Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
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: 5/30/2006
  • Label: Bis
  • EAN: 7318590015773
  • Catalog Number: 1577
  • Sales rank: 141,983

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Tsar's Bride: Overture (Tsarskaya nevesta), for orchestra - Kees Bakels & Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (6:38)
    Composed byNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conducted byKees Bakels
    Performed byKees Bakels, Markus Gundermann, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. 2–6 Pan Voyevoda, suite for orchestra, Op. 59 - Kees Bakels & Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (23:17)
    Composed byNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conducted byKees Bakels
    Performed byKees Bakels, Markus Gundermann, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
    1. 2I. Introduction. Allegretto
    2. 3II. Krakowiak. Allegro
    3. 4III. Nocturne - Claire de Lune. Lento
    4. 5IV. Mazurka. Tempo di Mazurka - Scherzando
    5. 6V. Polonaise. Allegretto
  3. 7–15 Christmas Eve Suite (Noch' pered rozhdestvom), for orchestra (with optional chorus ad lib) - Kees Bakels & Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (27:14)
    Composed byNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conducted byKees Bakels
    Performed byKees Bakels, Markus Gundermann, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
    1. 7I. Introduction to Scene 1
    2. 8II. Introduction to Scene 6
    3. 9III. Games and Dances of Stars
    4. 10IV. Procession of the Comet - Round Dance
    5. 11V. Csárdás and the Rain of Shooting Stars
    6. 12VI. Devil's Kolyadka
    7. 13VII. Polonaise from Scene 7
    8. 14VIII. [Introduction to Scene 8]
    9. 15IX. Ovsyen and Kolyada Procession
  4. 16 Overture on Russian Themes (ii), for orchestra, Op. 28 - Kees Bakels & Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (12:01)
    Composed byNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conducted byKees Bakels
    Performed byKees Bakels, Markus Gundermann, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
  5. 17–20 The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka), suite for orchestra - Kees Bakels & Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (13:08)
    Composed byNikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conducted byKees Bakels
    Performed byKees Bakels, Markus Gundermann, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
    1. 17I. Prologue. Andante sostenuto
    2. 18II. Dance of the Birds. Allegro
    3. 19III. The Procession. Allegro alla Marcia
    4. 20IV. Dance of the Clowns. Vivace
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Primary Artist
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