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The Enchanted Kingdom / Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra

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Audio CD, May 14, 1996
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Russian National Orchestra
  • Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
  • Composer: Anatol Konstantinovich Lyadov, Alexander Tcherepnin, Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GPM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,037 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Baba-Taga Op.56
2. The Enchanted Lake Op.62
3. Kikimora Op.63
4. La Princesse lointaine Op.4
5. Le Royaume enchante
6. Le Coq d'or - Suite - I: I. Introduction And Dodon's Sleep
7. Le Coq d'or - Suite - I: II. King Dodon On The Battlefield
8. Le Coq d'or - Suite - I: III. Queen Of Shemakha's Dance - King Dodon's Dance
9. Le Coq d'or - Suite - I: IV. Wedding Procession - Death Of King Dodon - Finale

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Julian Grant on January 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
A mixture of the familiar and the unfamiliar. The suite from Rimsky's 'Golden Cockerel' comes off least well here, the first movement suffers from perfunctory phrasing and the passage depicting the Astrologer, with its clockwork mechanical textures (track 6: approx.2'25) is taken way too fast and is made to sound inconsequential. The later movements are much better, though this reading does not compare with classic accounts from Efrem Kurtz (on budget price EMI) or Ernest Ansermet. The three Liadov pieces are given vivid performances, beautifully textured and balanced. But this disc is worth exploring on account of the pieces by Nicolai Tcherepnin, particularly 'The Enchanted Kingdom' -a dreamy and gorgeous piece of tone-painting that reeks of Stravinsky's roughly contemporary 'The Firebird'.
Ideally the Rimsky should have been dropped, and more Liadov (when will we get a world class recording of his 'From the Book of Revelation'?) and Tcherepnin included, but this is an enjoyable release that will be appreciated by lovers of technicolour orchestration and musical impressionism.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
At a time when the works of Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Prokofiev et al are clearly established as part of the standard repertoire composers it is refreshing to come across this CD of some of the lesser known Russian composers. The most well known composer on this recording is of course Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov and his famous 'Le Coq d'Or' suite is probably the reason the CD was made.

But though Mikhail Pletnev conducts the Russian National Orchestra in a zinging rendition of the work, the true reason for paying attention to this recording is the work of Nikolai Tcherepnin, a Russian who immigrated to France and was greatly influenced by the 'French sound' such as the Debussy school. He is a colorful orchestrator and Pletnev gives ample reason for erasing his neglect in these performances of 'Le Royaume enchante' (The Enchanted Kingdom) and 'Prelude pour la princesse lointaine'. The music is atmospheric and languid, sharing the tonal palette with the Impressionists. Pletnev draws a beautifully scaled performance from his orchestra.

The other neglected Russian composer Pletnev features is Anatol Konstantinovich Lyadov and indeed his 'The Enchanted Lake' is performed with all of the ethereal beauty the piece contains. And as though to demonstrate the full range of Lyadov's writing the recording also features 'Baba-Yaga' and 'Kikimora', works for large orchestra that describe fantastical tales with plush colors and dynamics. This is one of those recordings to bring out when a taste of the different is needed to tantalize the ear - or works to place before friends as a musical quiz! Grady Harp, April 06
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chefdevergue VINE VOICE on March 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many of Pletnev's more recent orchestral recordings have been savaged (some justly so) and Pletnev has been scored as a pianist who thinks he can also be a conductor, but is hopelessly out of his depth. Say what one will about his cycle of the Tchaikowski symphonies, but with this recording it is hard to imagine anyone criticizing Pletnev for not knowing his way around the podium. This is a good, crisp colorful effort on all fronts.

I would disagree with the other reviewers, as I feel that the "Le Coq d'Or" suite is very much worth the inclusion. The opera is easily the most subversive of all of Rimsky's works, and Pletnev's version positively bristles with a savage, sardonic wit --- as it should. The first version of this suite I ever heard was a lifeless, inert effort by Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and it left me wondering why anyone would bother recording it at all. Now one can understand why it is worth the effort.

I am not as keen on Liadov as are some others (although his music is well-performed here), but I agree that the Tcherepnin works deserve more attention than they have generally received. Once again, Pletnev more than does them justice. All in all, a solid and satisfying undertaking.
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