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Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky & Lieutenant Kijé Suite

Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky & Lieutenant Kijé Suite

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Leonard Slatkin released multiple albums on the Vox label. These classic Vox recordings of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky (sung in English) and Lieutenant Kijé have been praised as ‘powerful and compelling performances’. Produced by the legendary Elite Recordings team of Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz who made some of the finest sounding examples of orchestral recordings.

REVIEW:

Despite having been conceived and composed as film scores, these two key works by Sergei Prokofiev stand perfectly well on their own, and are prime examples of the Russian musical landscape during the Soviet era. Written in 1939 and 1934 respectively, they are perfect entry points within Prokofiev’s output.

Alexander Nevsky is a stirring dramatic cantata of epic proportion, scored for mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra. It’s a tour de force in orchestral writing, and conductor Leonard Slatkin and the Saint Louis Symphony capture and project all of its brutal magnificence.

On the other hand, Lieutenant Kijé presents Prokofiev’s lighter side, as it depicts in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, the life and times of a fictional or nonexistent army officer. It’s good to hear the rarely performed or recorded original version with voice for a change. Slatkin and the orchestra musicians fully convey a fictional life well spent, during the closing “Burial of Kijé” segment.

During the early years of stereo recordings Vox Classics, along with Mercury Living Presence, Everest, and Vanguard Records, had a notable reputation for producing audiophile quality recordings. This 1977/79 recording is one of them. This is a new 192 kHz / 24-bit high definition transfer of the original Elite Recordings analogue master tapes. The Elite Recordings for Vox by legendary producers Marc Aubort and Joanna Nickrenz are considered by audiophiles to be amongst the finest sounding examples of orchestral recordings. In my opinion, they deliver a somewhat more tangible and realistic sound than most of the recent digital productions.

-- Classical Music Sentinel (Jean-Yves Duperron)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: VOX CLASSICS
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