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  • Russian Overtures
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Russian Overtures


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Audio CD, January 17, 1995
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Product Details

  • Performer: Mikhail Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
  • Orchestra: Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov
  • Conductor: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Composer: Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Borodin, Dmitry Shostakovich, Sergey Prokofiev, Dmitry Kabalevsky, et al.
  • Audio CD (January 17, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000001GM2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,780 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ruslan And Ludmilla
2. Prince Igor
3. Festive Overture Op. 96
4. Semyon Kotko
5. Colas Breugnon
6. The Tsar's Bride
7. Khovanshchina
8. Overture In F Major
9. Ouverture solennelle op. 73

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Blumhofer on July 24, 1999
I've taken notice in the last few months to the fact that Russian orchestras seem to play Russian music really, really well. This CD is a fine example to back up that observance. Pletnev is incredible in his speed on some of these pieces, and the orchestra is even moreso in its ability to keep up. I've never heard "Russlan & Ludmilla" played so quickly (the CSO/Solti take 8 seconds longer), and it's really pretty nifty hearing unison strings playing as quickly as possible. The clarinet solo towards the end of Borodin is outright gorgeous, and Shostakovich's Festival Overture is (for lack of more clever terming ability) quite festive indeed. The rest of the disc is an assortment of delights, including (among other things) an early Tchaikovsky piece. Overall it's a lot of fun and a treat to listen to.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 19, 2003
There's the music, for one thing. Pletnev has assembled the well-known (Glinka, Borodin, Shostakovich, Kabalevsky, Mussorgsky), the lesser known (Rimsky), and just about unknown (Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Glazounov) to create a winning program that, just when you think you've heard it all before, pops a surprise or two on you. Prokofiev's work is restrained and sauve, Tchaikovsky's and Glazounov's pieces big-boned and noisily dramatic. And that's the way Pletnev's programming works: the fleet and brilliant balanced by the grand and stately, the boisterous by the darkly passionate.
The playing is of course to the manner born. Glazounov never quite adds up when played by a Western orchestra, but Pletnev states the composer's case very clearly and firmly. So, too, with the lesser bit of Tchaikovsky. But I find Pletnev's way with all this music, even his breakneck Glinka, compelling.
In fact, I'd give this CD five stars except that the sound leaves something to be desired. Is it a bit lacking in presence? A bit strident? Both? Usually I can put my finger on a failing in this arena, but here I'm not sure what the trouble is--just that this is not DG's best work. Still, for a well-thought-out, well-executed program of Russian music, you can't go wrong with this CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
This is a wonderful collection of Russian music, spanning a wide variety of styles, periods, and composers. It successfully brings together several well-known concert pieces and a number of works that are rarely heard in the United States. Pletnev's direction is exciting and buoyant, and the playing of the Russian National Orchestra is always crisp. The CD gets your attention right away, with the single fastest rendering of Russlan and Ludmilla that I have ever heard. It's well worth the purchase price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 2003
I absolutely love the quality to which the Russian National
Orchestra plays these overtures. What a distinctly Russian style. Almost takes you to Moscow.
I do have to say, that I enjoy Ruslan and Ludmilla played a bit slower...there is so much depth to that piece, that it gets missed when played in such a rapid style. Although it is nice for a variation.
If you enjoy overtures or Russian composers....you will enjoy this CD!
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Mihail Pletnev conducting the Orchestra Russian national gives us this collection of overtures from Russian composers which we admire an extraordinary and very virtuous interpretation of Glinka's "Ruslan and Ludmilla" and of the brilliant "Festive Overture" by Dmitri Shostakovich put in relief the great technique and virtuosity of the Russian school for strings,... simply extraordinary. Interesting also the Overture in F of Tchaikovsky. Anyway, a master cd.
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