Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kees Bakels – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Orchestral Works (2007) [eClassical FLAC 24/44,1]

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Orchestral Works – Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Kees Bakels (2007)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 05:00:31 minutes | 2,2 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: eClassical | Digital Booklet | © BIS Records
Recorded: Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS Hall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in November 2002 (Disc 1), November 2003 (Disc 2), November 2004 (Disc 3) and November 2002 (Disc 4)

Two recent collections of Russian orchestral music – the Symphonies of Glazunov (BIS-CD-1663/64) and of Rachmaninov (BIS-CD-1665/66) – are here followed by a boxed 4-disc set of orchestral works by Rimsky-Korsakov. The recordings were all made between 2000 and 2002 with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra under their founding principal conductor Kees Bakels, and received much praise at the time of their original releases. The generous selection, at a very advantageous price, contains the composer’s ‘greatest hits’ – the rendition of Sheherazade was called ‘a particular joy’ by International Record Review – as well as the less commonly-heard three symphonies, in performances which to the reviewer of web site Classics Today proved ‘the Malaysian Philharmonic members fully immersed in the composer’s unique sound world.’ Another rarity is the Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, in which eminent pianist Noriko Ogawa makes an appearance.

The collection also includes a broad sample of the music for the theatre, a field in which Rimsky-Korsakov had some of his greatest successes. Indeed, the disc particularly dedicated to the theatre music caused particular joy to the reviewer on the web site who claimed that the performers ‘painted the imaginary musical canvas with a truly wonderful array of highly sophisticated colours’. Besides praising the orchestra and conductor, most reviewers found cause to commend the sound quality of the recordings, as here, on Classics Today: ‘The brilliance and realism are simply breathtaking, with a full dynamic range, ideal depth and breadth of soundstage, firm bass, open highs, and a panoramic splendor unrivaled on disc.


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908)

CD 1:

   1. I. The Sea and Sinbad’s Ship 9’02
   2. II. The Tale of the Kalender Prince 12’00
   3. III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess 10’22
   4. IV. Festival in Baghdad – The Sea – The Ship Goes to Pieces on a Rock Surmounted by a Bronze Warrior – Conclusion 11’50
Symphony No.2 (Symphonic Suite), ‘Antar’, Op.9
   5. I. Largo – Allegro – Allegretto – Largo 11’29
   6. II. Allegro 4’38
   7. III. Allegro risoluto 5’22
   8. IV. Allegretto – Adagio 8’09

CD 2:
Capriccio espagnol, Op.34
   1. I. Alborada. Vivo e strepitoso 1’12
   2. II. Variazioni. Andante con moto 4’38
   3. III. Alborada. Vivo e strepitoso 1’14
   4. IV. Scena e canto gitano. Allegretto 4’39
   5. V. Fandango asturiano – Coda. Vivace assai – Presto 3’15

  6. Piano Concerto in C sharp minor, Op.30 14’06
The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Suite, Op.57
   7. I. The Tsar’s Farewell and Departure. Allegro – Allegretto alla Marcia 4’44
   8. II. The Tsarina in a Barrel at Sea. Allegro – Maestoso 5’51
   9. III. The Flight of the Bumble-Bee. Vivace 1’23
   10. IV. The Three Wonders. Allegro – Moderato 7’48

  11. Sadko, musical picture, Op.5 12’20
   12. Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op.36 14’10

CD 3:
1. The Tsar’s Bride, Overture 6’32
Pan Voyevoda, Suite
   2. I. Introduction. Allegretto 3’33
   3. II. Krakowiak. Allegro 3’28
   4. III. Nocturne – Claire de Lune. Lento 4’29
   5. IV. Mazurka. Tempo di Mazurka – Scherzando 5’06
   6. V. Polonaise. Allegretto 6’22
Christmas Eve, Suite
   7. I. Introduction to Scene 1 3’15
   8. II. Introduction to Scene 6 2’20
   9. III. Games and Dances of Stars 1’45
   10. IV. Procession of the Comet – Round Dance 2’06
   11. V. Csárdás and the Rain of Shooting Stars 0’38
   12. VI. Devil’s Kolyadka 5’07
   13. VII. Polonaise from Scene 7 5’09
   14. VIII. [Introduction to Scene 8] 2’55
   15. IX. Ovsyen and Kolyada Procession 3’53

  16. Overture on Russian Themes, Op.28 11’53
The Snow Maiden, Suite
   17. I. Prologue. Andante sostenuto 4’24
   18. II. Dance of the Birds. Allegro 3’07
   19. III. The Procession. Allegro alla Marcia 1’58
   20. IV. Dance of the Clowns. Vivace 3’35

CD 4:
Symphony No.1 in E minor, Op.1
   1. I. Largo assai – Allegro 7’06
   2. II. Andante tranquillo 7’25
   3. III. Scherzo. Vivace 4’46
   4. IV. Allegro assai 5’54

  5. Fantasia on Serbian Themes, Op.6 6’46
Symphony No.3 in C major, Op.32
   6. I. Moderato assai – Allegro 13’16
   7. II. Scherzo. Vivo 5’46
   8. III. Andante 9’09
   9. IV. Allegro con spirito 5’40


Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Kees Bakels, conductor



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