Search - Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Anatole Fistoulari, Antal Dorati :: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); The Sleeping Beauty (Highlights)

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); The Sleeping Beauty (Highlights)
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Anatole Fistoulari, Antal Dorati
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); The Sleeping Beauty (Highlights)
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2

Antal Dorati was probably the great dance conductor of our age, and he pioneered recording the complete Tchaikovsky ballets. He made an outstanding stereo Nutcracker for Mercury Living Presence, and that has been reissue...  more »

      
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Antal Dorati was probably the great dance conductor of our age, and he pioneered recording the complete Tchaikovsky ballets. He made an outstanding stereo Nutcracker for Mercury Living Presence, and that has been reissued on CD. Fine as that version is, this one is even better because the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra simply plays the music more elegantly than the London Symphony Orchestra on the earlier recording. In fact, this has been the version of choice for a couple of decades now, and it's amazing that it took Philips so long to get the thing onto CD. At two discs for the price of one, however, you'll agree that it was worth the wait. --David Hurwitz

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CD Reviews

So HOT, it set my speakers on fire...
Andrew Mayzak | Seattle, WA USA | 12/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this CD from over 30 different choices because of the Philips label; their digital remastering of old stereo recordings is first rate and I expected no less from this recording. Having never heard of the orchestra or the conductor, I was reluctant and unsure of what to expect. Little did I know what legends were performing here! That said...

WHAT A SHOCK!!! I have NEVER heard an orchestra play with such gusto, spark, and verve... I own dozens of classical recordings, but this one is, by far, the most dynamic and passionate. The Nutcracker's overplayed music is freshened by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with youthful, razor-sharp accuracy, bringing out undercurrents in the score that I never noticed before, even in a live performances. It is wonderfully overwhelming to hear a live orchestra play with mechanized MIDI precision and still find room for an enormous amount of expression.

Antal Dorati's conducting is legendary, to say the least. The orchestra seems to have a spinning sound, with different instruments flying wildly out from a very tight epicenter. The orchestra gets so carried away that at times I worried there would be a musical train wreck, but Dorati holds the reins tightly and the frighteningly fast tempos work, providing a white-knuckle ride. His conducting is reminiscent of Herbert Von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein, though without the erratic speed changes and unnecessary theatrics. He brings out the best in the orchestra time and again, especially in the battle with the Mouse King, the Trepak, and the Pas de Deux.

The result is one of the most exquisitely tight, compact, and lustrous sounds I've ever heard. The recording quality is first rate; no static, hiss, crackles, or splats. The uncanny sparkle in the music makes it sound almost digitally recorded while the dynamic breadth allows for rumbling low notes and shattering high notes. Even Telarc and EMI can't match the crisp clarity of the sound. I had to bust many of my pervious reviews down to 3 or 4 stars because this CD set a new standard for me. Money VERY well spent!

(And if you want The Sleeping Beauty, buy the complete recording by Dorati with the Concertgebouw Orchestra... Fistoulari is good and the recording will put most others to shame, but the LSO is simply not as alive as the Concertgebouw.)"
Dorati's Subtle nutcracker
S. C. Stephenson | Western mass. U.S.A. | 08/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are many interpretations of the nutcracker. All of them are wonderful to listen to. I like this version from Antal Dorati and the concertgebouw orchestra with it's gentle flowing nature, like the ticking of a timepiece, with visions of a wintery landscape. To hear this done in this manner is like a tone poem of gentle sounds with ones own introspective images coming together so nicely.Dorati and Concertgeboew do it just right here."