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Phil (not) in Mågnoliá
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Decca has combined the recordings of conductor Valery Gergiev conducting the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre ***, all previously released and very well received, into one budget box set that provides a very appealing collection of these works.
This set makes a very nice choice for someone looking to buy all of the ballets at a reasonable price, or for someone who already has other performances and wants to add Gergiev's interpretations to their collection.
Contents of the box, with links to the listings on Amazon where you can read the reviews of each of the ballets as issued separately:
- Disc 1: The Nutcracker, Op.71: including the Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre. Recorded at the Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden, Germany, August 1998. Released separately: the Nutcracker
This performance of The Nutcracker is critically acclaimed, and in fact The Penguin Guide 2008 gives it their top recommendation. It is one of the few recordings to fit the entire ballet on one CD without cuts. If you are looking for alternatives to also consider for the Nutcracker by itself, I would suggest The Nutcracker with Charles Mackerras conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, a recording that I have myself and have enjoyed for many years (and also a top Penguin recommendation), or perhaps Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker with Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, which receives the recommendation of The Gramophone Classical Music Guide 2012.
- Discs 2-4: Sleeping Beauty, Op.66: Recorded at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, February, 1992. Released separately: Sleeping Beauty
Other recommendations include Sleeping Beauty with Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, a bargain for the complete ballet and a top Gramophone recommendation; or Sleeping Beauty (also listed as Sleeping Beauty), with Mikhail Pletnev conducting the Russian National Orchestra, a top Penguin choice.
- Discs 5-6: Swan Lake, Op.20 - (Mariinsky Version): Recorded at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, May-June, 2006. Released separately as Swan Lake.
Other recommendations for Swan Lake include Charles Dutoit conducting the Montréal Symphony Orchestra (search for ASIN B00000420C), a top pick of both Penguin and Gramophone, or (search for ASIN B002Q85A1I), another budget release with Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and recommended by Gramophone.
Obtaining all of the ballets together in one box provides very significant savings - for example, if you compare the individual prices for the Gergiev performances of the ballets you will see that they are almost 3x the cost of this box, at current pricing. The recording companies almost seem to be encouraging consumers to forego the individual performances in favor of the larger box sets, and with these kinds of prices - why not!?
There are other choices for a complete set of the three ballets in one box - for example, the box from Deutsche Grammophon (search for ASIN B0002IRY0Y) with performances of Swan Lake and the Nutcracker by the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa, and Sleeping Beauty by the Russian National Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev. The box with Richard Bonynge conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra (search for ASIN B000026CFX) is another worthy alternative.
Any of the performances suggested above would be good choices. The collection here from Decca with all of the ballets conducted by Gergiev is a serious bargain no matter how you look at it.
*** Note: The Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre has also been known as the Kirov Orchestra, and some of these recordings, in their earlier releases, are so labeled. The Orchestra, which was founded in 1783 and is one of the oldest in Russia, had been re-named Kirov by Stalin in 1935, and was known by that name until the fall of the Soviet Union. The name was formally changed back to Mariinsky in 1992.