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Rimsky-Korsakov: Orchestral Favorites [Original recording remastered]

ANDRE CLUYTENS Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 10.85 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Tsar's Departure & Farewell - Paul Kletzki
2. Tsarina In A Barrel At Sea - Paul Kletzki
3. The Flight Of The Bumblebees - Andre Cluytens
4. The Three Wonders - Paul Kletzki
5. Russian Easter Overature - Lovro Von Matacic
6. King Dodon In His Palace - Efrem Kurtz
7. King Dodon On The Battlefield - Efrem Kurtz
8. King Dodon As The Guest Of Queen Shemakha - Efrem Kurtz
9. The Marriage Feast And Lamentable End Of Dodon - Efrem Kurtz
10. Capriccio Espagnol - Andre Cluytens

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5.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding Rimsky-Korsakov July 27 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my favorite CDs in the latest installment of EMI's Seraphim budget-line series. "Rimsky-Korsakov: Orchestral Favorites" collects just what it says, some of the composer's best-known and most-loved shorter works for orchestra, including the Tsar Sultan and Golden Cockerel Suites, Russian Easter Overture and Capriccio Espagnol. Though the best part about this disc for a vintage stereo fan like myself is classic performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra by some of the lesser-known, but nonetheless great, conductors of the 20th Century -- Paul Kletzki, Andre Cluytens, Lovro von Matacic and Efrem Kurtz. All of this material has been available on CD previously, and in fact the only piece I don't have on two different products is the Matacic Russian Easter Overture performance. But those of you who started collecting classical late (like me) and haven't had a chance to purchase titles in the "Artist Profile" series, will truly benefit from the current availability of these magnificent recordings. And those of you who could care less about what I just said and were just looking for a second Rimsky-Korsakov disc because you are ready to move-on from your heavily played copy of Scheherazade, you've happened upon a real gem.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rewarding Rimsky-Korsakov July 27 2003
By Michael B. Richman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my favorite CDs in the latest installment of EMI's Seraphim budget-line series. "Rimsky-Korsakov: Orchestral Favorites" collects just what it says, some of the composer's best-known and most-loved shorter works for orchestra, including the Tsar Sultan and Golden Cockerel Suites, Russian Easter Overture and Capriccio Espagnol. Though the best part about this disc for a vintage stereo fan like myself is classic performances with the Philharmonia Orchestra by some of the lesser-known, but nonetheless great, conductors of the 20th Century -- Paul Kletzki, Andre Cluytens, Lovro von Matacic and Efrem Kurtz. All of this material has been available on CD previously, and in fact the only piece I don't have on two different products is the Matacic Russian Easter Overture performance. But those of you who started collecting classical late (like me) and haven't had a chance to purchase titles in the "Artist Profile" series, will truly benefit from the current availability of these magnificent recordings. And those of you who could care less about what I just said and were just looking for a second Rimsky-Korsakov disc because you are ready to move-on from your heavily played copy of Scheherazade, you've happened upon a real gem.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Choice Feb. 24 2007
By Franklin Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I heartily concur with reviewer Richman's assessment of this re-release on the Seraphim label. Unlike him, I am a long-time collector who is just trying to fill a few "holes" in my music library without breaking the bank. Bingo! This recording was a perfect choice for me. Nice sound, good performances, all you could ask for.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rimsky-Korsakov Showpieces Played by the Legendary Philharmonia Feb. 4 2009
By Doug - Haydn Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The attraction here is a budget issue of colorful Rimsky-Korsakov selections played by the famous Philharmonia Orchestra, one of the greatest orchestras of its time. The conductors are something of a mixture, but all could deliver an above average performance, and Cluytens, Kletzki, and Kurz were known for bringing a lighter, more transparent touch to their music-making, which fits this music quite nicely. Along with the lack of heavy-handed noise, they all show a great deal of vivacity in leading this luxury band through its paces.

The mixture of conductors doesn't seem to cause any great havoc to the music - a Cluytens version of The Flight of the Bumblebee from 1958 fills in a gap in the 1960 Kletzi recording of the Tsar Sultan Suite. This is follow by a good if not thrilling reading of the Russian Easter Overture under von Matacic, a recording which never falls into bombast, a problem not uncommon with this work, thanks in large part to his distinquished orchestra, which seems largely impeccable and quite unflappable in the busiest, loudest sections. This is not my favorite piece of music, so perhaps my lack of extra enthusiasm doesn't do this Seraphim version justice. I suspect Stokowski is the right man for this music - See Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade; Russian Easter Overture

Efrem Kurtz leads the orchestra in Rimsky's late music from his last opera, "The Golden Cockerel". Recorded in 1963 the general effect here is of a major orchestra miked rather centrally, with no efforts at excessive spotlighting, as is too often the case in such showpieces. The horn solos are not the best I've heard, but some of the other solos are superbly done, and the single instruments sound in balance with the overall orchestra's volume, rather than suddenly boosted. The strings remain enchanting, and the natural transparency of Rimsky's music is marvelously diplayed without trickery. Again, there are more in your face performances, especially in the most up-to-date recordings, but for the sense of off-hand ease the Philharmonia conveys at all times as they traverse the music...pretty impressive.

Throughout these selections we can hear the inroads of a large number of alien musical influences on the music of a composer who has already mastered his craft to a fare-thee-well. Notable are definite concessions in his string writing to the sounds of the Wagner orchestra. It's clear Rimsky had also been following the music of that turn of the century enfant terrible, Strauss. Wild, evocative solos burst forth from seemingly nowhere throughout the music for "The Golden Cockerel".

The last selection is the famous "Capriccio Espagnol". Cluytens leads a crisp well-played reading, with some excellent solo work. However, this falls short of the brilliant reading under Kondrashin. (Including several other very well done selections - Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite; Kabalevsky: The Comedians; Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien; Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol / Kondrashin

These are excellent examples of Rimsky-Korsakov's skill as orchestrator, and the Capriccio is a genuine small masterpiece. The reason one would chose this Cd set over another has to be the orchestra - a superb ensemble, here showing how good they are with an insouciant ease. Whether the Cd deserves five stars or four depends on how much you like hearing the Philharmonia at near its best. Given the budget price, I think five stars is not unreasonable and happily recommend it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good selection Oct. 22 2009
By Antonio Silva - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an essential CD for Rimsky-Korsakov works. Despite the old recording, the sound is good, and it joins on the CD pieces like the Great Russian Easter and the Tzar Saltan suite that are two pearls of this composer. A very good bargain
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars There is better quality elsewhere Dec 9 2012
By im4mary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I personally love Rimsky-Korsakov but this was an experience in knowing who the conductors and orchestra are and how they are integral in making the music phenomenal. My favorite is the Capriccio Espagnol and I have it on another CD, thankfully. If you do buy this, you might want to set the base very low as it tends to overpower the treble. Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra did an outstanding job with Sheherazade ~ I'd suggest looking to them if you like Rimsky-Korsakov as I do and want to hear his compositions played with expressive, beautiful precision.
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