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Rimsky-Korsakov:Schehrazade

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov , Mily Balakirev Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.27 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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1. The Sea And Sinbads Ship - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherazade Op. 35
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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

Product Description

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine playing, somewhat dead sound - even in SACD Sept. 8 2003
By A Customer
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
2.0 out of 5 stars A Compromised Sheherazade 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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5.0 out of 5 stars This will knock your socks off Aug. 23 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra's Scheherazade is a splendid performance full of excitement and drama along with superb violin solos. When played on a high quality SACD stereo system, the sound is nothing less than breathtaking. Those previous reviewers who found the sound to be congested or thick and plodding might want to seriously consider upgrading their electronics. The SACD version of this performance is fast becoming an audiophile demonstration disk.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Rimsky In Black And White March 26 2003
By NNNNN
Format:Audio CD
One might assume that a Russian conductor and orchestra are a natural for Rimsky Korsakov. Perhaps but as is clear here not always. Gergiev's first fatal flaw is the plodding tempos he adopts which suck the vitality right out of the music. Rimsky's ever colorful orchestrations are dulled and the overall orchestral effect is that of listening to something overly thick.
Any of the sparkle and vigor that fill this score are barely able to show their heads. If this recording is good for anything it would to show how not to play Sheherazade. The sleek and beautiful charmer has been transformed by Gergiev into a plump, frompy house wife. The catalogue is full of great Sheherazades with many of those being at budget or mid price. You can do far better there than here.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A modern-styled Sheherazade Jan. 22 2003
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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