. Scherzo
18. Epilogue
19. "Capriccio italien, Op. 45"
20. Alborada
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Kondrashin came to the U.S. in 1958 to conduct concerts for Van Cliburn. While he was recording the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto with Cliburn, RCA also had him make these recordings (originally two LPs) with pickup musicians in New York's Manhattan Center. The nucleus of the orchestra was composed of members of the old NBC Symphony, and the ensemble plays splendidly, with violinist Oscar Shumsky earning his solo credit. Kondrashin leads spirited performances of these warhorses, mostly music so vulgar we should be ashamed of enjoying it as much as we do. RCA's famous "Living Stereo" sound has transferred splendidly to this CD, making it an exquisite, guilty pleasure. --Leslie Gerber

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Lipscomb on May 16 2004
Format: Audio CD
The Scene: Reception Desk at the Pearly Gates.
St. Peter: "And you, sir, what is your name?"
Kondrashin: "Kondrashin. I was a conductor."
St. Peter: "Are you the same conductor who made that wonderful record of Rimsky-Korsakoff, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian and Tchaikovsky for RCA back in 1958?"
Kondrashin: "Yes, I suppose I am."
St. Peter: "It's a pleasure to meet you, sir! Many folks up here speak highly of your work. Several of them have even told me that YOU are directly responsible for their being here."
Kondrashin: "How can that be?"
St. Peter: "Well, they said that after listening to your record, they died and went to Heaven. Please come in!"
Listen to this record ..... if you dare!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a rare gem that many people will probably miss. If you listen to your local classical radio station, you might actually catch this really great piece by Khachaturian. All the movements have been done with gusto and enthusiasm. It will definitely get your attention with its rich melodies. I would characterize it as almost Tchaikovsky with romantic influences.
The CD leaflet is quite informative to describe the life of Khachaturian in writing the Masquerade Suite. So, it is worth the price of the CD since it provides more information about a relatively obscure composer. I think the music really got my attention and interested in learning about where Khachaturian got his influence.
The other pieces are a mixed bag and probably depends on what your tastes are. I personally found Kabalevsky not to be quite memorable since there are no distinct theme. It's a different style which takes time to appreciate. To me, it sounds very modern like Aaron Copland which doesn't appeal to me. It is really a progression from romatic to modern music.
Tchaikovsky is much more like what you are used to from him. Expect lush and some beautiful tunes. It is not played often so you will not be humming this immediately. So, you just have to listen to it a while. It is pretty slow with highs and lows which means more patience to detail.
Rimsky-Korsakov is more exciting and probably what you expect in this CD. This probably would make sense if the entire CD would focus on strong movements like this one. I guess that is the drawback when a CD album comes out. You are sure to really want to hear one piece but the others are not up to par. However, even popular CDs you buy is a mixed bag so this is not unlike in this regards. So, I would recommend listening to the samples and then decide to buy it. You will love Khachaturian but probably won't feel the same about the others.
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Format: Audio CD
Many do not know Aram Khachaturian's moving, romantic music, but they would likely recognised the Sabre Dance, used everywhere commercials and cartoons or the Adagio used by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey. That frantic, almost comical Sabre Dance comes from the oh so romantic Gayne Ballet Suite along with the Adagio made famous when Kubrick chose it for his film.
But it's his Masquerade Suite I love the most. Khachaturian's music has a feel as if it should come from a contemporary of Saint Saens, instead of one living and composing in the 20th century (he died in 1978). I danced to this as a ballet dancer, and I don't know any music quite so filled my heart and soul.
Few composure can imbue their music with so much passion. The Masquerade Suites' Waltz, Romance and Nocturne are just breathtaking.
I had to hunt and hunt to find this on a record, so I so delighted to see it on CD!!
Just is nothing as beautiful! To think this same composure also gave us the Gayne Ballet and Spartacus is simply amazing.
So discover the beauty of Khachaturian!
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By A Customer on June 17 1999
Format: Audio CD
There are so many treasurable recordings that RCA has in their archives, one can only wish they would take their virtual responsibility of getting them to the market a little more seriously. However, we should be grateful for what they have done so far. This particular CD when originally released contained only "The Masquerade Suite" and "The Comedians," both recorded in the late 1950s. For the CD, we have welcome filler in the form of the two capriccios. This CD speaks more than any amount of words as to the tragic loss music suffered over the early death of conductor, Kiril Kondrashin. "The Masquerade Suite" and "The Comedians" in particular have incredible style and sweep. These pieces which have been for so long relegated to the status of pops concerts level become in Kondrashin's hands the decided masterpieces of colorful writing and wonderful orchestration that they actually are. I must go so far as to say that these interpretations are definitive. We like to think of all the technical advances we have made in the last decades, but the sonics of the original analog tapes make these pieces sound like they were recorded yesterday rather than 40 years ago. There is not a trace of compression or distortion. Volumes on a good stereo system can be put to earthquake level. The final movement of the Kabelevsky is a speaker buster with Kabelevsky's ample use of kettle drums for the grand finish. On the other side of the coin, there is Oscar Shumsky's incomparable violin playing in "The Masquerade Suite" with its heartfelt second movement's large violin solo. This is a "must-have" CD. We have absolutely magnificent performances of two masterpieces of orchestration from the mid-twentieth century Russian school, and to have the added bonus of Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsokav thrown in makes one feel with this recording that one's cup runs over.
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