Notes & Reviews:
LSO Live celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2010 and the label's first release of the year features Prokofiev's spectacular score for the ballet Romeo & Juliet conducted by Valery Gergiev. Gergiev is a tireless champion of Prokofiev's music. His complete cycle of the composer's symphonies with the LSO won a 2004 Gramophone Award. Shortly afterward, Gergiev was named Principal Conductor of the orchestra and spent much of 2008 and 2009 touring Prokofiev's symphonies with the LSO in Europe, Japan and the USA. Gergiev's forthcoming LSO Live releases include a Rachmaninov symphony cycle as well as music by Ravel, Stravinsky, Debussy and Strauss.
LSO Live celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2010 and the label's first release of the year features Prokofiev's spectacular score for the ballet Romeo & Juliet, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Gergiev is a tireless champion of Prokofiev's music. " The strings were supple and radiant ... The brass, much used by Prokofiev, were tirelessly accurate, and the woodwind especially characterful, with some of the orchestra's younger players playing out of their skins. The best ballets contain music almost too good to be wasted on dancers. " --- concert review from The Mail on Sunday.
"This great ballet score has never been served better on disc. Under Valery Gergiev's direction Romeo and Juliet tells its story so compellingly that you can put aside the booklet and let the music carry you forward to the stunning tragic climax. But that doesn't mean detail or local colour get sacrificed along the way. At times the atmosphere is totally riveting, even in the most hushed moments. But then another of those glorious Prokofiev tunes rouses itself and it's the impassioned sensuality that holds the ear." -BBC Music Awards nominee, 2011
Gergiev is in his element and not just in moments of gritty angularity or romantic excess. The lighter numbers, sometimes taken more spaciously than usual, are equally memorable.
BBC Music Magazine
Few can rival Valery Gergiev's pedigree in Prokofiev's music, and he is palpably aware of how this score works in the theatre. His pacing of events is masterly, with plenty of verve and passionà what really impressesà is the tenderness and poetry that are so often overlooked in Prokofiev, and not just in the love music. Gergiev frequently lets the strings and solo woodwind linger in a beguiling, natural rubato, whilst maintaining an architectural grasp of the tragic whole.
The complete ballet is a treasure-house of wonderful music... in the hands of Gergiev and the LSO there is always a moment of delight around the corner. Wonderful for dipping into.
This is music in which Gergiev has few peers today... he brings an epic, symphonic and dramatic integrity to its vast, multifaceted canvas... his London forces respond to Gergiev's often hair-raising volatility with some of their most dynamic playing
Recording information: Barbican, London (11/21/2008/11/23/2008).
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Hungarian Masterpieces: Works by Bartók, Kodály, Goldmark, Auer, Dohnányi et al. / Key-Thomas Märkl, violin; Angelika Merkle, piano
Strauss: Eine Alpensinfonie
Brahms: Symphony no 1, etc / Mackerras, Scottish CO
William Tell & Other Favorite Overtures / Erich Kunzel
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, etc/Maazel, Cleveland
Roy Harris: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe; Bolero; Pavane
Sergey Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2; Vocalise
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2
Works DetailsProkofiev, Sergey : Romeo and Juliet, ballet in 4 acts, Op. 64
- Conductor: Valery Gergiev
- Notes: Barbican, London (11/21/2008/11/23/2008)
- Running Time: 121 min. 9 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Form: Ballet
- Written: 1935-1936