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9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Performer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Mily Balakirev
  • Audio CD (Sept. 17 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Phillips
  • ASIN: B00006GEKG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,194 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Sea And Sinbads Ship - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherazade Op. 35
2. The Story of the Kalendar Prince - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherazade Op. 35
3. The Young Prince and Princess - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherazade Op. 35
4. Festival at Baghdad, The Sea, Shipwreck, Conclusion - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherazade Op. 35
5. In The Steppes of Central Asia - Alexander Borodin
6. Islamey - Mily Balakirev

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 8 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've purchased a number of Gergiev recordings, all of which are quite exciting. This is the first time I've been let down.
While the playing is great, there's something wrong here with the multichannel mix. I read a review that indicated that the engineers recording this session may have multimiked the hall too aggressively and then tried to make up for it by adding artificial reverb in the mix. I'm not an engineer, but there is a compressed and somewhat flat sound to the recording, even in SACD. I also have an XRCD version of Fritz Reiner's 40 plus year old recording of this piece, which sounds much more dynamic and new.
So while Gergiev is an awesome conductor, this may not be the best version of this particular work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Egigian on April 14 2003
Format: Audio CD
Simply stated, this performance has been undermined by a recording team who has failed in its task. The louder the music gets, the more congested and shallow the sound becomes. Just when you would love to revel in the sound this marvelous orchestra can produce, you are confronted with the paradox of a great resonant acoustic collapsing before your very ears.
This is deeply disappointing given the marvelous previous recordings of Scriabin, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.
More satisfying recordings which capture marvelous performances and better sound would be Chicago/Reiner and Mehta/LAPO.
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Format: Audio CD
Having heard the Kirov Orchestra play Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade several times live, during performances of the famous ballet version by Mikhail Fokine, I was quite surprised when I first listened to this CD. True, on most of these occasions the orchestra wasn't conducted by Valery Gergiev and although there is no doubt that the Kirov musicians have this music very much in their blood, this new recording won't go down as their greatest achievement.
With his unleashed, unpredictable tempi and heavy, unsubtle accents, and not helped by too much artificial reverberation, Valery Gergiev, whom we have heard more inspired than here, opts for an extremely rough, no-nonsense re-telling of Rimsky's ever-popular score. He seems to deny his Sheherazade every ounce of charm, poetry and sensuality, portraying a woman more likely to have spent some time in a brutal Chechnian camp than one who wallowed in the refined colours and perfumes of the Bagdad fantasized by Rimsky-Korsakov. Moreover, Gergiev doesn't avoid the pitfall of highlighting too many details of the orchestration - and true, at times he reveals unheard passages, as in the third movement - at the cost of losing grip of the overall structure. The frenzied tempo in which he attacks the last movement not only puts his orchestra in trouble, it also makes him miss the big final climax.
The orchestra's solos, the first violin from concert master Sergei Levitin to begin with, are undoubtedly commendable, but in this recording they definitely do not sound as the most sophisticated around. As is obvious from older recordings, the Kirov woodwinds surely have a lot more in store.
The short fillings from Borodin and Balakirev are much in the same vein.
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By John Kwok TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 17 2002
Format: Audio CD
Rimsky-Korsakov's "Sheherazade" is well represented in the CD catalogue. There are excellent recordings from the likes of Ozawa and Mackerras among others, with an exceptionally dramatic version from Kondrashin leading the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Until I heard Gergiev's splendid interpretation, Kondrashin's was the definitive recording, filled with much drama and passion, and blessed with excellent violin solos from Herman Krebbers, the Concertgebouw Orchestra's concertmaster. Here Gergiev goes a bit further than Kondrashin did, rendering a passionately lyrical, dramatic performance which shows the Kirov Orchestra at the top of its form. He leads the Kirov Orchestra in a brisk interpretation, emphasizing the score's rich textures, gently molding phrases and motifs. The violin soloist - presumably the Kirov's concertmaster - performances are far more lyrical and nuanced than those I heard from Krebbers, still excellent after nearly a quarter of a century. Phillips has produced one of its best recordings of Gergiev and the Kirov at their home in Saint Petersburg's Mravinsky Theater. The shorter works by Borodin and Balakirev are splendid codas at the end of this marvellous CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Bought this cd last friday night at a local Circuit City, on the
strength of Gergiev and the Kirov's strengths-and it was worth
every penny. Purchased it to fill in a gap in my music collec-
tion, and when I went to pop it in the car player the next day-
my jaw dropped as soon as the opening bars rang out: it is ab-
solutely incredible, a real tour-de-force, it is a masterfully
powerful exposition of this classic relegated to hum-drum play-
ing all too often. Here it is no wimpy set of program pieces
designed to provide a comfortable afternoon snooze. No indeed,
for it is a forceful torrent of sound, carrying one along the
mind's eye with the clever,resourceful Scheherazade. When I
listen to it, I cannot help but team it up as a soundtrack to a
Ray Harryhausen classic cinema, it is that good.
For anyone who has not had the great good fortune to see and hear the Kirov Orchestra play in it's home setting, or on tour-
grab this disc, it will not disappoint you at all. Despite all
the economic and political turmoil enmeshing Russia, the Kirov
still has full command of it's faculties as one of the world's
great orchestras, a formidable ensemble of polished brass, sil-
ken strings, and great ensemble playing. I was lucky enough to
see them while in St. Petersburg, Russia on a student studytour
performing at the Kirov Theatre, in performances of Swan lake
and La Traviata, and both were bravura performances. In short,
they still got it, and they are incredibly great.
This is definitely going on my desert island collection list!
And I am buying copies for all my friends and family for the
holidays to boot.
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