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The Spirit Of Russia - Rimsky-Korsakov Orchestral Suites

Album Summary

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh (Skaza o nevidimom grade Kitezhe), suite for orchestra
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Mlada
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : May Night
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Christmas Eve (Noch' pered rozhdestvom), opera in 4 acts
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Fairy Tale (Skazka, or Baba Yaga), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 29
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Sadko
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Concerto for Piano in C sharp minor, Op. 30
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Fantasia on Two Russian Themes, for violin & orchestra in B minor, Op. 33
Performers Conductors Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

This 2-CD set contains wonderful performances of some really great music of Rimsky-Korsakov which, unfortunately, has not achieved the popularity of works like Scheherezade and Capriccio Espagnole. The Invisible City Suite is truly magical: colorful, imaginative music that transports you to a sound-world that is quite different from most classical works. The performance is very good, with very solid sound and accoustics. The Mlada Suite is another colorful Russian showpiece that Rimsky-Korsakov excelled at. An excellent performance too. The May Night Overture gets a brisk, propulsive performance that makes it really enjoyable to listen to. The first CD ends with the rare Christmas Eve Suite No. 2, and what a delight it is! It starts out slow, with an exotic theme that is jovial and intriguing and develops into a number of exciting climaxes, and it is very well-played.

The second CD starts with the marvelous Overture on Russian Themes, which contains at least one theme you're sure to recognize (it's also in the 1812 Overture). A really smashing performance. Next is the rare Skazka/Fairy Tale, sometimes called Baba Yaga. It starts out menacing and contains both lyrical and dramatic themes, which is to be expected, as it is a tone poem that tells a story. The performance is first-rate, though it sounds like there's some background noise going on at times. Next is Sadko, given a fast, exciting performance, though I prefer the Zinman/Rotterdam one. The Piano Concerto comes next, and what a find this is! It sounds just like Rachmaninov at times. It is given a faster-than-usual performance here, which is just what it needs. This rare concerto is so enjoyable that you will wish it would go on longer than its 12 minutes and wish it were performed more often. The set ends with the Concert Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, which is another gem that is extremely satisfying, featuring a great performance by the violinist, orchestra and conductor, as well as great sound balancing and accoustics.

If you get this set together with the Zinman/Rotterdam collection of RK's orchestral works on Phillips as well as a good performance of Scheherazade (I'd recommend the Spano/Atlanta performance among modern ones or the Karajan/Berlin one among stereo recordings), you'll have almost all of the best music by Rimsky-Kosakov at a really low price. Do not be put off by the fact that this CD-set features orchestras and conductors that you've probably never heard of, or by the fact that you won't find any reviews by the the standard professional musical critics. You get two CDs filled with great music at a budget price, and the performances are first-rate throughout. It is worth every penny and a whole lot more! I cannot recommend this more strongly!"-Customer Review



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Works Details

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh (Skaza o nevidimom grade Kitezhe), suite for orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Kapp
  • Ensemble: Philharmonia Hungarica
  • Running Time: 22 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Mlada
  • Conductor: Othmar Mága
  • Running Time: 15 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1903

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : May Night :: Overture (Mayskaya noch'), for orchestra
  • Conductor: Othmar Mága
  • Running Time: 7 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1878-1879

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Christmas Eve (Noch' pered rozhdestvom), opera in 4 acts :: Suite no 2
  • Conductor: Othmar Mága
  • Running Time: 18 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Christmas
  • Written: 1894-1895

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28
  • Conductor: Othmar Mága
  • Running Time: 13 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1879-1880

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Fairy Tale (Skazka, or Baba Yaga), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 29
  • Conductor: Othmar Mága
  • Running Time: 17 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1879-1880

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Sadko :: Musical Picture (iii, 1892 revision), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 5
  • Conductor: Milton Katims
  • Ensemble: Philharmonia Hungarica
  • Running Time: 10 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1891-1892

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Concerto for Piano in C sharp minor, Op. 30
  • Performer: Michael Ponti (Piano)
  • Conductor: Richard Kapp
  • Ensemble: Philharmonia Hungarica
  • Running Time: 12 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1882-1883

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Fantasia on Two Russian Themes, for violin & orchestra in B minor, Op. 33
  • Performer: Aaron Rosand (Violin)
  • Conductor: Louis Froment
  • Running Time: 11 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1886-1887