This stunning recording presents Prokofiev’s scintillating score for his ballet Romeo and Juliet, recorded here in its entirety – which is a first for the orchestra as well as its conductor. The Oslo Philharmonic recorded Suites Nos. 1 and 2 under Mariss Jansons in 1989, but never the complete ballet up until this point. Prokofiev’s imaginative orchestration has made the ballet Romeo and Juliet world-famous, primarily through the orchestral suites as opposed to the ballet as a whole. Unmistakably a child of the Rimsky-Korsakov school of orchestration, Prokofiev’s orchestra arsenal for the ballet includes tenor saxophone, four mandolins, cornet, celesta, organ, piano and a number of percussion instruments.
Prokofiev’s imaginative orchestration has made the ballet Romeo and Juliet world-famous, primarily through the orchestral suites as opposed to the ballet as a whole. Unmistakably a child of the Rimsky-Korsakov school of orchestration, Prokofiev’s orchestra arsenal for the ballet includes tenor saxophone, four mandolins, cornet, celesta, organ, piano and a number of percussion instruments.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
(From the balcony scene in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet)
On the balcony. Neither graceful dance nor William Shakespeare’s immortal words have been necessary to experience the excitement and beauty of the young love playing out on the balcony since Sergei Prokofiev (1891−1953) set to music one of the most famous love scenes of all time. The nocturnal magic is established immediately with the sound of flutes, clarinets, harps and muted strings (“but soft”) and, subsequently, with the unusual organ solo (“what light”). Yet it is not until the three horns introduce their plaintive accompaniment, and cellos, violas, and violins announce the central love theme (“O Romeo, Romeo”) that the music begins to seethe with color and feeling. Its greatest miracle is nonetheless the composer’s facility for shunning suffocating sentimentality and achieving genuine emotional expression with his tonal and melodic distinctiveness and constant surprises.
Total time: 02:24:21
|Original Recording Format|
Arne Akselberg, Thomas Wolden
Oslo Concert Hall, Norway
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||September 23, 2016|
“Petrenko clearly relishes every bar of this rich score, in an exciting reading full of both energy and detail. His dedication is matched by that of his players, whose panache and formidable concentration are exemplary: solos are uniformly magnificent and the closing pages, for example, can scarcely have been more moving. Recorded sound is broad and clear, although perhaps lacking in sheer sonic impact.”
The Classical CD Blog
“Sergei Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet” contains so much good music. The Oslo Philharmonic’s very fine new recording of it is worth hearing.
The orchestra’s dynamics are exceptional and the chamber music pieces are optimal. Vasily Petrenko makes this an experience with his fellow players.
This recording will be an exciting one to listen to.”
“The Wonderful Music of the entire Romeo and Juliet ballet composed by Sergei Prokofiev is now available from the Oslo Philharmonic and conductor Vasily Petrenko.
To put it straight: this recording is a gold mine that can stand as an expression of some of the very best that Petrenko has performed with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Quite simply and unvarnished I can say that Petrenko has a good handle on Prokofiev’s music on this album.
This is great music, and it is performed in a big way. Flowers to the Oslo Philharmonic and Petrenko!”
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