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Glazunov - Raymonda / Bolshoi Ballet, Ludmila Semenyaka, Irek Moukhamedov

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Dec 21, 2004)
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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.

Special Features

None.

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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006A9HUS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,237 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Glazunov - Raymonda / Bolshoi Ballet, Ludmila Semenyaka, Irek Moukhamedov" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Poor "Raymonda" since it creation in 1898 it has been cut and sliced and hacked and added to and revised and revised again. I have viewed about a dozen of them and have recordings of about a half dozen. I've just finished reviewing the new 2011 version of the La Scala Opera ballet. It purports to be a recreation of the original by Marius Petipa with the music of Aleksandr Glazunov. It does give you the complete story, thin though it is. But at least you can understand what is happening and why. The version here presented is from thirty years ago. It is revised by choreographer Yuri Grigorovich after the original of Petipa and has been quite improved I think. It runs smoother and the ensembles are more exciting to watch and on the whole it is much more dramatic. That is a great plus. The other great thing in this recodring are the three principals -the men are excellent in their roles and Ludmila as Raymonda is superb. Her dancing is so effortless - she floats, she glides, she twirls all without any sign of stress. She really is great. I have seen many other artist in person and on recording but she remains for me the best. The major drawback of this recording is that the story line, thin as it is, is not here. You have to know it beforehand otherwise you are at a complete loss. Well so be it. This recording is still my favorite.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These dancers are superb. The production is "grand". I bought this dvd because I wanted to see a full version of this ballet, only having seen excerpts before. I enjoyed watching it, but I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because (1) I have no other reference to compare it to, and (2) although I loved some scenes and some of the choreography, I thought some sections were just not interesting enough. I found myself thinking that the bolshoi stage is just too large and the dancers too spread out at times. As others have said, It would be nice to see the full version of this ballet done more often, as the ballet is a gem. It's definitely worth while seeing.
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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. This ballet is a lovely addition to my collection. I cannot say enough about the prima ballerina, the lead male dancer, and the beautiful corps de ballet. They were magnificent!
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Format: DVD
I don't know much about the technical aspect of ballet, but I really love attending (and I am a professional musician). Last week I was at the San Francisco Opera House attending Swan Lake, and at intermission, staring at this DVD in their gift shop.

"You don't want that one," another customer (an older lady) admonished me.

"O, why not?"

"It's not that great a ballet. I'm a ballet teacher. It doesn't have very many advanced moves. Also the story is not very interesting."

"OK, thanks for letting me know."

Well hell, I don't attend the ballet for the plot ... that is simply a little spoon to deliver the caviar, isn't it? I did want to hear Glazunov, that child prodigy who composed his first symphony at 16. Also I was in the mood for a true Russian ballet done at the Bolshoi, and this was just about the only item that fit those parameters. So I waited until the friendly lady had gone, and bought it :)

Well, I wasn't disappointed at all. True, it is not an explosion of fireworks from beginning to end, but it was calm, relaxing, colorful (yes, much more than blues & grays), and exotic. I am glad to have it. If I had any reservations at all, perhaps it was a little too dark in places, in fact, there were a few times it was totally black. However, I'm pretty sure it was actually dark or black on the stage at those times, not a matter of poor videography.

Again, extremely happy to have made the purchase (although it cost over double what it goes for on Amazon! At least the difference benefits San Francisco Ballet!)
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