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Tale of the Stone Flower

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Product Details

  • Performer: BBC Philharmonic; Noseda
  • Composer: Prokofiev Sergey
  • Audio CD (June 3 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Chn
  • ASIN: B00008WQB1
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. The Mistress Of Copper Mountain
2. Danilo And His Work
3. Danilo In Search Of The Stone Flower
4. Danilo Meets His Fellow Villagers
5. Scene And Duet Of Katerina And Danilo
6. Interlude I. Severyan And The Workers
7. Round Dance
8. Katerina Bids Farewell To Her Friends
9. Maiden's Dance
10. Danilo's Dance
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Danilo's Monologue And The Mistress's Reply
2. The Mistress Shows Danilo The Stone Flower
3. Severyan And The Workers; The Mistress's Warning
4. Scene And Katerina's Dance (Thinking Of Danilo)
5. Severyan's Arrival
6. 'Where Are You, Sweet Danilo?'
7. The Appearance Of The Mistress And Katerina's Joy
8. Ural Rhapsody
9. Interlude II
10. Russian Dance
See all 25 tracks on this disc

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Glorious Score Jan. 30 2007
By G. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After years of being entranced by segments of the score on some obsecure recording lable, I finally came across this full length recording and became completely overwhelmed: I was in love with the score. Several years later I had the opportunity to choreograph and design a new production of Stone Flower. During the creative time I reallized that one cannot listen to the score as only an accompaniment to a story-ballet. No, it is far more than that; it is the musical evocation of the composers deep and abiding love of his country. Prokofiev has exposed every aspect of who he is in this remarkable work: from the earthy, rhythmical folk sections, to the wonderment he would have experienced were he to enter the realm of the Mistress of the Copper Mountain, every note, every theme, is pure. On the surface the story seems quite elemental, however, it is far more than that: it is the story of artistic sacrifice and an examination of what love truly is. The Stone Flower is Prokofiev's "lost work" - no one knows it! It should be elevated into the pantheon of standards. Unfortunately, the only version anyone has seen is that lumbering Bolshoi production that is laughable at best. Were a choreographer of the calibre of a Nummeier or Killiam, someone not casting glances back to the Communist era, to get the vision of this work, then something truly remarkable could happen.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Melodious Ballet Nov. 23 2012
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sergei Prokofiev conceived the Stone Flower as a grand ballet in the tradition of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Originally, Prokofiev had a different subject in mind - Pushkin's The Stone Guest - but chose a national ballet following the infamous Zhdanov degree of 1948. However, Prokofiev had more than a passing interest in the story, set the Urals, as he had traveled in the area as a young man and had been impressed by the beauty of the mountains. The music was composed between 1948 and 1953. Prokofiev completed the orchestration just hours before his death. The premiere was held on February 12, 1954 by the Bolshoi Ballet.

The ballet takes its inspiration from folk tales by the Ural author Pavel Bazhov and centers on the stonecutter Danilo, who temporarily forsakes his betrothed, Katerina, to accompany the Mistress of Copper Mountain to her realm. There, the Mistress shows him a legendary flower made of stone. Danilo becomes determined to carve one like it in malachite, a deep green marble-like mineral native to Russia. In the meantime, Katarina is harassed by the story's villain, the drunken Severyan. To the rescue comes the Mistress of Copper Mountain, who captures him and compels the ground to open and swallow Severyan whole. Katarina searches for Danilo and finds him, but their reunion is spoiled when the Mistress becomes upset that he wants to leave the mountain paradise now that he has learned the secret of making the stone flower. Briefly, Danilo himself is turned to stone. In the end, however, Danilo gains the Mistress' respect through his love for and fidelity to Katarina, and the lovers depart to live happily ever after.

The Stone Flower has generally been neglected with few recordings of the complete ballet. The music is usually recorded in excerpts with the Ural Rhapsody from act three always being included as a highlight. The ballet has more of the divertissement dances of traditional full-length Russian ballets than Prokofiev included in Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella, so there are memorable dances and more reworking of prior melodies. The ballet is very tuneful, with twenty or more memorable melodies. Some of the music was recycled from earlier Prokofiev works: the festive No. 7, Round Dance, is borrowed from the film score for Ivan the Terrible; Nos. 14, Katerina and Danilo, and 19, Waltz of the Diamonds, are sourced in Music for Children, for piano, Op. 65, (Nos. 11 and 6, respectively). Prokofiev's orchestration is colorful, sometimes exotic, particularly in the Russian and Gypsy dances.

I first heard the completed ballet in a recording conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky, which is unfortunately no longer available. This recording by Gianandrea Noseda and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra brings out the rich lyrical melodies. His tempi are sometimes a bit slow as compared to the Rozhdestvensky but a good sense of melody is maintained. The Chandos sound quality is superb.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Work Feb. 21 2006
By Alexander K. Naylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I first read of The Stone Flower it was described as an "abstract" ballet. Although its plotline is a little odd, it is in the tradition of Russian national romanticism, and though it is not innovative like Prokofiev's earlier work it is still pleasing enough to listen to. The ballet's emotional theme is a bit sentimental, but overall I believe that Prokofiev's last work has been underrated. The "Swan" melody from Ivan the Terrible has been well-altered for this work, and the bits from "Summer Day" also fit well into the ensemble. There are arresting original themes, too, such as that of the Mistress of Copper Mountain, the Dance of the Russian Jewels, and the Ural Rhapsody. The ballet's music does get repetitive near the end, so though it is not Prokofiev's best work it is still a fine piece.
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB!!! Aug. 6 2016
By Dwarf Star - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I have been an Amazon shopper for fourteen years. I can remember when Amazon did not have the music selection it has now. As a matter of fact, I used to belong to a music club where I was always ordering CDs until seven years ago.
I enjoy Amazon’s digital selection very much. It is like going to a flea market for me, because it has lots of music albums for only 99 cents or for very low discount prices. I have a beautiful classical selection of so many artists that I never realized lived and composed such awesome classical pieces.
With the discount prices of some albums, I am able to buy the more expensive ones; for example, this one.
Prokofiev: The Tale of the Stone Flower is an excellent album! He composed this ballet during the last five years of his life when he was in very ill health. Five years before his death, he and Shostakovich and Khachaturian had appeared before the Central Committee of the Communist Party for writing formalistic and anti-democratic music.
During the composition of this ballet, with his reputation in tatters, he lived in fear of each note he put on paper, whether it could be misconstrued to mean something entirely very different. He played it safe by composing a light, colorful romantic ballet in a fantasy setting that takes place in the Ural Mountains.
Prokofiev, in his early career, was a capitalist and composed music often for solicitors in Europe and the United States until the Great Depression hit the West. During and after the Depression, he relied on the Soviet Union for commissions and for maintaining his livelihood.
Peter and the Wolf and other pieces were believed to have political symbolisms in their compositions!
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prokofiev: The Stone Flower May 5 2012
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Prokofiev: The Stone Flower is a 2003 Chandos Records Ltd recording starring the BBC Philharmonic under the direction of Gianandrea Noseda. David Nice has written the music notes. Being a huge fan of Prokofiev I absolutely loved this recording. Truly a fine recording indeed. 5/5.