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Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible
Sergey Prokofiev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Tchaikovsky Festival Orchestra Moscow
Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible
Genre: Soundtracks
 
  •  Track Listings (38) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #2

This Nimbus release bills itself as the "World Premiere Recording of [Prokofiev's] complete music for Eisenstein's film [of Ivan the Terrible]. And listeners seriously interested in Prokofiev's music probably ought to acqu...  more »

     
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All Artists: Sergey Prokofiev, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Tchaikovsky Festival Orchestra Moscow
Title: Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Nimbus Records
Release Date: 11/14/2000
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genre: Soundtracks
Style:
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 710357566226

Synopsis

Amazon.com
This Nimbus release bills itself as the "World Premiere Recording of [Prokofiev's] complete music for Eisenstein's film [of Ivan the Terrible]. And listeners seriously interested in Prokofiev's music probably ought to acquire this two-CD set (which is priced as one). It contains more than 30 minutes of music missing from other recordings of Ivan, which is usually heard in a 1962 arrangement by Abram Stasevich. Stasevich, who conducted the soundtrack for the film 20 years earlier, turned Prokofiev's unfinished work into an oratorio of 20 linked numbers by omitting several episodes, repeating others, and occasionally departing from the musical order prescribed by the plot. But, while it is satisfying to hear all the music Prokofiev wrote for the film, it would be better still to hear it in a better performance than this one. The playing by Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra is fine, as are the soloists (contralto Irina Chistjakova and bass Dmitry Stephanovich) and the chorus (the Yurlov State Capella). But Vladimir Fedoseyev's tepid conducting never supplies the ferocity and majesty demanded by the music. Under conductors such as Riccardo Muti and Valery Gergiev, for example, the music that accompanies the bacchanal of the Oprichniki in "The Tsar's Banquet" episode--the moment in the film when Eisenstein switches suddenly from black-and-white to lurid Technicolor--explodes with the power and color of the climax of a pyrotechnic display on the Fourth of July. Under Fedoseyev's baton, the same passage sounds like an attempt to ignite a rain-soaked firecracker. --Stephen Wigler
 

CD Reviews

Not so great
Kalamazoo | New York City | 03/02/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, the score on which this recording is based (published by Sikorski in 1997) is flawed, so one cannot trust this as an accurate source for the film music--original or what is actually heard in the film itself. Secondly, the performance is so-so. The orchestra didn't play with much passion, and the choral pieces (Russian Orthodox hymns) are completely life- and expression-less. Nevertheless, it's the only recording out there that approximates what's heard in the film, and what was censored. For that reason I gave it a 3 and not a 2 or 1."