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Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodine ~ Immerseel & Anima Eterna

Classical | Eac, Ape+cue, log | covers+booklet | 1 Cd, 329 Mb | 70'37"
26 mai 2005 | Zig Zag Territoires | Filesonic + Fileserve

"The immediate impression here is of a solidly based orchestral sound--not surprising, as the band balances 12 violins and four violas with three cellos and three double basses." -- BBC Music magazine

I was unprepared for the incredible richness these performances offer. Here were colors and harmonies that I simply did not remember hearing in these works before...For anyone else who wants to hear this familiar repertoire in an exciting new way, I cannot recommend this release highly enough. -- FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames

I wouldnt have thought the world was anxiously waiting for a historically informed performance of Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade. Written in 1888 and a masterpiece of orchestration, it would seem that this was one work that really cries out for the full resources of a modern symphony orchestra. So I was surprised when I saw a listing for this new recording with the Bruges-based period-instrument ensemble, Anima Eterna. Despite all the heat generated in some quarters, I remain fairly neutral regarding H.I.P., seeing it neither as the salvation of music from 20th-century excesses nor as the death of music through formalism. At their best, H.I.P. performances throw a different light on the overly familiar. Iand I know many othershear Beethoven, Bruckner, even Strauss, Elgar and Tchaikovsky a bit differently through the good offices of Zinman, Herreweghe, Harnoncourt, Norrington, and others. But, Scheherazade? I decided to throw aside preconceptions. I am glad I did, for the experience was truly ear opening.
I thought I knew the works on this disc. These pieces, after all, almost define the term war-horse. I was unprepared for the incredible richness these performances offer. Here were colors and harmonies that I simply did not remember hearing in these works before. The experience sent me back to my stacks for a refresher. I listened to a variety of recordings, dating from the 1927 Stokowski to the 2002 Gergiev. What I heard validated Jos van Immerseels statement that frequently performed pieces are often subject to wear. There were fine performances ranging from the sensuous (Stokowski, Serebrier) to the dramatic (Reiner, Kondrashin) to the charming (Beecham, Matacic). All of these, however, emphasized the strings to the detriment of the woodwinds, and sometimes even the brass, in a way I had not noticed before. Where I had expected the modern orchestras to provide the greater resources of color, the opposite turned out to be the case. Only three recordingsthe Dorati/Minneapolis Symphony on Mercury 462953 (available on an arkivmusic.com CD reissue), the Matacic/Philharmonia on EMI (currently on Testament 1329), and the Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic on Deutsche Grammophon (Originals 463614)came close to offering the wind detail and exquisite balance between sections and choirs offered by the Anima Eterna orchestra. None of these would be among my first choices, though I like the first two very much. The Dorati, admittedly with a smaller than typical string section, achieves its magic through a very dry acoustic; the Matacic, through careful balancing and lower dynamic levels during much of the work; the Karajan, through super-human wind-playing and (I suspect) some brute-force technical manipulation.
None of this is needed by Immerseel and his band. The comparatively small string section (8-8-6-6-5) balances well with the wind choirs at every dynamic level. Minimal vibrato, while it sounds a bit stark to 21st-century ears, creates great transparency. The smaller-bore low brass have great presence, even when playing softly, and snarl marvelously when played forte. French horns are clearly audible without having to blast over a huge string section. As a bassoonist, I was particularly pleased to hear the second bassoon parts balanced with the double basses and trombones. Intonation throughout is exceptional and precision is often amazing.
None of this would matter, of course, if the performances were second-rate. This performance of Scheherazade deserves to be considered in the same company as any of my previous favorites: early Stokowski (Biddulph 10-OP, Cala 521), Beecham (EMI 66998), Reiner (RCA 66377 SACD), Kondrashin (Philips Originals 000708802), Haitink (Philips 420898, out of print, but worth looking for), and Serebrier (Reference 89). Unlike Gergiev in the recent Kirov recording on Philips 470840, the dynamics are observed and climaxes are effectively built. Unlike the generally fine Spano on Telarc 80568, tension does not wane. Though intrinsically smaller scaled than competing recordings, which use orchestras much larger than the 59 players employed here, there is no lack of power at the climaxes. In fact, the lower brass and percussion here are more impressive than on most recordings. And the thrill of hearing all that newly revealed color and detail at all dynamic levels cannot be gainsaid. As compensation for the scale, there is a sense of intimacy in this performance that I have found only in the Beecham and Matacic. This is especially evident in the wonderfully poised third movement, which is characterized by some of the most beautiful string tone I have ever heard. Among the highlights of the performance are the violin solos, performed by concertmaster Midori Seiler. She uses vibrato sparingly and expressively. If she is not quite the equal of Krebbers, Friend, or Hilsberg in terms of interpretive imagination, she does not at all embarrass herself in this company.
The performance of the Russian Easter Festival Overture, based on Russian liturgical chants and composed in the same year as Scheherazade, is equally fine and just as much of a surprise. The use of smaller-bore trombones is especially telling in this piece, where they have so prominent a part. Modern instruments can sound bland at lower dynamics, but that is certainly not a problem here. The trombone solos are especially well taken by tenor trombonist Cas Gevers. However, it is the woodwinds, again, that really distinguish this recording. The distinctive coloration of period instruments give an exotic quality to the wind choruses that suggests the sound of Orthodox liturgical chant in a way Id never noticed before, despite the origins of this work.
A couple of quibbles must be noted here: there was a bit of uncharacteristic scrappiness in the playing of the violins in this work and the trumpets really were not sufficiently powerful to cap a couple of chords effectively. These are very small issues, but deserve mention, given the prevailing high standards.
The Borodin selections sound less startling, though they, too, are very well performed. The high unison violin part at the beginning of In the Steppes of Central Asia, composed for the 25th anniversary of Czar Alexander IIs ascension to the Russian throne, is usually played with little or no vibrato, so this will sound familiar. The proudly marcato approach taken elsewhere by Immerseel is just right for this attractive piece of imperial propaganda. The Polovtsian Dances, from the opera Prince Igor, are very familiar to most listeners. Because they depend heavily on wind-writing, with little sustained string-writing, the contrast with modern-instrument performances is less than in the other works on this disc. Bass trombonists and percussionists will love the fourth dance.
There are informative notes regarding all of the works in French, English, and German, as well as comments on performance practice by the conductor. The sound quality is excellent and the presentation attractive. For those allergic to H.I.P. who dont have a recording of Scheherazade (hard as that is to imagine), any of the favorites listed above should serve. One can almost choose on the basis of need for modern sound and find a happy match. For anyone else who wants to hear this familiar repertoire in an exciting new way, I cannot recommend this release highly enough. -- FANFARE: Ronald E. Grames

Que ce soit dans les œuvres classiques ou dans le répertoire russe de la fin du XIXe siècle, la démarche de Jos van Immerseel vise aux mêmes objectifs : il sagit de renoncer aux traditions dinterprétations qui conditionnent le jeu des musiciens en proposant une lecture plus fidèle des œuvres abordées. Lintérêt de ce disque nest pourtant pas lié à sa justesse musicologique, mais à loriginalité de la lecture que les musiciens proposent. Que cela passe par une étude extrêmement précise des textes, de linstrumentation et des timbres, ne surprendra personne : ces paramètres sont à la base de toute œuvre musicale et concernent en tout premier lieu les interprètes. En agissant de la sorte, lensemble Anima Eterna se donne simplement les moyens de ses ambitions : il ne sagit plus seulement de jouer au mieux où dapporter sa pierre de touche à lhistoire de la musique, mais de trouver chez Borodine ou Rimski-Korsakov un supplément dâme et de sens. Le moins que lon puisse dire, cest que la démarche porte ses fruits : rarement la musique aura sonné de la sorte et des lectures aussi claires se comptent sur les doigts dune main. Lorchestre trouve ici un équilibre fascinant et la direction de Jos van Immerseel est dune fluidité presque irréelle. Incroyablement suggestive, soutenue par un mouvement formidable, la musique avance et se déploie comme une vaste fresque de rythmes et de couleurs qui, pour la première fois peut être, donne aux œuvres une véritable modernité. -- Mathias Heizmann

Toujours les mêmes approches : recherche des instruments historiques, des orchestrations initiales et donc choix des effectifs qui vont à contresens des orchestres symphoniques du XX.
Toujours les mêmes approches, mais toujours plus de maîtrise de ce répertoire du XIX
Après le projet Liszt de lannée dernière, nous pouvons tous nous appuyer sur une nouvelle expérience.Les musiciens ont eu le temps délargir et de peaufiner leur instrumentarium, ce qui nous donnera une profondeur de sonorité considérablement accrue. Le fait que nous ayons été invités à interpréter ce programme pendant les Tage Alter Musik de Ratisbonne me réjouit, bien sûr, mais en même temps il a de quoi surprendre. Il est tout à fait significatif quun festival qui en général naffiche que la musique ancienne puisse sintéresser à un tel projet. Après tout, notre démarche reste encore assez révolutionnaire au sein du mouvement dinterprétation historique. Il est très agréable de récolter ce genre de reconnaissance. Jos van Immerseel

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Shéhérazade op . 35
1: la mer et le bateau de Simbad
2: le récit du prince Kalender
3: le jeune Prince et laPrincesse
4: la fête à Bagdad; la mer; le naufrage du bateau sur les rochers

5: La Grande Pâque russe, ouverture op. 36

Alexander Borodine
6: Dans les steppes de l4asie centrale

Les Danses polovtsiennes Extraits de l'Opéra Le Prince Igor)
7: introduction: Danse des jeunes filles
8: Danse des hommes
9: Danse collective
10: Danse des garçons
11: Danse finale

violin solo: Midori Seiler 
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Igor Stravinsky : Petrushka, The Rite of Spring - Antal Dorati

EAC RIP | FLAC+LOG+CUE | 295,5 MB | 68:07 | Covers + booklet
Classical | Label : Decca | Release : 1988
(reviews from Gramophone.net)
Dorati's record of "Petrushka" is based on the 1947 version though at certain points he reverts to the original 1911 scoring, basing his decisions on his recollection of a conversation he had with Stravinsky himself about "the ideal Petrushka". Dorati's version must be acclaimed as an altogether splendid recording: vivid, exceptionally clean, well-focused and transparent textures, and splendid body. The performance, as one would expect from so experienced a ballet conductor, is a good one: sensitive and characterful.

"The Rite of Spring" is an outstanding record of a very good performance. There is impressive detail, remarkable clarity and splendid presence here : vivid, exceptionally clean, well-focused and transparent textures with a balance that is quite remarkably lifelike and natural. The presence both of the brass and percussion is little short of thrilling, and for those to whom recorded sound is the first priority, this issue is a clear front-runner. It is a very good performance too, generating considerable excitement in such sections as the "Cortège du Sage" and the "Danse de la Terre" in the first half. Only in the final "Danse sacrale" do I feel the need for greater abandon and higher voltage. The Detroit orchestra plays well for Dorati though the string sound is wanting in body.

Tracklist :
1. Petrushka - Tableau I - The Shrovetide Fair
2. Petrushka - Tableau II - In Petrushka's Room
3. Petrushka - Tableau III - In the Moor's Room
4. Petrushka - Tableau IV - The Shrovetide Fair (Evening)
5. Rite of Spring, part I - The Adoration of the Earth
6. Rite of Spring, part II - The Sacrifice

Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati

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Andrei Petrov: Russia of Bells/Y. Temirkanov (1995)

1CD | Label: Russian Compact Disc | EAC Rip | APE(image) + CUE + LOG | Scans | RAR Rec. 3% | 258 MB

Andrei Petrov has been the Chairman of the St. Petersburg Composers' Union since 1964 and the president of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society since 1992. He received numerous awards and honors, including the designation of People's Artist of the Soviet Union (1980) and the State Prize (1967, 1976). In 1992, Petrov's score for the movie Heavens of Promise was distinguished with a Nika, Russia's equivalent of the Oscar.

1. Russia of Bells, fantasy for orchestra on a theme of Mussorgsky 16:54
2. Concerto for violin & orchestra 23:20
3. The Creation of the World, suite from the ballet 17:19

The Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad State Philharmonic and the Ensemble of Bell Music. Artistic director V.Lokhansky Conductor Y. Temirkanov. S.Stadler. The Boys' choir of the Choral school named after M. Glinka.

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Fyodor Druzhinin - Russian Viola Sonatas (2004)

Fyodor Druzhinin - Russian Viola Sonatas (2004)
EAC Rip | Flac tracks, Cue + Log | 328 MB | 77:52 Min | %5 Recovery | FS, RS
Genre: Classic | Label: Melodiya

Fyodor Druzhinin (1932-2007)
Russian (Soviet) violist, composer and music teacher.

Druzhinin studied viola at the Moscow Central Music School with Nikolai Sokolov (19441950) and at the Moscow Conservatory with Vadim Borisovsky (19501957). In 1957, he won first place at the All-Union Competition of Musicians in Moscow. He replaced Borisovsky as violist of the Beethoven Quartet in 1964.

From 1980, Druzhinin was the head of the viola department at the Moscow Conservatory. Among his students are many noted violists such as Yuri Bashmet, Yuri Tkanov, Alexander Bobrovsky and Svetlana Stepchenko.

Druzhinin composed several works for viola. His Fantasia for Viola and Orchestra is best known. He worked closely with Dmitri Shostakovich and other composers such as Mieczyslaw Weinberg (Moisei Samuilovich Vainberg), Alfred Schnittke, Andrei Volkonsky, Roman Ledenyov. Shostakovich wrote his last composition for Druzhinin, the Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op.147 (1975). Other dedications include Concerto-Poem (19631964) for viola and orchestra by Ledenyov, Viola Sonata (1971) and Viola Concerto (1972) by Grigory Frid, and Weinberg's Sonata No.1 (1971) for unaccompanied viola.

Druzhinin was a 1988 recipient of the People's Artist of Russia award. In 2001, he published his memoirs: (Memoirs. Pages of Life and Work). The book relates countless memories of Shostakovich, Schnittke, Igor Stravinsky, Maria Yudina, Anna Akhmatova and colleagues of the Beethoven Quartet, among others.
Fyodor Druzhinin - Russian Viola Sonatas

M. Glinka (1804-1857)
Sonata for alto and piano in D minor
1. I. Allegro moderato
2. II. Larghetto ma non troppo

A. Rubinstein (1829-1894)
Sonata for alto and piano in F minor (op. 49)
3. I. Moderato
4. II. Andante
5. III. Moderato con motto
6. IV. Allegro assai

D. Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Sonata for viola and piano (op. 147)
7. I. Moderato
8. II. Alegretto
9. III. Adagio

 Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Rapidshare  Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Part 4

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