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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Must-have Oct. 28 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Verified Purchase
This isn't the best performance of the Scheherazade, but it is very good. The interpretation is unique, but the solos are a little complicated by it and, as a result, it causes quite a struggle for the performers. It is definitely worth owning.
The symphonies are the real treat, particularly the first and second. The first symphony is marked by a callow but confidently traditional mood and is one of my favorites, though it is often hard to find and isn't Rimsky's most provocative work.
Antar (symphony 2) is the precursor to Scheherazade in my mind. Like the Scheherazade, it is a musical story that, through its colorful orchestration and dynamic composition, almost becomes completely visual.
I have my own affection for the third symphony, but I'll be the first to say that it is one of Rimsky's least appreciable works. It is far too overstudied -- to the point that it often impedes developement. Still, it is a Rimsky work, and I don't think any of his work can even border on failure. There is a significant amount of value in the scherzo alone, and the symphony is definitely worth hearing and enjoying.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Svetlanov has conducted the definitive Scheherazade Oct. 13 1998
By - Published on
I have looked for over 4 years for the CD of this recording. Svetlanov has, in my opinion, taken this symphony to exactly the place of fantasy intended by the composer.
On this recording you are able to hear the stories told by the slave and are kept in suspense until each story continues, only to be caught up again in the next one.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Fine proformance of spectatcular works. April 7 2000
By Benjamin - Published on
While Scherezade is breath taking, the three other works on this 2 CD set are also artfully displayed. Svetlanov and the USSR symphony reveal Rimsky-Korsakov as the master that he truly is. The performance is sure to delight both the novice and connoisseur.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Good Set, But Leaves Room for Improvement! Aug. 29 2002
By Paul Rossi - Published on
I have owned this two-CD set for several years now. I finally decided to listen carefully to all the works presented on it. Overall, this is a fine achievement, but the listener can definitely find better, technically refined, tuned performances of these often-overlooked works by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
For example, "Scheherazade" is given idiomatically and persuasively by Svetlanov and his players, but it suffers from severe sonic distortion in tutti secions where the entire orchestra plays, like the opening notes. In "The Story of the Kalendar Prince," the solo trombonist gives a horrible solo, with tempi that are too slow and an awful, blatty vibrato, though the trumpet solo is excellent. Still, this performance is very good overall.
Next, the First Symphony suffers from out-of-tune sections in the first movement. There is also a noticeable amount of rhythmic "fudging" by the low strings. Again, the tutti sections suffer from severe distortion. The second movement is beautiful and serene, though. This is very special symphony which generally comes off very well.
The U.S.S.R Symphony's performance of "Antar" under Svetlanov begins very out of tune. It is actually hard to tell which key the orchestra is playing in! Overall, this is one of the better performances of the set. The drama and tension, as well as Rimsky's brilliant orchestration, are captured very well, and this performance will be sure to excite.
Finally, the Third Symphony presented here is also one of the better performances of the set. It does not seem as exaggerated at the tutti sections, in the sections where precise rhythm is most important, and the overall blend of the orchestra. This symphony is very little-known, and it is wonderful to have a great performance of it.
Overall, I would recommend this set to any listener. However, though I have not listened to any other recordings of these works, I have researched which recordings to have. I would recommend Neeme Jarvi's recordings of the Rimsky symphonies, coupled with the Capriccio Espagnole, on the Deutsch Grammophon label. Another recommendation for these works is that of Dmitri Kitajenko on the Chandos label. It is a two-CD set with the Capriccio, the symphonies, the Russian Easter Overture, and the Rimsky Piano Concerto. These are difficult to find, however, and this set suffices, for the most part.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Spectacular Scheherazade! Sept. 1 2005
By Victoria Evrard - Published on
This is my favorite recording of Scheherazade. I first heard it years ago on a Classical FM station while driving and it gave me goosebumps! No other recording of this Rimsky-Korsakov masterpiece that I have heard rivals this one for sheer passion, drama and suspense. I was fortunate to find this CD several years ago as I see now that it is not available on Amazon. If you find a copy, don't pass it up!