Melodiya seems to have gotten its act together; these eight CDs come packaged in an attractive box, with an informative booklet. The CDs themselves feature red labels reminding us of both the old LPs as well as the glory days of communism. As for the performances, well, they don’t make ‘em like this anymore, that’s for sure. I vividly remember a Svetlanov performance in New York with one of the big Soviet orchestras of the day (I don’t think it was this one) where they did an encore for Swan Lake and almost peeled the paint off the ceiling of Carnegie Hall. Trust me, you’ve never heard such an ear-splitting din (in a good way). That’s what you get here: flat-out, 100 percent intensity, raw sonorities enhanced by an equally up-front andRead more unsubtle recording, throbbing strings, blaring brass, nasal oboes—not ideally “balletic” perhaps, and a touch heavy-handed, but generally as exciting as hell. Exhausting in large doses, but not to be missed for fans of this music.
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