Russian Ballet Suites - Vedernikov
PentaTone Classics PTC 5186032
Classical - Orchestral
"Russian Ballet Suites" Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet Suite No. 1, Khachaturian: Suite from "Spartacus", Shostakovich: "The Bolt" Concert Suite Op. 27a
Russian National Orchestra
Alexander Vedernikov (conductor)
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Review by Graham Williams - December 1, 2004
This is, in many respects, a real disappointment; which is all the more surprising from a label that has already produced so many truly excellent and recommendable SACDs.
First, the sound quality is, for the most part, unappealing. It gives a harsh metallic edge to the strings, and climaxes are brash and sometimes congested, even in MC. The culprit seems to be the usually fine acoustic of the recording venue, DZZ Studio 5 in Moscow, which here adds an unwelcome hardness to the loud passages.
Secondly, the choice of these three particular suites on the same disc is slightly bizarre. The Prokofiev and Khachaturian works deserve more extended excerpts than what is on offer here.
Thirdly, the most disappointing aspect of all is that the performances seem for the most part perfunctory; more like a run-through before the recording proper. The ‘love scene’ from Spartacus is particularly unfortunate, and comes over here as erotically charged as a wet weekend in Manchester.
To be fair, I did enjoy the last item on the disc, the suite from 'The Bolt', which is played with real humour and more commitment than the rest.
Caution is advised.
Copyright © 2004 Graham Williams and HRAudio.net