Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle forces turn in an absolutely terrific Sheherazade: voluptuous, exotic, with a nice flexibility of pulse, but also very exciting. You can tell this will be a fine performance from the very first bar: firm and strong, with the brass giving the theme a menacing growl, followed by Maria Larionoff's bewitching solo violin representing the protagonist herself. Only the finale, while admirably fleet and precise, lacks a touch of cinematic sparkle, but when everything else goes so well this is a minor point. The two inner movements in particular have a crispness and flow that are very welcome, and (these days) somewhat unusual.
The Tsar Saltan Suite is just plain spectacular--as colorful and brilliant asRead more you could imagine. Its central movement, "The Tsarina in a Barrel at Sea", is particularly gripping: the strings really dig, the accompaniment throbs, and the entire movement has an emotional impact that most performances barely begin to suggest. Through it all the orchestra plays with one hundred percent commitment, and the sonics, just a shade dry, offer maximum clarity. This is the first disc in a projected series, and if it maintains this standard it will be a high point in the extensive Schwarz/Seattle discography.
Scheherazade, Op. 35: I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship
Scheherazade, Op. 35: II. The Kalender Prince
Scheherazade, Op. 35: III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess
Scheherazade, Op. 35: IV. Festival at Baghdad - The Sea
Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite, Op. 57: I. The Tsar's Farewell and Departure
Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite, Op. 57: II. The Tsarina in a Barrel at Sea
Tale of Tsar Saltan Suite, Op. 57: III. The Three Wonders
Tale of Tsar Saltan, Op. 57: Flight of the Bumblebee
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
DisciplinedJanuary 1, 2013By Martin Tousignant (Hephzibah, GA)See All My Reviews"Clearly (if closely) recorded by Naxos, Schwarz avoids extremes but also avoids blandness, and judges tempi rather well. Aside from some brass tuning lapses, Seattle plays with poise and involvement, with kudos to Larionoff's solo violin."Report Abuse