Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Tchaikovsky, Lso, Previn|
Listen to Samples
Excellent Sleeping Beauty
Jack D. McNamara | Walnut Creek, CA | 05/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tchaikovsky's three ballets are my three favorite classical compositions of all time. Previn does an excellent job with Sleeping Beauty (Op. 66). The highlights are Scene 1, Scene 5, Scene 20, Scene 21, and of course, the finale. The sound is loud, strong, and emotional.
The only problem is that in the booklet, the scenes are labeled incorrectly and that the scenes are not divided up as they usually are, so some of the tracks are really long."
Sleeping Beauty, sleeping conductor
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 07/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Andre Previn went through a very promising period as conductor of the LSO in the Seventies, and he held up gracefully when people realized (and complained) that he wasn't, as advertized, the next Leonard Bernstein. Innately a middle-of-the-road condcutor, Previn was rarely one for fire and passion--a rich sonority and mellifluous phrasing are more his style. He brings those positive qualities to this Sleeping Beauty. It's nice that EMI has released it from the box set of all three Tchaikovsky ballets, and there's nothing wrong with the playing or engineering.
But why is it so sleepy? Hardly a dance goes by that doesn't feel constrained; Previn never cuts loose. As a result, we get little feeling of joy or dramatic climax. This is British placidness where one craves Russian passion. No wonder the Gramophone dotes on this recording. It won't make waves in your teacup. Compare any five minutes of Previn's reading with Gergiev's on Philips, and even though his is better played and recorded, Gergiev's has inner life. I find life sorely lacking here despite the polished surface gleam."
In the eye of the beholder
David A. Baer | Indianapolis, IN USA | 12/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
I begin my review of this splendid cd with a slice of musical heresy: *listening* to a ballet with no dancers on a stage in front of you is inevitably a partial experience. Perhaps its closest analogy is listening to film music, which presents lush harmonies and brilliant dramatic effect. But if you've never seen the film, you miss something. This is because music written to accompany ballet and music composed to embellish a film are inescapably programmatic. They depend to some degree on the thing they accompany.
OK, I'm over that.
André Previn and the LSO are at their typical wonderful selves in this recording. In SLEEPING BEAUTY, Tchaikovsky is at his most changeful and malleable. The score he has produced is something of an artistic institution; these musicians respect it and perform it in just that way.
Tchaikovsky lovers - like this reviewer - will enjoy familiar mechanisms and discern the development of a hugely familiar passage long before it finally sees the light in its canonical and popularly-recognized form.
This is all great stuff, even if its beauty is accessible only to ears and no eyes.
I just miss the ballet. In its intended context, Tchaikovsky and his music become worthy of their enduring fame. Alone, the music a recording, the listener esconced in a car or office or living room, something is missing.