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Borodin: Symphony No. 2 / Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain


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Product Details

  • Conductor: Kubelik, Steinberg, von Karajan
  • Audio CD (October 17, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000000UVR
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,502 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 2 In B Minor: I. Allegro moderato
2. Symphony No. 2 In B Minor: II. Scherzo (Prestissimo)
3. Symphony No. 2 In B Minor: III. Andante
4. Symphony No. 2 In B Minor: IV. Finale (Allegro)
5. Night On Bald Mountain
6. Khovanshchina: Dance Of The Persian Slaves
7. In The Steppes Of Central Asia
8. Prince Igor: Overture
9. Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bertram christmas on February 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The original LP of Kubelik's Vienna Phil. Borodin Symphony 2, also contained a masterful and exciting performance of the Polovtsian Dances with Kubelik again, conducting The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. Oddly, this treasured performance of the Borodin Dances has NEVER found its' way onto a CD. When I first encountered this CD in the shop, I was led to believe I was going to get my old LP replaced with some good bonuses to boot. Though I'm delighted to have Kubelik's Vienna Borodin 2 on CD, I was really bunmmed that I got a choirless Polovtsian Dances with Steinberg and Pittsburgh instead. Owners of the original LP can and will be easily fooled here, for the back of the jewel case indicates Kubelik for The Polovtsian Dances. Only when the enclosed leaflet is read, is the error on the back of the case corrected.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Gray VINE VOICE on December 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this album for the recording of Borodin's "Symphony # 2" - a piece that is rarely played on classical music stations, but which I had heard on a show that plays only very unusual Classical numbers.
I was not disappointed. This small short work by Borodin (about 27 minutes) is really what makes this CD worth purchasing. Borodin's Russian heritage has never been more evident than on this symphony, which may have been his way of "thumbing his nose" at the coming Russian Revolution.
However, the very unusual version of Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" almost ruined my appreciation of the other Borodin pieces that come after. I have no idea how or why this particular piece was included - it would have been far better to include more of Borodin's short works, or a selection from his 1st symphony, rather than this rather disconcerting version of "Bald Mountain". Quite different from what is normally heard on recordings of "Bald Mountain".
If you make it thru the Mussorgsky pieces however, there's more Borodin for you to enjoy. "In the Steppes of Central Asia" is masterfully done. The selections from the "Prince Igor" opera include the complete Polovetsian dances selection as well as the memorable version of the overture to "Prince Igor". Made me wish they had done the whole work.
I would have given this a perfect five stars if the weird and strange "Bald Mountain" had been omitted and something else of Borodin's compositions had been inserted instead. Still worth buying just for the "Symphony # 2" however.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Instrumentalist on January 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, I am in "general" agreement with another reviewer here on the PSO's performance of Mussorsorgsky's Bald Mountain. I would speculate though that Steinberg's interpretation was intentional with the over emphasis on tight phrasing & articulation with the wind instruments in particular. I actually liked some of the effect, but it was a bit rough overall. The Borodin Polovstian Dances is another matter, superb PSO woodwinds here. (I would note that the PSO now (note: the recording is from the late 50's) ranks, according to most critics, in the top 15 globally, hardly a second tier orchestra and it has never been anything than good or better for the last 40 years..and I'm a native midwesterner not a Pittsburgher saying this) The Vienna Phily and Philharmonia performances on this CD are excellent and combine for a very fine value. Unless you are quite particular on the Bald mountain piece, I'd highly recommend it. IF you are particular..go for the Cleveland, NY Phily or Berlin recording to get the better Bald Mountain otherwise you'll be fretting forever, but expect to pay the $$ and buy two CDs minimum to get this good "select" selection of pieces.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Borodin is going to be BIG someday. Working against him is the fact that A) he is dead B) he died long ago C) he was not prolific. Working for him is the fact that he wrote some of the greatest symphonic material ever. Big tunes are cleverly weaved together and the music is always moving forward, never stagnating. This music is still as fresh as when Borodin first put pen to paper.
The only drawback is that all three symphonies are not all here. This does contain the most popular symphony as well as some of the better known short works. Also, at this price you have nothing to lose. However, you can also pick up lively accounts of all 3 symphonies on Naxos. Alternately, you can find a few big-name conductors and orchestras recording Borodin, but you will pay a definite premium. A premium may be justified, however, if you have a hi-fi sound system and want to experience Borodin in his full glory.
The true beauty of classical music is that you can drop down less than $5 and get excellent performances, whereas $5 for a "popular" CD will only buy you the least desirable CDs of all time. With only a little research and a $50 investment you can get a significant amount of significant music. You gotta love it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Tohline on June 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The Borodin pieces on this compilation are worth a listen. I bought this for the Polovtsian Dances, and without a choir they are not quite good enough, though they are still handled well. Borodin's symphony #2 was definitely a pleasant surprise, with hummable melodies in each movement. In the Steppes of Central Asia is an excellent piece and this is an excellent recording of its bouyant, effervescent simplicity. My favorite was the ending of the Prince Igor Overture. Frenzied strings rush to bubble over the top in the second-to-last measure, there is a perfectly timed millisecond of silence and POW the orchestra nails the last note right on the head. It's the best recording of the overture that I've ever heard.
The disappointment comes with all the Mussorgsky. Rimsky-Korsakov was a wonderful composer, but not a wonderful reviser of other people's works. The trumpet vibratos are the only interesting addition to A Night on Bald Mountain; the rest is just grotesque. And the light character of Mussorgsky's original version of the Dance of the Persian Slaves is totally lost in favor of badly-placed noise. There are tons of other recordings of these two Mussorgsky pieces in his original scorings; I recommend those.
Overall, this CD provides some good synergy from a fairly random assortment of orchestras. Though there are plenty of superior individual performances of Borodin on other CDs, it's tough to find this well-rounded quality anywhere else.
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Borodin: Symphony No. 2 / Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
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