Holiday Shop


WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Prokofiev: October Cantata, Stone Flower Excerpts / Jarvi, Philharmonia Orchestra


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 10537   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraPhilharmonia Chorus
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

For me the main attraction in this fascinating batch of discs is the magnificent Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution. It is here presented in its unbowdlerised version including Stalin's speeches towards the end. Kondrashin was forced to elide them in his first recording. However let's not confuse politics with musical worth troubling though the process of separating one from the other in a cantata of this type may be. The forces used are massive and they are used to huge effect. Loudness and awe are not of course enough. In fact this music has a dizzying concentration that is bound to impress and some poetry too.

The performance history of the piece is fascinating. Completed in 1937, it was buried
Read more by the denunciations of that era until 1966 when it was performed and then recorded -against the conductor's wishes - minus two crucial substantial episodes which set words by Stalin. This Chandos recording which is complete, faithful to the original schema as to instrumentation and has all sections as written was performed in this form for the first time anywhere outside Eastern Europe by Järvi at the RFH in 1992.

The choir is large and subdivided into two section - eight parts. There is a super-augmented orchestra with quadruple woodwind and eight horns alongside three augmentary instrumental groups: six accordions or bayans, a seventeen strong windband including six further trumpets to add to the four already in the orchestra and a percussion ensemble with alarm bells, cannon-shot, sirens (9:22 in Revolution tr. 6) and the kitchen sink. In the wild fervent rumpus that is Revolution the voice of Gennadi Rozhdestvensky rings out through a megaphone orating the words of Lenin. One can somehow see the smoke of insurrection, feel its sting, the howls of heightened awareness and hysteria and the bloody fervour of the words. This is the same movement in which the Bayan band appear. The bayans return for The Oath: Stalin's pledge in his speech at Lenin's bierside. It too burns with conviction - faithful to the original sentiments of the extension of the Communist International into a spreading worldwide alliance. It is greatly to the credit of the Philharmonia chorus and Simon Halsey that the flame burns bright, steady and intense. The final and tenth movement, The Constitution, again sets Stalin's words

There are no soloists except for Rozhdestvensky and his spoken cameo - the voice of the people speaking the words of their hortators into the dazzling sun. Overdose on grandiloquence and blazing fervour. In case you think this is all unremitting grandstanding the quietly intimate silvery sheen of the strings in Victory shines forth.

The notes are by Christopher Palmer and all the words are there in the booklet: transliterated Russian alongside French, German and English translations.

When this disc was first released in 1992 while not impossible to track down full recordings of Prokofiev's third Soviet ballet The Tale of the Stone Flower were difficult to come by. CPO and Chandos have put that right in style since. Even so there is a place for this twenty-five minute sequence from Prokofiev's full-length ballet: whooping brass, gypsy flavour, echoes of Romeo and Juliet (how could he escape it), dark clouded tension, shrieking tangy woodwind, the swayingly touching solo of the gypsy girl (tr.17) and stamping, crashing fury.

-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936-1937; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 46 Minutes 41 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
2.
Tale of the Stone Flower: Urals Rhapsody, Op. 128 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 9 Minutes 1 Secs. 
3.
Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118: no 39, Katerina sits by the fire by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1953; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 2 Secs. 
4.
Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118: no 40, Katerina's Scene and Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1953; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
5.
Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118: no 31, Russian Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1953; USSR 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
6.
Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118: no 32, Gypsy Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1953; USSR 
Date of Recording: 06/1992 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
7.
Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118: no 33, Severyan's Dance by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1953; USSR 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 1 Minutes 31 Secs. 
8.
Tale of the Stone Flower, Op. 118: no 34, Gypsy Girl's Solo and Coda by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948-1953; USSR 
Venue:  All Saint's Church, Tooting, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: I. Prelude
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: II. The Philosophers
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: III. Interlude
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: IV. A tight little band
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: V. Interlude
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: VI. Revolution
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: VII. Victory
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: VIII. The Oath
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: IX. Symphony
Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74: X. The Constitution
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act III: Ural Rhapsody
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act IV: Katerina sits by the fire and yearns for Danilo
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act IV: Scene and Katerina's dance with the skipping fire-spirit
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act III: Russian dance
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act III: Gypsy dance
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act III: Severyan's dance
Skaz o kammenom tsvetke (The Tale of the Stone Flower), Op. 118: Act III: Solo of the gypsy girl and Coda

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In