Prokofiev: Cinderella (complete), Summer Night Sui

Album cover art for upc 028944583021
Label: DG
Catalog: 4458302
Format: CD

Russian National Orchestra, Mikhail Pletnev - conductor

Disc: 1 1. Summer Night: 1. Introduction: Moderato, ma con brio 2. Summer Night: 2. Serenade: Adagio 3. Summer Night: 3. Minuet 4. Summer Night: 4. Dreams (Nocturne): Andante tranquillo 5. Summer Night: 5. Dance: Allegretto 6. Cinderella - Act I: 1. Introduction - Andante dolce 7. Cinderella - Act I: 2. Shawl Dance - Allegretto 8. Cinderella - Act I: 3. Cinderella - Andante dolce 9. Cinderella - Act I: 4. The Father - Andantino 10. Cinderella - Act I: 5. The Fairy Godmother - Adagio 11. Cinderella - Act I: 6. The Merchants And Sisters' New Clothes - Vivo 12. Cinderella - Act I: 7. The Dancing Lesson - Allegretto 13. Cinderella - Act I: 8. Departure Of The Stepmother And The Sister For The Ball - Vivo 14. Cinderella - Act I: 9. Cinderella Dreams Of The Ball - Andante dolce 15. Cinderella - Act I: 10. Gavotte - Allegretto 16. Cinderella - Act I: 11. Second Appearance Of The Fairy Godmother - Adagio 17. Cinderella - Act I: 12. Variation Of The Spring Fairy - Presto 18. Cinderella - Act I: 13. Monologue Of The Summer Fairy - Andantino sognando 19. Cinderella - Act I: 14. Grasshoppers And Dragonflies - Vivace con brio 20. Cinderella - Act I: 15. Variation Of The Autumn Fairy - Allegro moderato 21. Cinderella - Act I: 16. Variation Of The Winter Fairy - Allegro moderato 22. Cinderella - Act I: 17. The Interrupted Departure - Vivo 23. Cinderella - Act I: 18. Clock Scene - Allegro moderato 24. Cinderella - Act I: 19. Cinderella's Departure For The Ball - Allegro espressivo Disc: 2 1. Cinderella - Act II: 20. Dance Of The Courtiers - Andante grazioso 2. Cinderella - Act II: 21. Passepied - Allegretto 3. Cinderella - Act II: 22. Cavaliers' Dance (Bourrée) - Allegro pesante e ben ritmato 4. Cinderella - Act II: 23. Skinny's Variation - Allegretto 5. Cinderella - Act II: 24. Dumpy's Variation - Allegretto carpriccioso 6. Cinderella - Act II: 25. Dance Of The Courtiers - Andante grazioso 7. Cinderella - Act II: 26. Mazurka And Entrance Of The Prince - Allegro 8. Cinderella - Act II: 27. Variation Of The Prince's Four Companions - Allegro moderato 9. Cinderella - Act II: 28. Mazurka - Allegro ma non troppo 10. Cinderella - Act II: 29. Cinderella's Arrival At The Ball - Allegretto 11. Cinderella - Act II: 30. Grand Waltz - Allegretto 12. Cinderella - Act II: 31. Promenade - Allegro tranquillo 13. Cinderella - Act II: 32. Cinderella's Variation - Allegro grazioso 14. Cinderella - Act II: 33. The Prince's Variation - Andante con brio 15. Cinderella - Act II: 34. Refreshments For The Guests - Moderato 16. Cinderella - Act II: 35. Duet Of The Sisters With The Oranges - Allegro con brio 17. Cinderella - Act II: 36. Duet Of The Prince And Cinderella - Adagio 18. Cinderella - Act II: 37. Waltz-coda - Allegro espressivo 19. Cinderella - Act II: 38. Midnight - Allegro moderato 20. Cinderella - Act III: 39. The Prince And The Cobblers - Allegro scherzando 21. Cinderella - Act III: 40. The Prince's First Galop - Presto 22. Cinderella - Act III: 41. Temptation - Moderato 23. Cinderella - Act III: 42. The Prince's Second Galop - Presto 24. Cinderella - Act III: 43. Oriental Dance - Andante dolce 25. Cinderella - Act III: 44. The Prince's Third Galop - Allegro marcato 26. Cinderella - Act III: 45. Cinderella Awakes - Andante dolce 27. Cinderella - Act III: 46. The Morning After the Ball - Allegretto capriccioso 28. Cinderella - Act III: 47. The Prince's Visit - Vivace 29. Cinderella - Act III: 48. The Prince Finds Cinderella - Adagio passionato 30. Cinderella - Act III: 50. Slow Waltz - Adagio 31. Cinderella - Act III: 50. Amoroso: Andante dolcissimo

Recordings of the complete Cinderella ballet are few, so this recording filled a big gap in the record catalog. I was familiar with the ballet from an excellent old LP recording put out by Angel/Melyodia. This recording by the Russian National Symphony became my replacement, and it is a very worthy successor. The ballet was written during 1941 but was not completed until after World War II. The orchestration is not as opulent as Romeo and Juliet, closer in spirit to Tchaikovsky's ballets. The most famous music is the Cinderella waltz, which is often included on Prokofiev recordings as filler. But make no mistakes; this ballet is filled with wonderful and unforgettable melodies. Cinderella was performed on November 21, 1945 to great acclaim. However, the popularity of the ballets follows in the wake of Romeo. The recording also includes a suite from the comic opera Betrothal in a Monastery going under the name Summer Night. It is a charming 5 movement suite that contains all of the best music from the opera. It makes a wonderful addition to the CD set. This recording could not be better and has been named by Gramophone magazine as among its specially recommended essential recordings. Mikhail Pletnev does a superb job as conductor and the recording is clear and well-balanced. Tempos are excellent throughout the recording and the Russian National responds beautifully to the demands of the music's color and shading. The booklet accompanying the record includes a synopsis of the action and a track by track explanation of the action. This recording is a must have for anyone interested in Prokofiev's music and in ballet music. - D.A Wend

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