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Tchaikovsky: 1812, Marche slave

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 12, 1991
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Product Details

  • Performer: Church-bells of Gothenburg, Gothenburg Symphony Brass Band, Torgny Sporsen, Gothenburg Symphony Chorus
  • Orchestra: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Artillery Division
  • Conductor: Neeme Järvi
  • Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Audio CD (March 12, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GDT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,043 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. M. Robbins on September 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tchaikovsky has been one of my favorite composers since a very early age, and my interest in him led me to explore the works of other Russian composers, such as Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, etc. I have listened to many recordings of Ouverture Solenelle 1812, and here Ove Gotting conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Chorus and the Gothenburg Symphony Brass Band in a performance that would bring tears to the eyes of even Tchaikovsky (who described the 1812 as "having no artistic merit.")
Nearly everyone, whether they appreciate classical music or not, can recognize the 1812 ("you mean the one with the cannons, right?...") Every Independence Day we can watch television coverage of the United States Marine Corps Band performing the 1812, complete with artillery firing. To my mind the sharp "BANG" of modern artillery seems out of place in the 1812, and I have always preferred the deeper, woofing "BOOM" of black powder artillery. Here the cannons are 1863 Swedish field pieces from the muzzle loading era belonging to the Gothenburg Artillery Division. Rounding out the performance are the Churchbells of Gothenburg.
This exquisite 1812 is followed by an equally wonderful performance of Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave, a patriotic piece he was inspired to compose by the Serbo-Turkish war, in which Russia took part. The rest of the works on this CD- Borodin's In the Steppes of Central Asia and Polovtsian Dances, and Rimsky- Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture and Capriccio Espagnol are also superb, making this CD a fantastic collection of Russian Orchestral music.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm program director of a classical music radio station, and have had more calls from listeners about this performance of the 1812 Overture than any other we feature. Part of the draw is the chorus, which is very good, and the discrete use of cannons without going for some of the bloated special effects that inhibit some recordings of the overture. Kitschy music? Sure it is, but this recording does a better job than any I know in convincing the listener it is good music, too, and the pairings on the disc make this a good bargain as well.
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Bought this disc for the Russian Easter Overture. Thought I had a plenty good 1812 Overture. That's where the **GOSH!** comes in. Given that the 1812 Overture is the first track, that's what I heard first. I'd never heard a version with the CHORUS before, and it added an almost "liturgical" dimension that blew me away. I've listened to it five times so far and gotten tears every time. The Rusian Easter Overture was everything I'd hoped it would be (another emotional catharsis for me), and everything else on the disc is technically and emotionally stunning. Go for it!
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Format: Audio CD
THE BEST collection of Russian Romantic music is here! This contains an absolutely brilliant performance of the "1812 Overture" with bells, "cannons," and chorale. The chorale really enhances the performance: it makes this recording the best I've ever heard. Also on this album are 5 more of the best Russian Romantic pieces ever: "Marche Slave" by Tchaikovsky, Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia" and "Polovtsian Dances," and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol" and "Russian Easter Overture." These performances/recordings are also magnificent. They combine the beauty of Russian Romanticism with that of Russian chorale. This is THE album to buy if you like Russian music of the 19th-20th century. It also includes overtones of older Russian music: the centuries-old Orthodox chant in the "Russian Easter Overture" and the music of the "Polovtsian Dances." This is definitely a must-get album for the collection of any classical music lover.
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Format: Audio CD
I read very good critics about this recording and I bought it expecting god performances. It didn't turn out like that.

1812 is the best work of the present recording, the coral part works extremely well and the performance in general has great distinction. In fact, this performance stands out among many others. It won't surpass Dorati's famous account, but it will do better than Gergiev, Abbado, Karajan, Solti, Maazel, Stokowski, Bernstein just to mention a few that I am familiar with.

Marche Slave: This is a very standard reading, in this case, if you really want a fine performance of this work, I strongly recommend you to go for Stokowski's one on Decca (by far the best I've heard) or Abbado's with the Berlin Philharmonic on DG (surprisingly).

In the Steppes of Central Asia, again, very standard, I don't mean it's a bad version, but you can find better ones like Gergiev's with the Kirov Orchestra.

The Polovtsian dances lack strength, there are plenty of versions better than this one. As I said about the "Steppes" this is not a bad account, but if you listen to Mackerras, Dorati, Gergiev or Stokowski, you will see what I mean.

The Russian Easter Overture is the biggest disappointment on this disc. Järvi has made great recordings of Rimsky-Korsakov's music for Chandos, so I don't know what happened here. So, if you are buying this CD because of this piece, don't waste you money. The sound quality is poor, and the performance itself is not very exciting. So far, the best Russian Easter Overture I've heard is Markevitch's on Phillips, and Stokowski's on RCA.
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