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Tchaikovsky: 1812, Marche slave
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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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A classic song that has moved many. This is one of my favorite songs, and I use it to get pumped up on my way to work.Published 6 months ago by JCD76
Best Version of 1812 Overture Currently available. Digital and perfect.Published 7 months ago by 0l-diablo
By the time they are done with you, you are nothing but a speechless rag.
There is NO other 1812. Period. Not even Dorati's! Read more
Fine recording, though at times the chorus seems extremely shrill. I'll try it on another player. Anyone else know this version?Published 12 months ago by N. Alonso Hathaway
good, however, not as good as Antal Dorati which still serves as the gold standard.Published 13 months ago by william c slizewski