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Prokofiev: Suite From Romeo And Juliet / Muti, Chicago Symphony

Release Date: 10/14/2014 
Label:  Cso Resound   Catalog #: 1402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Works on This Recording

Romeo and Juliet: Suite(s) by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; Paris, France 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 agreeably good January 12, 2015 By Jonathan H. (Culpeper, VA) See All My Reviews "In other places (not the one above), reviewers have said that they thought this was a Rolls Royce performance of a work that could benefit from a more gritty approach. I guess my feeling is that while there might be more gritty performances out there, here's what a refined approach buys you (which is a lot!). I disagree also with that reviewer that it seems too easily achieved. The sonorities are really full when they need to be - there is nothing underdone here. Part of it is convincing people that at least for tonight, or for this recording, this is a compelling way to play this music. Reiner was no slouch when it came to Prokofiev, and so for Chicago I think there is a history of performing in this manner, and with authority. There is also the history of Chicago performing under Prokofiev himself." Report Abuse
 Gorgeous and evocative music making from Mr. Muti December 10, 2014 By Warren Harris See All My Reviews "This is marvelous music making, and it grabs the listener right from the first measure. And as soon as the full orchestra makes itself felt, it is clear that it is time to sit up and pay attention because something powerful and wonderful is about to happen. And then shortly thereafter comes the strident bass notes indicating the feud between the Montagues and Capulets – and the horns add a sense of noble righteousness to the conflict. This is powerful stuff, and sets the bar high for what is to come. The second movement is playful and light, describing the innocence and youth of Juliet, reminding the listener how life was when things were fresh and innocent.. Kudos to the cellos for bringing additional depth to the music near the end of the movement. Yes, of course this is part of the score, but the musicians under Mr. Muti add something special here that is not commonly heard when this is performed live. Difficult to explain, but true nonetheless. The minuet music in the 4th movement is stately and proper, with an undercurrent of tension in places offset by beautiful trumpet melodies suggesting the mixed feelings of the participants during the occasion. And the “Death of Tybalt” music in the 7th movement is frenetic, action packed, and crisp, each drum stroke driving home what has just occurred and the importance of it. The orchestral balance herein is just fantastic, with the horns and percussion providing just the right amount of “oomph” to accompany the strings while still providing the appropriate aural texture necessary to be true to the story being told. The “Friar Lawrence” music in the 8th movement is just drop-dead gorgeous, with just the right amount of vibrato and love and balance from the strings. It is astonishing how well this is performed, and how touching the listening experience is. The lucky buggers that got to hear this in person are to be envied indeed! They are also to be envied for the emotional experience present in the 10th movement where Romeo is present at Juliet’s tomb. The French horns are glorious, and the cello and bass sections provide an undercurrent of depth and feeling that is just gripping. The liner notes are brief but informative, and mention that the lament in the 10th movement was performed at Prokofiev’s funeral on a tape recorder because all of Moscow’s musicians had been tapped for the funeral of Joseph Stalin, who died on the same day as Prokofiev – sad, but true. The biographical material on Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony is well written and worth reading. But the music, as is so common with the work of Riccardo Muti, is what is the most important thing here. He demands the best of his performers, and the results are palpable and tangeable. This is a five star recording, and I highly recommend it." Report Abuse
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