The classic Mariinsky (Kirov) production of the greatest of all ballets. Filmed in the imperial splendor of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. Starring Ulyana Lopatkina, Danila Korsuntsev and the breathtaking Mariinsky corps de ballet. Conducted by the great Russian maestro Valery Gergiev.
“Gergiev conducts a sweeping performance, with a typically superb cast of the Kirov's revival years, full of rising stars - Diadkova, Ognovenko, Bezzubenkov and the superb character tenor Gassiev. Charming also is the staging, reproduced from airy, painterly 1920s sets. Museum opera, maybe; but then museums are there to preserve treasures. And this is an absolute gem.”(Music Magazine)
Valery Gergiev directs this Kirov Opera production of Prokofiev’s lyrical comedy. Set in 18th century Seville, Prokofiev’s adaptation of a play by the English playwright Sheridan is an opera buffo par excellence, featuring lovers in disguise, a stern father thwarted, a rich suitor discomfited, venal monks, unreliable servants – and, inevitably, young love triumphant. The cast is led by Anna Netrebko as the beautiful heroine, supported by Larissa Diadkova as her scheming duenna.
There is not much to fault in this quintessentially Russian opera with the lavish staging and fantastic costumes surely a feat to the eye. You cannot find much fault on the musical side of things either as many have expressed their opinion that this remains the finest version of the opera by a mile. The charismatic and almost demonic Gergiev conducts with his systematic, unabated passion for music which is most certainly in his blood and his players definitely do him proud. The cast is also top notch on all counts with Netrebko and Gorchakova particularly impressive.
The Firebird is an exciting one-hour dance special based on the mystical Russian folk tale of enchantment and love, and is set to Stravinsky’s fantastical ballet score. This adaption of James Kudelka’s masterpiece for the stage, combines classical ballet with magical visual effects.
This Oscar-nominated documentary, narrated by the legendary Princess Grace of Monaco, tells the story of Russia's famous ballet academy, the Kirov School, that produced some of the greatest dancers in the history of ballet, such as Nijinsky, Pavlova, Nureyev.
This is one of Gergiev's finer performances on disc. His rhythmically taut, propulsive conducting makes for a powerful rendition of Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony-one that is strongly argued and purposefully projects the work's grand, dramatic sweep. (on Symphony No. 7)
Gergiev gives the Fifth an admirably direct, clean performance full of excitement and intensity. (on Symphony No. 5)
Gergiev's Shostakovich Fourth has a textural clarity that reveals many rarely-heard details, such as the strings' shimmering Ravelian downward scale in the first movement's final bars. (on Symphony No. 4) – classisctoday.com