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Gemini - Prokofiev: Romeo And Juliet / Previn, London So


Release Date: 02/15/2005 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 86254   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Imported from : European Union   
CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Try to tear yourself away from Act 1, Scene 1 of this classic recording, the most passionate of all full-length ballet scores. Just try it. In a word, André Previn and the London Symphony Orchestra are riveting. The intensity continues throughout this budget-priced two-CD set. Previn, his career as a film composer/conductor less than a decade behind him when this music was recorded in 1973, finds the maximum dramatic value of just about all of the ballet's 50-odd numbers. With the LSO in fine form and responding well to a conductor it had been working with for several years, this is a very welcome return to the active catalogue and can be recommended without hesitation.

But wait. In the very same month Lorin Maazel led
Read more the Cleveland Orchestra for Decca, and got results no less fine than Previn's. That recording also is currently available on a budget-priced two-disc set. If Previn gives priority to the drama of each moment, Maazel attends first to the symphonic structure of the score, which uses Wagner's technique of leading motives. By paying particular attention to the way these themes grow and interact as the tragedy gathers, Maazel ultimately reaches his discs' high point at the final scenes.


For example, all three sword-fights feature the same flurrying string figurations but ultimately go different ways depending on the outcomes of the duels. Previn's treatments achieve powerful results within particular scenes, but in Maazel's performance, each fight is more tense than the prior one until finally two deaths result. This outcome, which seals Romeo and Juliet's fate, is more telling under Maazel. At a more sublime level, Maazel's performance is superior in tracing the growth of Juliet, from carefree and girlish, through her realization of her womanhood, to her love and suicide.

If you want to get just one recording, here are the bottom-line distinctions between them: Previn's has more thrilling moments; Maazel's has the more unified artistic experience and better playing overall. Previn's sound is just a little fresher than Maazel's in this remastering. For me, it is the awesome playing of the Cleveland Orchestra, particularly in the brass, that marginally tips my preference to Maazel.
--Joseph Stevenson, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935-1936; Paris, France 

Sound Samples

Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Introduction
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Romeo
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: The street awakens
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Morning Dance
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: The Quarrel
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: The Fight
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: The Prince gives his order
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Interlude
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Preparing for the Ball (Juliet and the Nurse)
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Juliet as a young girl
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Arrival of the guests (Minuet)
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Masks
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Dance of the Knights
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Juliet's Variation
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Mercutio
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Madrigal
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Tybalt recognizes Romeo
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Departure of the guests (Gavotte)
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Balcony scene
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Romeo's Variation
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act I: Love Dance
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Folk Dance
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Romeo and Mercutio
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Dance of the five couples
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Dance with the mandolins
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: The Nurse
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: The Nurse gives Romeo the note from Juliet
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Romeo with Friar Laurence
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Juliet with Friar Laurence
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: The people continue to make merry
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: A Folk Dance again
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Tybalt meets Mercutio
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Tybalt and Mercutio fight
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Mercutio dies
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Romeo decides to avenge Mercutio's death
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act II: Finale
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Introduction
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Romeo and Juliet (Juliet's bedroom)
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: The last farewell
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: The Nurse
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Juliet refuses to marry Paris
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Juliet alone
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Interlude
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: At Friar Laurence's
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Interlude
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Again in Juliet's bedroom
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Juliet alone
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Morning Serenade
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Dance of the girls with the lilies
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: At Juliet's bedside (EPILOGUE)
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Juliet's funeral
Romeo and Juliet Op. 64, Act III: Death of Juliet

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