Russian Favorites

Russian Favorites

by John Barbirolli


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Except for the most standard of standard repertoire works -- Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" and his last three symphonies -- and a few odds and ends like Arensky's "Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky" -- John Barbirolli's discography does not reveal that he was in fact a champion of Russian music. He was programming Rimsky-Korsakov in England in the '20s, Balakirev in Scotland in the '30s, Myaskovsky in New York in the '40s, and just about any Russian composer you care to name in Manchester in the '40s, '50s, and '60s. Thus this 2007 Guild disc, called Barbirolli Russian Favorites, restores a needed balance to the great English conductor's career. Recorded with the Hallé Orchestra, the program here includes Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio espagnol" and Liadov's "The Enchanted Lake" from 1953, Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" from 1957, his "Marche slave" from 1959, and five excerpts from his "Swan Lake" ballet from 1950. The performances are brightly colored, brilliantly rhythmic, and, as was typical from Barbirolli, highly emotional. The energy of the opening of the "Capriccio espagnol," the searing passion of the love theme from "Romeo and Juliet," and the gung-ho militarism of the "Marche slave" are all superbly incarnated in Barbirolli's interpretations, and, as they always did for their beloved conductor, the Hallé Orchestra plays its collective heart out. Though the sound here is understandably antique, the quality of the performances will make this disc intensely appealing to Barbirolli's fans.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/06/2007
Label: Guild
UPC: 0795754232523
catalogNumber: 2325
Rank: 124917


  1. Capriccio espagñol (Kaprichchio na ispankskiye temï), for orchestra, Op. 34
  2. Enchanted Lake, for orchestra, Op. 62
  3. The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Scene (Swan Theme)
  4. The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Act 2. Introduction & Dance of the Queen of the Sw
  5. The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Act 2. Dance of the Little Swans
  6. The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Act 1. Waltz
  7. The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20: Act 3. Hungarian Dance (Czardas)
  8. Romeo and Juliet, fantasy-overture for orchestra in B minor (3 versions)
  9. Slavonic March, for orchestra, Op. 31

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