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Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (Excerpts from Suite 1 & 2)

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 9, 2006
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003CT4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,230 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Mark Zimmerman on May 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I got this CD a long time ago, loved it then and love it now. When I thought the disc was defective I threw it out but,it ended up being the disc player I was using that was screwy. I finally got the disc again and glad I did. Performances and sound are perfect. Another win for Telarc!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is just a superb recording - I recommend it most highly to anybody who likes classical music. Many people dislike the compositions of twentieth century Russian composers, but Prokofiev was the best of all of them and this is too good to pass up, even for them.
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First off - this is NOT the soundtrack to the complete ballet. The suites are different arrangements with less emphasis on dance-ability and more on instrumentation. The suite #2 (op. 64.ter) is the most popular, though many recordings and live performances will interchange pieces from the ballet and various suites to suit their style.

That being said. For the complete ballet ensemble go with this version: Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet. There is no better complete Romeo and Juliet recording. If you research this piece it is considered the definitive version and is probably Maazel's best known recording (it's also a Cleveland Orchestra recording).

But Telarc has a gem in their collection here. This is among the better recordings of the suites that I have ever listened to. The Cleveland Orchestra has always been one of my favorites, and under the direction of Levi, they seemed to really embrace this piece. Just listen to the first movement: Montagues and Capulets and you'll know.

Oh, and for fun, check out some history on Prokofiev in creating this piece. I did like that he re-wrote Romeo and Juliet to have a happy ending since, as he said, "dead ballerinas can't dance!". Gotta love Sergei!
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These excerpts carry an intelligently concentrated dose of why Romeo and Juliet is one of Prokofiev's greatest masterpieces. The playing by the Cleveland Orchestra is above reproach and the interpretations given are perfectly feisty, sublime, and colorful for their respective moments.
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