RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Opera Suites = Pan Voyevoda, Op. 59; The Snow Maiden; Le Coq d‚or; Dubinushka, Op. 62 – The USSR Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov – Moscow Studio Archives

by | Oct 17, 2005 | Classical Reissue Reviews | 0 comments

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Opera Suites = Pan Voyevoda, Op. 59; The Snow
Maiden; Le Coq d‚or; Dubinushka, Op. 62 – The USSR Symphony
Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov

Moscow Studio Archives MOS20022  70:10 (Distrib. Allegro)****:

Another disc from the former Soviet Union archives dedicated to Evgeny
Svetlanov (1928-2002), the virtuoso conductor whose commitment to the
vast legacy of Russian music continues to reward us all. Here culled
from three of the fifteen operas by Rimsky-Korsakov, the orchestral
suites the composer himself drew to increase the popularity of his
music, the rarity among them is Pan Voyevoda (1903), intended as an
homage to Chopin and first conducted in Moscow by Rachmaninov in
1905.  In five sections of which three are Polish dance forms
(Krakowiak, Mazurka, Polonaise), the music is typically melodic and
buoyant, the Nocturne a real hymn to Rimsky-Korsakov’s melodic talent.
The Snow Maiden Suite and the suite from Le Coq d’or remain the most
often played of the composer’s opera suites in concert form, although I
am partial to The Invisible City of Kitezh and would run to Svetlanov’s
inscription were it offered. The USSR Symphony plays each of the
selections with the same fervent, pungent execution we who know
Svetlanov’s love of orchestral detail have come to expect. The blazing
horns and winds in Le Coq d’or equal anything in Beecham and Markevitch
to make this fairy-tale come true sonically. The Dubinushka march, in
its second version, testifies to the composer’s sympathy for those who
protested in 1905 and were then massacred outside the Winter Palace in
St. Petersburg. Enjoy your borsht with this one.

–Gary Lemco

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