Two Unmatched Performances, and a Unique One
Eugene G. Barnes | Dunn Loring, VA USA | 03/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prokofiev's "Scythian Suite" is one of those pieces from the early Twentieth Century that, like Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," exploits contemporary fascination with the exotic and the primitive. It is full of jungle rhythms and eerie chord progressions in the strings. This old recording (1957), from the earliest days of stereo, captures all the excitement of the score. The London Symphony Orchestra's playing and Antal Dorati's interpretation of the score have never been equaled, let alone surpassed. You can play it on today's finest audio equipment and it will overwhelm you. Though it scarcely accounts for 20 minutes of the 75-minute CD, it is reason enough to buy it.Ditto with the Suite from "The Love for Three Oranges." People are perhaps more apt today to hear the entire opera, but the suite has its own, more concentrated charms. The famous "Marche" is done here as if it were being given its ultimate performance, but all the other movements are bestowed as close attention and as compelling a performance.Slightly more problematic is the recording of the Fifth Symphony, which rounds out this CD. In the first place, the Fifth is much less reliant on bombast than the preceding suites, and so takes a different ear to appreciate it. The orchestra here is the Minneapolis Symphony. They frankly sound a bit anemic, a bit thin in places, though tempo, phrasing, dynamics, and structure are all well turned out. Some of the blame (if that's what you want to call it) may be laid on the Mercury staff, whose engineers sometimes tended to favor an honest reverb-free sound at the expense of an opulent one. But even here there's a pay-off. Toward the end of the final movement, you can hear ALL the detail in the most complex passages, and I, for one, never realized how downright interesting it all was! Therefore I suggest that anyone who has any other recording of the Fifth ought to hear this unique aural document and see what they too may have been missing."
The Russian mood!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps the London Symphony has been through the musical history, the ensemble with much power of understanding and even more adaptation and ability to listen the indications of any conductor.
Personalities of the remarkable stature such Victor de Sabata, Leoplod Stokowski, Adrian Boult, Jasha Horenstein, Istvan Kertesz, Lorin Maazel, Anatole Fistulari, Andre Previn and in the case which occupies Antal Dorati could mold without any problem or prejudice, their approach. Such learning process conferred of an admirable sense of vertiginous adaptability with notable results.
Having played under Dorati `s conduction must have been a gratifying experience, making an objective judge according the obtained results. He, literally made the orchestra became in a crowd of brave Cossacks; his reading was far beyond a musical feat. His process of leadership must have been so effective that permeated every single note, the accent of every accent, the gesture and the intention of the composer appears so brightly exposed all work.
If Scythian Suite is played with extremely fast tempo specially in the introduction, he gets involve us in the mood after brief minutes. His performance of the Suite is simply a majuscule achievement. Bitterness and irony load all the hall and your mood. The special wildness which conducts the Russian Heroic Prokoviev 's Fifth is an aspect that remains as perpetual statement of his craft.
After listening Dorati I keep thinking what 's happening with the modern performances that sin of civilized and quite perfumed, without that wild and barbarian playing that demand all those mentioned works. Obviously there has been a paradigmatic change: have the conductor 's role or perhaps the audiences at the moment to play?.
Thanks to the digital Technology, these documents will remain as unbeatable proof that in some moment the connection with the dark side of the unconscious world, simply turned off: and that is a real tragedy.
Go for these records my kinder. You will understand what Dorati meant in those times and how he ranked and elevated so visibly the performing standard of this orchestra: Minneapolis, and how he made transform temporally this majestic London Symphony in Russian Cossacks.