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Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol, Overtures / Schwarz, Seattle Symphony

Audio Samples

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : May Night
>     Overture (Mayskaya noch'), for orchestra
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tsar's Bride
>     Overture (Tsarskaya nevesta), for orchestra
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Maid of Pskov
>     Overture
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Dubinushka (The Little Oak Stick) (I), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 62
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36

Album Summary

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : May Night
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tsar's Bride
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Maid of Pskov
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Dubinushka (The Little Oak Stick) (I), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 62
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Rimsky-Korsakov's colorful Capriccio espagnol reflects a Russian fascination with distant lands, evoking sunny climes and exotic dancing in one of the composer's most popular and uplifting scores. Steeped in the cultural nationalism of the 'Mighty Handful', the Overtures are linked to deeply Russian themes and tales, portraying dramatic life amongst the Tsars with brilliant orchestration and inspired use of folk or liturgical melodies. This release follows the multi-GRAMMY®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning Seattle Symphony 'spectacular' (MusicWeb International) recording of Sheherazade (8.572693).

Fanfare
the Naxos disc consists mostly of material that is much less frequently encountered, and in these pieces Schwarz's approach is more persuasive. May Night was Rimsky's second opera... has much beauty and charm. Schwarz's rendition of the overture is well played... Schwarz's hard-driving approach suits the Tsar's Bride overture well, and the clarity of texture he secures is also beneficial to this piece... Naxos has given Schwarz recorded sound that is very bright and clear...

Ritmo
Music by Rimsky has a special "color". To be precise: it has a "flavor" special, according to this critic. Few composers cause synesthesia so clear in the writer of these lines as the author of Scheherazade.

American Record Guide
Naxos is on a Russian roll this month with a double-hitter from this member of The Five. Bass Mikhail Kazakov, who made an impressive star turn in Dallas earlier this year in the title role of Boris Godunov, headlines the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari's The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, a dreamy work widely thought to be the Russian Parsifal. Also out this month on Naxos are orchestral suites from several of Rimsky-Korsakov's other operas, including The Snow Maiden, Sadko and Le Coq d'or. Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony are in incredibly fine form with this repertoire, which you can also hear on recordings of Scheherazade and Capriccio espagnol, also released on Naxos this past May and September, respectively.

MusicWeb International
All are played with considerable aplomb and do a fine job of whetting one's appetite for the full scores. Schwar ... offers an attractive account of the composer's orchestration of the radical student song Dubinushka ... it certainly benefits from Naxos's state of the art recording ... these Seattle Symphony recordings of Russian virtuoso showpieces are an excellent illustration of the amazingly high standards being achieved by other previously unheralded orchestras all over the globe.

Classic FM
Rimsky's orchestral music is so deftly written that in the hands of today's top-flight professionals it almost plays itself. But the Seattle Symphony's performances for Gerard Schwarz don't just sparkle, as you would expect at this kind of supercharged American technical level. Their brilliant response is also strongly characterised at every point; Capriccio espagnol here has a dark and spicy pungency that makes it something more than just a pretty Spanish postcard ... It's genuinely difficult to imagine better performances. This is a delicious orchestral feast.

Infodad.com
... a nearly complete success and a real pleasure to hear. This is a CD worth having for the combination of interesting repertoire and very fine presentation.

Allmusic.com
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol and the Russian Easter Overture are the most popular works on this 2011 Naxos release by Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony, but don't sell the rest of the program short for unfamiliarity. Even though the remaining overtures are less popular with western audiences (undoubtedly because they aren't played as often as the featured piece), they are still colorful works that are full of Rimsky-Korsakov's dazzling orchestration, memorable melodies, and sparkling exoticism, a quality which was especially prized by Russian composers of the 19th century. Schwarz and his orchestra clearly relish these pieces, because the execution is sharp and the energy levels are high throughout, and the music is immediately engaging and captivating. While the Seattle Symphony is widely respected for its extensive repertoire, including substantial masterpieces, its brilliance in lighter orchestral music has attracted many listeners, and its recordings for Naxos are among that label's most attractive offerings. The reproduction is generally excellent through the album...

Classical Candor
The piece builds to a wonderfully joyous conclusion in which Schwarz seems to take great relish... played at a moderate level, the sound is smooth enough and easily listenable.

MusicWeb International
Familiar as the pieces in this collection may be, the performance, sound quality and interpretation stands out for the vitality, creativity, and resonance that comes with this recording. Under Schwarz's direction a well-known piece like Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture sounds fresh... admirable for the exemplary performances

Audio Video Club of Atlanta
Capriccio espagnol is given a stunning performance here... This is perhaps Gerard Schwarz' finest hour with the Seattle Symphony, even more than their stunning 1992 account of the Russian Easter for the Delos label. Forget the "budget label" stigma: with the committed musicianship and stunningly beautiful recorded sound we hear on this Naxos offering, it should be a contender for honors in one or more categories when next the Grammys are handed out!

ClassicsToday.com
Here is yet another brilliant, glittering collection of Rimsky-Korsakov orchestral music, made all the more appealing by the intelligently planned program. The two biggest, most popular works, Capriccio espagnol and the Russian Easter Overture, bracket the rest of the program - a delightful selection of opera overtures, Dubinushka, and the rarely heard but lovely Overture on Russian Themes. Two of these, the overtures to May Night and The Tsar's Bride, are quite substantial on their own, and they deserve to be played more frequently.

MusicWeb International
This is rousing music but it's also music to wallow in and Schwarz gives you both aspects - a brisk account of Capriccio espagnol gets us off to a good start, followed by a May Night that begins with all the mystery of Ansermet's classic account but in better sound. The Overture on Russian Themes almost brings the house down, but leave just enough voltage for the Easter Overture, my favorite of all Rimsky favorites, to finish in rousing style.

MusicWeb International
This is another demonstration of the high standards of performance that Gerard Schwarz has achieved in a long-term relationship with this orchestra. Rimsky's evocative scores with their characteristically colourful orchestrations are a gift to conductors of an extrovert disposition; Schwarz takes full advantage of the opportunity they offer to bring the house down.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington.



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Works Details

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington (06/04/2010/06/16/2010); Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington (10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1887

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : May Night :: Overture (Mayskaya noch'), for orchestra
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1878-1879

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tsar's Bride :: Overture (Tsarskaya nevesta), for orchestra
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1898

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 11 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1879-1880

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Maid of Pskov :: Overture
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington (10/20/2010/02/24/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1876-1898

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Dubinushka (The Little Oak Stick) (I), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 62
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington (06/04/2010/06/16/2010)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1905

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36
  • Conductor: Gerard Schwarz
  • Ensemble: Seattle Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington (10/16/2010/10/20/2010)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1888