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Rostropovich: Prokofiev Romeo & Juliet Suites 1 & 2 - DG 2532 087 (DDD)

$15.00 USD

DG (LP)

Jacket EX / LP NM

This fine LP from Deutsch Grammophon (2532 087, German pressing, white circle label, DDD stereo) features conductor Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra’s powerful and poetic accounts of the Suites Nos. 1 and 2 from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet, sumptuously recorded at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, in July 1982 (production director: Hanno Rinke / recording supervisor: Cord Garben / engineer: Wolfgang Mitlehner).

The actual track listing is as follows:

1

I. Volkstanz

4:27

2

II. Szene

1:37

3

III. Madrigal

3:17

4

IV. Menuett

3:20

5

V. Masken

2:05

6

VI. Romeo Und Julia

7:36

7

VII. Tybalts Tod

4:53

8

I. Die Montagues Und Capulets

5:51

9

II. Julia Als Kind

3:48

10

III. Pater Lorenzo

2:29

11

IV. Tanz

2:06

12

V. Romeo Bei Julia Vor Der Trennung

7:50

13

VI. Tanz Der Mädchen Von Den Antillen

2:13

14

Romeo Am Grabe Julias

5:49

Wrote the outstanding editor and critic David Hurwitz for ClassicsToday:

“Rostropovich knew and worked with Prokofiev before he met Shostakovich, and he left behind some very good recordings of that composer's music. When this disc was released its extremes of tempo, particularly in The Death of Tybalt, raised a few eyebrows, and the conductor defended his somewhat freewheeling approach claiming that this is how Prokofiev himself played the music on the piano. True or not (and who are we to question?), it makes for a very distinctive performance, capped by emotionally charged renditions of the Balcony Scene, Romeo and Juliet Before Parting, and Romeo at Juliet's Grave. The National Symphony, never one of the world's great ensembles, follows its leader with a will, even if the strings sound a touch frayed now and then. This "on-demand" production from Arkivmusic.com is certainly a welcome reminder of Rostropovich's inimitable music-making.”

Incidentally, the striking cover photo shows ballet dancers Laural Benedict (Juliet) and Paul Boyd (Romeo), a photo taken by Dirk Degenhardt, Hamburg. There are excellent liner notes on the reverse side of the jacket by Juiliane Ribke, printed in German, English, and French.

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