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  Philips Classics -
  470 618-2
  Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Borodin, Balakirev - Gergiev
  Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia, Balakirev: Islamey

Sergei Levitin (violin)
Kirov Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Track listing:
  1-4. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op.35 "Symphonic suite after A Thousand and One Nights"
5. Alexander Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia
6. Mily Balakirev (orch. Lyapunov): Islamey

Total time: 62:31
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Recorded: Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia, 2325 November, 2001

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Reviews: 8 show all

Review by madisonears October 7, 2003 (16 of 18 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Good controversy going here, which is what forums like this are all about.

I am a tireless proponent of SACD and I have invested in about 80 or so. This is one of the very few that I had to get rid of. I can't believe professional musicians and recording executives would allow this junk to be put on the market. I listened once and I wasn't sure it was as bad as I thought, so I listened again a few days later (mood has a lot to do with our interpretation of musical information). It was WORSE. Worst performance, among the dozen or so I've heard and liked over many years, with a grotesque and boring interpretation. Worst sound of almost any modern recording I can think of, with no air, no life, no presence, weird sonic attributes.

This disc will be the punchline of a joke someday, but right now it is merely an insult to the art of music performance and recording.

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Review by 2-channel February 11, 2006 (11 of 18 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Incredibly (and perhaps, worryingly) this disc gets a Rosette and an almost unequivocal thumbs-up from the 'Penguin Guide'. It also gives a strong clue as to why it so instantly dislikeable. Artificial reverb. Not a dash here and there, the disc is AWASH with artificial reverb of the most intrusive kind - giving it an overbright, ruinous, glassy sheen. Comrades, real-life reverb doesn't work like that.

One can only assume that the professional reviewers have some rose-tinted ears, of which I would dearly like a pair.

The performance, from my much less well-educated musical perspective, is too exciting and red-blooded by half - the faster passages blurring in the overpaced tempi.

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Review by peteyspambucket July 21, 2003 (9 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I'm embarrassed for Gergiev for releasing this album. His interpretation of Scheherazade is SO BAD. It's not playful. It's not lyrical. It's not controlled. It's not beautiful. It IS horrible. Avoid this like the plague. This music is so easy and accessible, but in Gergiev's hands, it's boring. It's the worst version of Scheherazade I've ever heard - not even close to Muti, Svetlanov (my favorite), Temirkanov, Maazel, Karajan, Ormandy, etc.

The SACD sound doesn't help either. It sounds like it is trapped in a swimming pool.

Don't buy this SACD.

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Works: 3  

Mily Balakirev - Islamey
Alexander Borodin - In the Steppes of Central Asia
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade, Op. 35