Prokofiev: Ivan The Terrible, Alexander Nevsky, Etc / Slatkin

Release Date: 1/1/1990
Label: Vox
Catalog Number: CDX-5021
Performer: Arnold Voketaitis
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Number of Discs: 2

Physical Format:

In Stock
Notes and Editorial Reviews
This Vox set offers the best all-around collection of Prokofiev's film music--that is, film scores Prokofiev later arranged as concert works. Leonard Slatkin proves a quite natural Prokofievian as he leads the St. Louis Symphony & Chorus in powerful and compelling performances of all three works. His Alexander Nevsky, with its driving energy, first-rate orchestral playing, euphonious choral contributions, and heartfelt solo singing ranks among the best versions available. Lt. Kijé is also excellent, and although Szell and Reiner are still the versions to beat, Slatkin's is uniquely competitive through its inclusion of the sung text, beautifully rendered by bass Arnold Voketaitis.

The second disc of this two-CD set is devoted entirely to the less well known Ivan the Terrible, a work that, if it lacks Nevsky's immediately engaging tunefulness and vivid dramatic imagery, is captivating in its own right through its brilliant orchestral effects (the stunning string volleys at the opening, the percussion's eruptions throughout) and its raw and rhythmically vibrant choral writing. The music's grandiloquence and its sometimes savage energy are all handsomely conveyed by Slatkin and his forces.

Järvi's Chandos recording, by virtue of its sheer sonic amplitude, as well as the gripping, rough-hewn playing of the Scottish National Orchestra, remains the version to get if you want Ivan alone. But Slatkin's generous set, with its naturally balanced, wide ranging sound (you'll have to crank it up) constitutes both a fine introduction for the novice and a great bargain for the collector.

-- Victor Carr Jr,
Works on This Recording
1. Ivan the Terrible, Op. 116 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1942-1945 ; USSR
2. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1938/1939 ; USSR
3. Lieutenant Kijé Suite, Op. 60 by Sergei Prokofiev
Performer: Arnold Voketaitis (Bass)
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1934 ; Paris, France
Customer Reviews