Prokofiev: Eugen Onegin; Pique Dame

Prokofiev: Eugen Onegin; Pique Dame

by Michail Jurowski
     
 

Prokofiev's score for the Alexander Tairov production of Pushkin's play Eugen Onegin was never used (or orchestrated by the composer) because the play itself, thanks to Stalin's censors, was never staged. The resourceful Prokofiev reused the work's many gorgeous themes in a spate of famous works, including theSee more details below

Overview

Prokofiev's score for the Alexander Tairov production of Pushkin's play Eugen Onegin was never used (or orchestrated by the composer) because the play itself, thanks to Stalin's censors, was never staged. The resourceful Prokofiev reused the work's many gorgeous themes in a spate of famous works, including the operas "War and Peace" and "Betrothal in a Monastery," the "Eighth Piano Sonata," the ballet "Cinderella," and "Symphony No. 7." Lasting here over 76 minutes and having 46 numbers, the work, orchestrated by Russian composer G. Zinger in accordance with notes left by Prokofiev, opens with a haunting lyrical melody that frequently reappears. Another striking theme, which appears in the first scene of "War and Peace," is soon presented. In fact, there follows a parade of famous Prokofiev themes that many listeners will instantly recognize. Their context is often different: one of the famous waltzes from "War and Peace," for example, shows up here in a deliciously dark and tart version for harpsichord! As for the performance, the vocal soloists and chorus are splendid throughout: could the listener ever imagine greater spirit and color than what is heard in No. 26, the lively last number to the Ball scene? And the orchestra, under the direction of Prokofiev specialist Michail Jurowski, is convincing, too. The winds are especially attuned to the generally serene and darker character of the music: the oboist and bassoonist, in separate solos, float the lovely opening theme with a mesmerizing beauty. The added Russian narration does not enhance the work, but it isn't lengthy and not a major distraction. Downes (Chandos) and Ponkin (Harmonia Mundi) have recorded "Onegin" effectively, but this Jurowski version is clearly preferable: Downes is padded out with even more narration and dramatics and Ponkin is missing three numbers. "Pique Dame" was written for a film project that was also canceled for political reasons. It, too, features themes Prokofiev later reused: the work's dominant melody is the main theme to the third movement of Prokofiev's "Fifth Symphony." But the work is of less interest than "Onegin." Why? The music is extremely repetitive throughout its 34-minute length -- some sections return unchanged again and again. Still, the music has its moments, from the dark and agitated opening to several mesmerizing appearances of the "Fifth Symphony" theme. Again, the performances are committed and the sound in both works here is detailed and powerful.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2005
Label:
Capriccio
UPC:
0845221005409
catalogNumber:
67149

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Eugene Onegin, incidental music, Op. 71  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  -  RIAS-Kammerchor Berlin  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang  - Boris Statsenko  -  Members of the RIAS Chamber Choir  - Kevin McCutcheon  - Kevin McCutcheon  - Jörn-Hinnerk Andresen  - Chulpan Chamtova  - Sigismund Krzyzanowski  - Jakob Küf
  2. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Ouvertüre  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  3. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Lisa  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  4. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Der Morgen  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  5. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Hermann sieht Lisa  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  6. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Der Ball  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  7. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Lisa in ihrem Zimmer  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  8. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Hermann geht ein zweites Mal in dem Spielsalon  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  9. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Hermann geht zum dritten mal in den Spielsalon  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang
  10. Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades), film score, Op. 70: Letztes Wiedersehen  - Sergey Prokofiev  -  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  - Michail Jurowski  - Stefan Lang

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