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Glazunov - Raymonda / Bolshoi Ballet, Ludmila Semenyaka, Irek Moukhamedov (1982)

Irek Mukhamedov , Ludmilla Semenyaka  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Irek Mukhamedov, Ludmilla Semenyaka, Gedemiras Taranda, The Bolshoi Ballet
  • Producers: Dennis Hedlund
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 21, 2004
  • Run Time: 146 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006A9HUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,203 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Glazunov - Raymonda / Bolshoi Ballet, Ludmila Semenyaka, Irek Moukhamedov" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This glorious three-act ballet boasts a magical score by Alexander Glazunov, filled with melody, color and grand effects. Ludmilla Semenyaka is magnificent as the youthfully charming Raymonda and her gallant knight, Jean de Brienne, is superbly portrayed by Irek Moukhamedov. This is a beautiful story of a young couple separated by Jean’s commitment to aid King Andrei II on a campaign. In the midst of all of this, another would-be suitor, a Saracen knight, Abderakhman (played by Gedeminas Taranda) makes a bid for the hand of Raymonda. When she rejects him, he threatens to abduct her. Jean returns just in time to settle this problem in a proper duel. Abderakhman is handily defeated, and Raymonda and Jean are married at the court of King Andrei.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Raymonda to see January 15, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Raymonda is a ballet that seems to divide fans--it's actually my favorite of the 1800s full length ballets after Sleeping Beauty, but I get why less experienced ballet fans might find its slight stroy, emphasis on dance, a bit boring. I find it enthralling.

Out of the three DVDs of Raymonda out so far (this, another Bolshoi one with about 20 minutes cut from two years later and a classic Kirov performance from 1980) this is probably the place to start, although the Kirov has a lot to recommend it as well. Grigorovich's staging is largely exquisite although I don't like some of the changes made to the original (which he'd later elaborate on--currently the Bolshoi cuts the White Lady completely when they perform Raymonda). What really makes this release preferable to the other Bolshoi recording is the cast--which is just a little bit better, with the exception of Ludmila Semenyaka who is a LOT better than the Raymonda on the other release, Bessmertnova who was a decent talent but too old and miscast in the role. Semenyaka is divine as Raymonda--which is good because the role seems to have more solos than any other ballerina role in the classical repertoire.

Glazunov's music likewise tends to divide people, but I think it's the greatest 1800s ballet score after Tchaikovsky--it may take a few more listens but its gorgeous medieaval themes will sink into your head. This DVD isn't perfect--the videotape source shows its age, the lighting isn't idea for filming in some dark scenes, and the sound lacks some oomps (and even briefly fades in and out for a minute in Act III, due to degraded video source), but we should be happy for what we have especially of this oft negelected ballet. Highly recommended.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most wonderful ballet I've ever seen February 19, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
When I first bought the score of Raymonda a few years ago, I thought that it was a miracle! I found Glazunov's music really fantastic. I couldn't think that after the trilogy of Tchaikovsky I could have had the chance to hear such beautiful ballet music. Finally I was able to see also the video. First of all, I must say that the scenario is really beautiful and luxurious, and all the costumes too. I mostly loved 2nd scene of act 1, the magic garden where Raymonda meets her beloved De Brienne: the scene opens with the Dame Blanche and the Maidens, all in a blue tutu. All the lights are of a deep blue that adds more mystery to this scene. All performers are extraordinary! Ludmila Semenyaka gives to the character of Raymonda a real hungaric appeal (in the sense of nobless) and all the variations are danced in a wonderful way (she's one of the most speedest ballerinas I have ever seen!). Irek Mukhamedov is simply perfect, although I prefer him in different roles, such as Solor in La Bayadère (the Royal Ballet version) and The Nutcracker. Gedeminas Taranda is a marvellous Abderakhman, a real tiger in all the tremendous variations of the Grand pas Espagnol of act II. Just look his eyes!!!!! The pearl of this ballet remains the "Grand pas Hongrois Classique" in act III: this Grand Pas is danced by the two stars with 8 couples of soloists and both the adagio and all the variations are one of Petipa's jewels. The russian ballet of XIX century could not have a better conclusion! I suggest this video to all real ballet lovers.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great dancers can't compensate for boring ballet. August 31, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
If I were judging only the quality of the dancing, I would have to give this video five stars. But despite excellent performances by Ludmila Semenyaka as Raymonda, Irek Mukhamedov as her fiance, Jean de Brienne, and Gedeminas Taranda as the Saracen knight Abderakhman, I have a real problem with this ballet. Whether it's because of this production specifically or something inherent in the ballet I can't say, but I've tried twice to watch the whole ballet, and both times I kept falling asleep (literally) during the first and second acts. So now I just fast forward to the last act.
Part of the problem is the monochromatic set and generally dark look of the stage. Then there is the lack of action in the plot, so the ballet is mostly one long string of divertissements, with little variety of style. (In the second act, the choreography for Abderakhman's entourage introduces a different style; unfortunately, it is pretty silly.) And while Glazunov's music is lovely, and a good deal better than the music of many ballet composers, for me it lacks the punch of, say, Tchaikovsky's music, which would keep me awake through the most boring choreography.
However, everything improves in the third act (the wedding). First, the lighting is brighter. Second, even though this act is nothing but a string of divertissements, much of the choreography has a Hungarian flavor, which adds interest. Third, I love this music. This may in part be due to its being so familiar: I've seen many performances of Balanchine's "Pas de Dix," which uses the music from the third act, and more recently I enjoyed the San Francisco Ballet's excellent production of Nureyev's staging of the third act. But maybe the third act music is used so much because it's the most interesting.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but... February 8, 2005
By tulip
I bought this DVD after I watched Rudolf Nureyev's Raymonda documentary by Paris Opera Ballet since this is the only DVD available for the entire Raymonda performance. It is a beautiful ballet and the Russian dancers' turns are very fast. The part that I was disapointed was Abderarakhman. I am not talking about the dancer, he is really good, but it does not have the breath-taking choreography like the one I saw in Nureyev's version. Other than that it is a very good DVD to watch, except I had to fast forward everytime when there was a curtain call, it was long and almost everytime when a solorist finishes a variation. It was like watching a mini series of many variations instead of one whole ballet story. I am probably biased for Paris Opera Ballet so my feedback may not be fair. If I did not see Nureyev's documentary, this would have been one of my favorite ballet. It is beautiful.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful ballet. Wonderful glorious music and superb dancing
Beautiful ballet. Wonderful glorious music and superb dancing! It is the Bolshoi, so I expected it to be a marvelous feast for the eyes and ears, and it was. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Balletomane
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous music Gorgeous dancing- a real find for the uninitiated!!!
I've been making a conscious effort to aware of the beauty of ballet and to know the various ballets that are most worthwhile... this was more than a pleasant surprise... Read more
Published 19 months ago by M. Lamkin
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Flawed but at Thirty Years it is still the Best!
Poor "Raymonda" since it creation in 1898 it has been cut and sliced and hacked and added to and revised and revised again. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dr. John W. Rippon
4.0 out of 5 stars bolsdhoi
this bolshoi version of raymonda is beautifully done. my only criticism is that the videography is uneven...not only the framing but the lighting. but the dancing is marvelous.
Published on July 5, 2012 by dippy
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
The whole ballet takes place in a dark blue scenario that does not change throughout the 146 minutes that lasts the ballet... Read more
Published on March 3, 2010 by Marx Lives
5.0 out of 5 stars Ballet
Beautiful dancing, superb artists. BUT for those of us who love ballet but do not know it as professionals, subtitles describing, explaining the action could enhance our... Read more
Published on August 24, 2008 by Peter Hance
2.0 out of 5 stars Lighting is very poor for VHS version
I should have read the previous review before making the decision. The lighting for Act I is so poor that you can only see a group of blue objects moving on the stage. Read more
Published on August 30, 2004 by Wanderer
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