Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rimsky Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival Overture; Capriccio Espagnol Redux

One particularly annoying thing about the Rimsky-Korsakov works on this CD is that they are recordings of performances I already own, on a CD that I already wrote about.

Granted, these works are still a great pleasure to listen to (uh, again), but I'd prefer that that publishers at least chose another performance of the same work by the same symphony. At least then listeners could compare the two. But of course the publisher can make more money by simply re-copying an already recorded performance, and no one, except a few true classical music nerds, will ever know the difference.
Neeme Jarvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky (1841-1904); Borodin (1833-1887); Rimsky Korsakov (1844-1908)

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture and Marche Slave
Alexander Borodin: Polovtsian Dances and In The Steppes of Central Asia
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival Overture and Capriccio Espagnol
Deutsche Grammophon, 1990

However, this is a blog about systematically going through all of my classical music CDs, and this is another CD in my collection. So, dammit, I'm going to listen to these works again and still make (just a few) comments.

Listener Notes for Russian Easter Festival Overture:
1) It's an interesting experience (to me at least) to re-read my prior notes from this recording and see to what extent my views differ a year later. An example: the opening oboe part really bugged me last time--yet I didn't really notice the intonation issue this time around.

2) The tubas and trombones have a delicious, huge sound in this work. If I close my eyes, I feel like I'm listening to the Chicago Symphony. It's a bit strange though, because these same musicians sounded underfed in the 1812 Overture, a work recorded two years later by the same symphony. Did the low brass section change personnel?

Listener Notes for Capriccio Espagnol:
1) I'll give the clarinet soloist an "E" for enthusiasm, but a B- for intonation for the solo at 0:13 and then reprised at 0:36.

2) Yep, I still like the second movement best with those wonderful opening French horn chords. There's something about a team of French horns playing clear, well-tuned major chords that really makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

3) The principal flutist is one of the standout musicians in this symphony. As an example, listen to the extremely difficult solo beginning at 9:07.

Please take a look at my other blogs!
Casual Kitchen: Cook More. Think More. Spend Less.
Quick Writing Tips: Short posts on writing, twice a week.


Divina Pe, RHN said...

Wow. This is a great blog for classical music. Not really an expert but I love listening to it. Dreamed of playing the violin but I should probably start understanding more about classical music.

Daniel said...

Hi Divina, thanks so much for your compliments! I'm happy to hear you're interested in classical music, it's an amazing and endlessly fascinating art form.

Good luck!