Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden

Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden

by Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
     
 

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Kees Bakels and the unusually remote Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra have already made a major contribution to the not-recorded-often-enough orchestral literature of Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in their BIS rendering of his "Piano Concerto" featuring the redoubtable Noriko Ogawa in the solo part. This follow-up,See more details below

Overview

Kees Bakels and the unusually remote Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra have already made a major contribution to the not-recorded-often-enough orchestral literature of Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov in their BIS rendering of his "Piano Concerto" featuring the redoubtable Noriko Ogawa in the solo part. This follow-up, Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden, manages to bring together some of more of Rimsky-Korsakov's great, and some not-so-great, achievements in orchestration while deftly sidestepping the 800-pound gorilla in his bed, "Scheherazade," which they have already recorded. While the results are acceptable in some respects, they are not as stunning as in previous instances. Bakels and the Malaysian are not wholly to blame for it; Rimsky-Korsakov's "Pan Voyevoda Suite" is the weakest of his large orchestral works and was mainly a case of Rimsky-Korsakov trying to make the best of a bad situation, to salvage the best music from an opera that turned out to be a dud. While the "Pan Voyevoda Suite" comes off with a certain measure of charm, it is clear that Bakels is attempting to make something more of it through taking a rather liberal approach to the tempi as marked. Bakels' reading of Allegretto for the Introduction of "Pan Voyevoda" is closer to Lento, and transforms a light, and not very substantive, introductory section to a dance into something almost Wagnerian in character. Rimsky-Korsakov liked Wagner, but this winds up sounding rather underpowered and becomes tedious. Unfortunately, this also goes for much of the rest of the disc. The "Christmas Eve Suite," one of Rimsky-Korsakov's most sparkling and innovative orchestral scores, seems the best of the lot, but can't hold a candle to Igor Golovschin and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra's fabulous recording of it on Naxos. "The Snow Maiden Suite" isn't even as well done as "Christmas Eve Suite"; it is lumbering, uncoordinated, rhythmically rather slack, and most decidedly played too slowly. The recording, too, seems a bit more hastily mixed than in the case of the other BIS recordings made in Kuala Lumpur, as it lacks both presence and brightness and is a little too quiet. Perhaps Kees Bakels got out of the wrong side of the bed on the day this was made or, as he is running out of Rimsky-Korsakov orchestral works to record, was in a hurry to move onto another project. For whatever reason, BIS' Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden is not up to the standard of the first three discs in this otherwise excellent series.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/30/2006
Label:
Bis
UPC:
7318590015773
catalogNumber:
1577
Rank:
316850

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. The Tsar's Bride: Overture (Tsarskaya nevesta), for orchestra  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Kees Bakels  - Robert Suff  - Markus Gundermann  -  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Pan Voyevoda, suite for orchestra, Op. 59  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Kees Bakels  - Robert Suff  - Markus Gundermann  -  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Christmas Eve Suite (Noch' pered rozhdestvom), for orchestra (with optional chorus ad lib)  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Kees Bakels  - Robert Suff  - Markus Gundermann  -  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
  4. Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Kees Bakels  - Robert Suff  - Markus Gundermann  -  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
  5. The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka), suite for orchestra  - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  - Kees Bakels  - Robert Suff  - Markus Gundermann  -  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

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