W. M. Robbins | The Beautiful Blue Ridge | 09/29/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tchaikovsky has been one of my favorite composers since a very early age, and my interest in him led me to explore the works of other Russian composers, such as Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich, etc. I have listened to many recordings of Ouverture Solenelle 1812, and here Ove Gotting conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Chorus and the Gothenburg Symphony Brass Band in a performance that would bring tears to the eyes of even Tchaikovsky (who described the 1812 as "having no artistic merit.")
Nearly everyone, whether they appreciate classical music or not, can recognize the 1812 ("you mean the one with the cannons, right?...") Every Independence Day we can watch television coverage of the United States Marine Corps Band performing the 1812, complete with artillery firing. To my mind the sharp "BANG" of modern artillery seems out of place in the 1812, and I have always preferred the deeper, woofing "BOOM" of black powder artillery. Here the cannons are 1863 Swedish field pieces from the muzzle loading era belonging to the Gothenburg Artillery Division. Rounding out the performance are the Churchbells of Gothenburg.
This exquisite 1812 is followed by an equally wonderful performance of Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave, a patriotic piece he was inspired to compose by the Serbo-Turkish war, in which Russia took part. The rest of the works on this CD- Borodin's In the Steppes of Central Asia and Polovtsian Dances, and Rimsky- Korsakov's Russian Easter Festival Overture and Capriccio Espagnol are also superb, making this CD a fantastic collection of Russian Orchestral music."
Paul R. Hagen | Minneapolis, MN usa | 09/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bought this disc for the Russian Easter Overture. Thought I had a plenty good 1812 Overture. That's where the **GOSH!** comes in. Given that the 1812 Overture is the first track, that's what I heard first. I'd never heard a version with the CHORUS before, and it added an almost "liturgical" dimension that blew me away. I've listened to it five times so far and gotten tears every time. The Rusian Easter Overture was everything I'd hoped it would be (another emotional catharsis for me), and everything else on the disc is technically and emotionally stunning. Go for it!"
Chris Bray | bloomington IL | 05/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I ordered this CD when seraching for a great copy of 1812 overture, along with a few other good songs. This turned out to be the best classical CD I have purchased. Indeed, this is the best version of 1812 I have heard. The chorus added a nice touch, and the old cannons do the piece justice. The other songs on the CD are great as well. Marche Slave is another Tcahikovsky masterpiece (in my opinion, he is the best orchestral composer of all time). Borodin also adds some of his best to the CD, the version of Polovtsian Dances with the chorus is great, and the sound of In the Steppes of Central Asia is superb. However, the next song, Russian Easter Overture, is the down part of the CD. The piece itself is wonderful, put this recodring doesn't do it justice. First off, most of the time the conducter takes it entirley too slow. Second, the sound quality is bad, you can't hear any of the timpani or bell parts the majoirty of the time. These parts are meant to be grand and dynamic, but instead they get smeared into the background so much that they are barely audible. However, it is still worth listening to. The real surprise for me was the last song, Capriccio espagnol. This is a complete piece, full of intesity, emotion and fun. It gets better and better everytime I listen to it. Definitely one of Rimsky's best pieces, right up there with Russian Easter Overture. If you buy this CD for just the 1812, you will be in for a lot more. This is a complete album, and is full of great music that everyone should enjoy. It gets a solid 90%."
Collection of Best Russian Music
Travis Cooper | CA | 06/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE BEST collection of Russian Romantic music is here! This contains an absolutely brilliant performance of the "1812 Overture" with bells, "cannons," and chorale. The chorale really enhances the performance: it makes this recording the best I've ever heard. Also on this album are 5 more of the best Russian Romantic pieces ever: "Marche Slave" by Tchaikovsky, Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia" and "Polovtsian Dances," and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol" and "Russian Easter Overture." These performances/recordings are also magnificent. They combine the beauty of Russian Romanticism with that of Russian chorale. This is THE album to buy if you like Russian music of the 19th-20th century. It also includes overtones of older Russian music: the centuries-old Orthodox chant in the "Russian Easter Overture" and the music of the "Polovtsian Dances." This is definitely a must-get album for the collection of any classical music lover."