This 2008 live recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is Valery Gergiev's 2nd complete recording of Prokofiev's ballet Romeo & Juliet, the 1st being a 1991 Philips release with the Kirov Orchestra. This performance, like his 1st, is notable for its refinement & lyricism. It's perhaps surprising that Gergiev, known for the wildness & ferocity of his performances of other Prokofiev works, like The Fiery Angel, shows such restraint here. Gergiev clearly understands the ballet as a work in which Prokofiev, writing originally for the Bolshoi, a theater known for its conservatism (although that production was canceled), tailored his score to follow in the tradition of the 3 great Tchaikovsky ballets.
Born in Kyoto, Music Director of the Tonkunstler Orchestra since the start of the 2015-16 season, Yutaka Sado is considered one of the most important Japanese conductors of our time. After many years assisting Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa, Yutaka Sado started winning important conducting prizes such as the Grand Priz of the 39th «Concours international des jeunes chefs d’orchestre» in 1989 in Besancon, France, and the Grand Prix of the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem International Music Competition in 1995. His close ties with his mentor led to his appointment as Conductor in Residence at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, which was founded by Bernstein. In December 1990, at the «Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert» in the cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, Yutaka Sado conducted alongside other Bernstein proteges.
This recording of one of Haydn’s greatest masterpieces is not to be missed. Those who are familiar with Colin Davis’s recordings of the Haydn London Symphonies, made over 30 years ago with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, will know that he has a special affection for this composer’s music and unfailingly communicates his love of it to both performers and listeners alike. Surprisingly this would appear to be the first time that he has recorded Haydn’s Creation, but it has been worth the wait.
This 67-minute, orchestra-only version of Wagner’s famous opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen is arranged by Henk de Vlieger, arranger, composer & percussionist in the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. The work was commissioned by the orchestra & the result is a 14-section fiery musical spectacle entitled The Ring, an orchestral adventure.
Two rarely recorded Haydn violin concertos frame Rachel Podger’s performance of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat on this disc. Both concertos have only string accompaniment, here provided by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and a discreet harpsichord (the player’s name unaccountably omitted from the list of the orchestra personnel in the accompanying booklet). Rachel Podger has chosen to play both concertos on her own Pesarinius violin (1739) that she feels is most suited to the style of these works and few would disagree with her choice. Her agile and spirited playing in the outer movements is complemented by her pure cantilena in the slow movements. As is to be expected, both works are full of baroque idioms and, while neither presents Haydn at his most inventive, they make an enjoyable pairing.