Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alexander Borodin, Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov, Reinhold Gliere|
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Best Caucasian Sketches
Patrick A Daley | Fredericton, New Brunswick | 07/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Caucasian Sketches is not great music but tuneful, fun, and very pleasant. The performance here is superb, rhythmic and spirited. The first movement, In the Mountain Pass, is taken at a good tempo, and moves along nicely. The solos in the second movement, "In the Village," answer back to each other with similar phrasing, and must have been great fun to do. The third movement is atmospheric, and the fourth movement, the famous Procession of the Sirdar really swings. The sound here is soft and smooth, a little distant, and very nice to listen to but there are recordings of the work with better sound quality. The Marco Polo recording with Gee and the Sydney Symphony (which also has Suite No. 2, a much less interesting work) is excellent, but the performance is really pretty dull. For this work, stick with Landau.
Beyond that, it's a good introduction to some Russian music. The four excerpts Gliere's Red Poppy ballet excerpts are performed with great spirit. The Heroic Dance of the Coolies and the famous Russian Sailors Dance are really well-done, very exciting. The recording is pretty good, too, a little distant. The ballet story is rather stupid Soviet nationalistic propaganda, of course.
Again, the performances of Borodin's In the Steppes of Central Asia and Second Symphony are quite good, but there are much better recordings of them. Martinon's superb recording of the Second Symphony and Ansermet's evocative recording of In the Steppes of Central Asia can be found on either The World of Borodin or the expanded The Essential Borodin on Decca.
Don't be misled by the under one dollar price some are offering this for, it's a nice CD with excellent performances of the Ippolitov-Ivanov and Gliere works in nice sound. If you don't have a great system, they will probably sound as good as anything, and if you do have a great system, the sound is OK, quite listenable."