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Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet, Op. 64 (Excerpts); Rimsky-Korsako

Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet, Op. 64 (Excerpts); Rimsky-Korsako

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The present release comprises two works by Russian composers of differing generations, in music which has long been central to the repertoire of composer and conductor Álvaro Cassuto who is heard conducting the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra. Even before the Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet had made it to the stage, selections were heard in concert on both sides of the Atlantic, and various sequences continue to feature prominently in the orchestral repertoire. Although these sometimes take the guise of one of the three orchestral suites, it has become more common to select freely from across these or even from the overall ballet. Establishing dramatic and musical continuity within this context is more difficult than might be supposed, to which end Cassuto had devised his own selection on this present recording. Rimsky-Korsakov’s mastery of orchestration is heard at its most impressive in the Russian Easter Festival Overture, (composed at much the same time as his symphonic suite Scheherazade). Cast in a loose sonata-form design, the piece falls into three main sections which the composer prefaced with quotations from Psalms, Gospel of Mark and his own description of the Easter celebration. Almost all its themes are derived from the Obikhod, the collection of liturgical chants with which every Russian would then have been familiar – not least the composer, even though he had long since become a non- believer and viewed this music strictly as a source to be utilized in his own compositions. These two live recordings were originally broadcast by Antena 2, Portuguese Radio and Television in the mid-1990s. This album is the recording’s first commercial release.

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: First Hand Records
    • UPC/Barcode: 5060216342146
    • Item Number: FHR146