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Rimsky-Korsakov: 3 Symphonies, Capriccio espagnol, Russian Easter Festival Overture

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov , Neemi Järvi , Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Neemi Järvi
  • Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00000E40B
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,973 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Though not as popular as the symphonies of his contemporary, Alexander Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov's symphonies are beautiful, well-crafted works with dazzling orchestration and oriental melodies and harmonies. This set, released in 1988, is a collector's item these days. However, DG has re-released it at a budget price.

Starting with the First Symphony, Neeme Jarvi and the Gothenburg Symphony play with hushed intensity. They build the music to the first theme, and it moves quickly than any other version--almost too quickly. Jarvi is intimately familiar with this repertoire and his Gothenburg Orchestra is a virtuosic machine making great music! The rhythms are crisp, the brass formidable, and the strings talented and well-coached. The Andante is gorgeous, and Jarvi moves at a spacious tempo to capture the serenity of it. The Scherzo is spritely and athletic, and the Gothenburg really makes great music here. The finale is full of syncopations and modulations, and Jarvi and the orchestra have the full measure of the festive, victorious tone.

Next, the performance of Antar is very evocative. The orchestra plays well in tune on the difficult mediant modulations. The woodwinds are very fine, indeed. Jarvi conjures the ominous mood needed to make the opening effective. Again, the strings play marvelously, telling the story of the Gul Peri-Nasar as they do. In Antar's second movement, Rimsky develops an intense winding theme in a Mussorgsky-like way. Its stark, direct language is powerful. The orchestra plays with real power and accuracy. Listening to the third movement, one can hear the effect it had on Balakirev's tone poem, Tamara. Many of the same melodic figurations, harmonies, and scorings are present.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian Rimsky... November 18, 2008
By B.E.F.
Verified Purchase
OOP set reissued as Rimsky-Korsakov: The Complete Symphonies; Russian Easter Festival Overture; Capriccio Espagnol [Germany] .
It may be well to recall that even as late as the middle of the Nineteenth Century Russia had yet scarcely achieved a "Classical" musical tradition comparable with Austria, Germany, or even France. The artistic intelligentsia admired Beethoven above all; yet, at the same time, despite the Master's universality, the Russians perceived an essential Teutonism in the Austro-German school which ran counter to their own evolving nationalism.
And so, beginning with Glinka and moving on through Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Cui, and Rimsky-Korsakov--the "Mighty Little Bunch"--(sometimes termed "Kuchkists" for kuchka means "little clutch")--vigorously and adamantly strove to incorporate a native Russian ethos into their music.
Of course the Kuchkists had to start somewhere, and withal to a degree they admired the music of Schumann, Berlioz, and Liszt, while Wagner, Bruckner, and Brahms were anathematized.
Too, the most cosmopolitian of the Russian set--viz., Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein--were suspect for their Westernism and Hebraism. (Cf. Tchaikovsky's well-known love of Mozart.)
The Kuchkists valued idée over style: for them, form followed content.
Richard Taruskin puts it very well in saying, "To be a Kuchkist meant to value `color'--piquant timbral and harmonic effects--over `form,' and consequently to be ever on the look-out for pretexts (in Slavonic archaism, in Orientalia, in fantasy) for applying it."
And so we come to Korsakov's Symphonies: several points.

Firstly, only the First and Third even attempt to be a symphony in the Austro-German tradition of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Antar ("Symphony No.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to lesser known symphonies November 19, 2013
By Brian C
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I cannot imagine a better introduction to these lesser known Russian romantic symphonies. They are performed with precision and excitement. Recorded sound is excellent. The symphonies are not as memorable as say Tchaikovsky, but then I'm sure many people can agree that you get tired of listening to the same old symphonies all the time.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great recording and great performance March 2, 2010
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Production is good and the playing is good. I don't think I've heard any performance of the Russian Easter Overture or the Spanish Capriccio especially that I've liked more. I don't even know if it's DDD, but it sounds great to me.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album March 24, 2013
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Hard to find album and I'm glad they had it. Received very quickly and the service was excellent. 2 words left to go so there you have it.
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