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Ultimate Russian Classics [5-CD Set]


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001313502   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyNikolai Rimsky-KorsakovAlexander BorodinModest Mussorgsky,   ... 
Conductor:  Charles DutoitErnest AnsermetRiccardo MutiSir Neville Marriner,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony OrchestraSuisse Romande OrchestraPhiladelphia Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 5 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 4 Hours 53 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Gramophone reviews from the orginal recordings which make up this set.

Dutoit's Tchaikovsky:
"Dutoit's approach is consistent throughout the programme, combining refinement (witness the opening of 1812 where the cellos suggest almost a chamber-music approach) with plenty of contrast in the characterization. The Capriccio italien is particularly successful, with even a hint of melancholy in the string tune which follows the opening fanfare, suggesting perhaps that the composer had a touch of homesickness and then lost himself in the gaiety of the Italian scene. The high spirits are aptly caught too in a performance which combines a nice elegance in the decorative string writing with plenty of sparkle. Tempos
Read more are also well judged in The Nutcracker Suite, with the chamber-music refinement reappearing in the 'Miniature Overture', and the exuberant 'Trepak' making a splendid foil for the delicacy of the 'Sugar-plum Fairy', the sinuous 'Arab Dance' and the piquantly pointed 'Chinese Dance.'"

Dorati's Firebird:
"Dorati's recordings with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are recorded with sound of exceptional fullness, clarity and precision...One marvels that textures can be made so clear yet well co-ordinated too. The clarity and definition of dark, hushed passages is amazing, for example, with the contra bassoon finely focused, never sounding woolly or obscure, and with string tremolos down to the merest whisper uncannily precise."

Marriner's Prokofiev:
"Neville Marriner and the London Symphony Orchestra are well matched in this record of the most popular Prokofiev and the result is certainly a success, as is the lively recording, clear in detail. With the Classical Symphony Marriner has great competition, of course, and he and the LSO with their great virtuosity come out of it admirably. Not that the emphasis is on virtuosity—that is rightly reserved for the finale. The first movement is taken at a fairly easy-going tempo, with the emphasis on one of the composer's directions later in the score, con eleganza."

Ansermet's Scheherezade
"This marks another break-through of the sound barrier for Decca. Never before in my experience has the illusion of instruments actually in my presence been so vivid. Absurd as it may sound, I kept wanting to go up through the loudspeakers and see that the instruments were all real. I felt that I could touch them. This, then, easily surpasses any rival technically, and that is quite obvious within thirty seconds. The opening of the new Ansermet is so much more weighty and substantial in sound than the others. It is not that it is recorded at a high dynamic level...but that tiny extraneous noises normally associated with recording, noises which we don't usually bother to notice, have practically disappeared. [This] version is a Decca recording which has all the usual brilliance and clarity, but at last coupled with a smoothness on top and an overall richness which with largescale orchestral sound is for me an even more desirable quality than mere brilliance."
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Works on This Recording

1.
1812 Overture, Op. 49 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
2.
Capriccio italien, Op. 45 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
3.
Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Russia 
4.
Marche slave, Op. 31 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
5.
Scheherazade, Op. 35 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
6.
Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin
Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Russia 
7.
Pictures at an Exhibition for Orchestra (orchestrated by Ravel) by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1874/1922; Russia 
8.
Night on the Bare Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1866; Russia 
9.
Love for Three Oranges Suite, Op. 33a by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919/1924; USA 
10.
Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934; Paris, France 
11.
Symphony no 1 in D major, Op. 25 "Classical" by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
12.
Firebird by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Russia 
13.
Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Conductor:  Antal Doráti
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 

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