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Tchaikovsky: Complete Ballets / Gergiev, Mariinsky Theatre [6-CD Collector's Edition]


Release Date: 10/16/2012 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 001735102   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater OrchestraKirov Theater ChorusSt. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
Number of Discs: 6 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky Theatre ensembles have set new standards for the performance of Russian music. Their recordings of Tchaikovsky's ballets combine symphonic clarity with high emotion, full of the drama that comes with performing these rich scores in their true home.

Reviews of some of the original recordings that make up this set:

Nutcracker
The dream, the child-like wonder of The Nutcracker, remains irrepressible. But it’s not a work that plays itself. Slacken the pulse for a moment, take your eye off entries, fail to believe in its fantasy world, and it can only too easily fall apart. Gergiev and his Kirov company need no reminding of the fact. Resisting contrived
Read more understatement, free of coyness or condescension, this is one of the most compellingly dramatised, rhythmically uplifting, charismatically charmed versions of recent years, its bold, grand, savage, sweeping, three-dimensionally involving attack underlining a wealth of refined nuances and charged emotions. Detail is phenomenal, the ensemble glowingly realised, the Act II divertissement thrillingly contrasted and physically exhilarating. Colouring, projection, riotous textural overspill (from 77:42, for instance), climax, novelty (a wonderfully flighted Stravinsky Firebird foreshadowed at 15:50) are everything. Continuity within and between numbers likewise; tempo too (at 81 minutes, this is a brisk reading). Compared with the vintage handling of the old ballet masters (Ansermet, Dorati, Mravinsky), the classic-cut transatlantic dash and elegance of analogue Previn, or the varyingly intense Russian competition of Ashkenazy, Ermler, Fedoseyev, Rozhdestvensky, Svetlanov and Temirkanov, Gergiev’s urgently pressing passion may seem hard and unyielding, but it’s an approach that brings its own rewards, theatrically and structurally. And his musicality is infectious. If you like your Nutcracker fairies all-Russian, wide-screen and super-lit, if you want an up-front orchestral encounter, then this has to be a clear first recommendation. Recorded in the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus last August, the sound balance is grippingly demonstration-class. You almost feel on stage. Terrific.

-- Ates Orga, BBC Music Magazine

Sleeping Beauty
Gergiev is electrically dramatic when the music demands it, the opening of each of the three acts brings crisp vitality. Yet whenever the glorious theme of the Lilac Fairy reappears the graceful affection of the Russian playing is quite lovely, whether solo oboe or flute—as in No. 14, the ''Scene'' in Act 2, where the Fairy conjures up the image of the Princess for the melancholy Prince. The strings too are very tender here. Indeed the string playing is a constant pleasure and the expansive finale to the Prologue, again the Lilac Fairy theme, is most successful. Other woodwind solos are full of elegance (there is some really lovely clarinet playing in the Act 1 ''Pas de six'') and Gergiev matches his dramatic vitality with a delicate sense of fantasy. His gently rocking ''Panorama'' is even more subtle in its background rhythmic rocking than Mogrelia's, and the delightful Act 3 ''Pas de quatre''—where each of the Fairies appears in turn—is deliciously done. Indeed the whole of the Act 3 ''Divertissment'' is a joy (''Puss in-boots and the White Cat'' have great feline character), and rhythms are always sprightly. In short this is a splendid set.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [7/1993]
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Works on This Recording

1. Nutcracker, Op. 71 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891-1892; Russia 
2. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888-1889; Russia 
3. Swan Lake, Op. 20 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875-1876; Russia 
Venue:  Live  Mariinsky Theater, St Petersburg, Russia 

Sound Samples

The Nutcracker, Op.71: Overture
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 1 The Christmas Tree
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 2 March
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 3 Galop and Dance of the Parents
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 4 Dance Scene - The Presents of Drosselmeyer
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 5 Scene - Grandfather Dance
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 6 Clara and the Nutcracker
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 7 The Nutcracker Battles the Army of the Mouse King - He Wins and Is Transformed into Prince Charming
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 8 In the Christmas Tree
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 1: No. 9 Scene and Waltz of the Snowflakes
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 10 The Magic Castle on the Mountain of Sweets
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 11 Clara and Prince Charming
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 12a Chocolate (Spanish Dance)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 12b Coffee (Arabian Dance)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 12c Tea (Chinese Dance)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 12d Trépak (Russian Dance)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 12e Dance of the Reed Pipes
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 12f Polchinelle (The Clown)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 13 Waltz of the Flowers
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 14a Pas de deux: Intrada
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 14b Pas de deux: Variation I (Tarantella)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 14c Pas de deux: Variation II (Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy)
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 14d Pas de deux: Coda
The Nutcracker, Op.71 - Act 2: No. 15 Final Waltz and Apotheosis
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66: Introduction
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Prologue: 1. Marche (Entrance of King and Court)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Prologue: 2. Scène dansante (Entrance of Fairies)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Prologue: 3. Pas de six: Intrada - Adagio - Var. I-VI - Coda
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Prologue: 4. Final (La Fée des lilas sort)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Act 1: 5. Scène (The Palace Garden)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 / Act 1: 6. Valse
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Act 1: 7. Scène (The Four Princes)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Act 1: 8. Pas d'action: Adagio - Danse des demoiselles d'honneur et des pages - Variation d'Aurore - Coda
The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 - Act 1: 9. Final (La Fée des lilas paraît)

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