Boston Symphony Orchestra/Koussevitsky – Three Selections by Prokofiev (red vinyl, Franklin Mint pressing)


# Composer: Serge Prokofiev
# Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra
# Conductor: Serge Koussevitsky
# Vinyl (1980)
# Number of Discs: 1
# Format: Flac
# DR Analysis: DR 12
# Label: Franklin Mint Record Society – Record 62 of 100
# Size: 1.85GB (24/96) + 475MB (16/44.1)
# Recovery: 5%
# Scan: yes
# Server: RS, FF

If anyone has requests for other titles in this set, please add them to the comments.

Track List:

Side One
Peter And The Wolf, Op. 67 (Orchestral Fairy Tale)
01 – Introduction / The Story Begins / The Bird / The Duck; Dialogue with the Birds; Attack of the Cat / Grandfather / The Wolf / The Duck Is Caught / The Wolf Stalks the Bird and Cat / Peter Prepares to Catch the Wolf / The Bird Diverts the Wolf / Peter Catches the Wolf / The Hunters Arrive / The Procession to the Zoo

Narrator – Richard Hale

Side Two
Classical Symphony in D Major, Op. 25
02 – Allegro
03 – Larghetto
04 – Gavotte
05 – Finale

Lieutenant Kijé: Suite, Op. 60
06 – The Birth of Kijé
07 – Romance
08 – Kijé’s Wedding
09 – Troika
10 – The Burial of Kijé

There is 10 seconds of silence between tracks 1 & 2 and tracks 5 & 6.

Peter and the Wolf was recorded on April 12, 1939 in Boston. Details on the original 1940 Peter and the Wolf release can be found here.

Classical Symphony in D Major was recorded on November 25, 1947 at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Lieutenant Kijé was recorded on December 22, 1937.

You can see a listing of the entire Franklin Mint set here.


Peter and the Wolf, children’s tale for narrator & orchestra, Op. 67

Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, for narrator and orchestra, was a commission from the Central Children’s Theatre in 1936. The composer himself wrote the text, which tells the story of a young boy who manages to capture a vicious wolf. The piece is remarkable for many reasons, but perhaps most notably for its didactic scoring, designed by Prokofiev to introduce children to the sounds of orchestral instruments. The instrumentation is also important for the narration, since each character in the story is represented by a different instrument: the bird by a flute, the duck by an oboe, the grandfather by a bassoon, the cat by a clarinet, the wolf by three horns, and Peter by the strings. The entire work was composed in a single week (in piano score), and the orchestration was completed less than two weeks later.

Prokofiev’s writing is intentionally direct and transparent, reflecting his desire to make the work enjoyable for children. His musical characterizations are broad and straightforward, from the delicate birdsong of the flute, to the thunderous kettledrums portraying the hunters’ rifle shots.

The work is in three sections, loosely following a kind of sonata form. The opening section introduces the main characters, preparing the audience for the action to come. The middle section–the “development”–contains the most exciting action, beginning with the appearance of the wolf, his eating of the duck, and his eventual capture by young Peter. The final scene acts as a recapitulation, as the principal characters return for a final parade; here, Peter’s opening theme returns transformed into a triumphant march.

Like most of Prokofiev’s music, Peter and the Wolf features adroit thematic integration and development. Peter’s theme, the dominant theme of the work, is stated at the beginning of the piece, and is then combined with other subordinate themes. This thematic blending is also closely tied to the dramatic action, underscoring developments in the story. Harmonically, the piece begins and ends in C major, but contains many sudden harmonic shifts, another important aspect of Prokofiev’s style. Formally, though the piece does follow a loose sonata structure, it is by no means a case of textbook form; themes develop freely, harmonic direction is dictated largely by the action, and characterization assumes priority over any kind of academic musical construction.

Peter and the Wolf has long been a classic, loved by children for its vivid storytelling, and by adults for its gentle sense of humor and good-natured tunefulness. It was composed 22 years after a similar piece, The Ugly Duckling of 1914-1915, which also features humorous musical sketches of animals. It also bears comparison with Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, which also seeks to acquaint children with the sounds of the symphony. – Alexander Carpenter,

Lieutenant Kijé, film score and suite for orchestra, Op. 60

Beginning in the 1930s, Prokofiev became one of the first composers of international repute to write music for films. His silver screen career began with the score to Alexander Feinzimmer’s Lieutenant Kijé (1933), released in America under the title The Czar Wants to Sleep. Though the film is infrequently encountered today, Prokofiev’s music has enjoyed tremendous popularity in its incarnation as a five-movement concert suite. Following Kijé, Prokofiev produced a number of film scores of great distinction, most notably those for Alexander Nevsky (1938) and Ivan the Terrible (1942-1943). So highly regarded were his skills, in fact, that while researching film and sound techniques in Hollywood during 1937-1938, he was offered a then-colossal $2,500 per week to become a full-time film composer. He rejected the offer and returned to the Soviet Union.

The music of Lieutenant Kijé is refreshingly satirical, a perfect counterpart to a story about a nonexistent soldier — “born” of a copyist’s error — who is provided an identity, a heroic military background, and even a wife. Because the Czar himself is led to believe in Kijé’s existence, his courtiers are afraid to tell him the truth. When the Czar desires to meet this great hero, it becomes clear that Kijé must be killed off. The Czar attends Kijé’s funeral and, over an empty coffin, laments the loss of such a hero.

The first section of the suite, “The Birth of Kijé,” begins with a mournful fanfare on cornets that is followed by comical “military” music on piccolo, flute, and snare drum. After a powerful martial outburst, Kijé’s short and rather flaccid theme emerges on tenor saxophone and flute. The “Romance” features a darkly melancholy theme, played on the double bass, of decidedly Russian character. The middle section is more robust; throughout the entire movement, the orchestration remains engaging and colorful. “The Wedding of Kijé” presents the first of the work’s two famous themes, a jovial tune on the cornet that serves as a colorful contrast to the pompous music that opens and closes the movement.

The lively main theme of the “Troika,” set against a glittering backdrop of sleigh bells, is contrasted by sardonic episodes in which brass instruments and pizzicato strings figure prominently. The final “Interment of Kijé” captures the story’s ironic humor to splendid effect. Prokofiev begins this section with the same music that opened the suite, after which he presents Kijé’s theme. This recap of the work’s main material continues with the mournful theme from the “Romance,” which carries on unabated when the cornet enters with the jovial wedding tune. These two themes — one in a slow tempo, the other fast; one melancholy, the other more cheerful — continue simultaneously, providing one of the most striking moments in the entire work. The “Interment” ends with the mournful cornet music that opened the suite. – Robert Cummings,

Symphony No. 1 in D major (“Classical”), Op. 25

Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 (1916-17) represents the composer’s earliest mature effort in a genre he returned to time and again for the remainder of his career. Though the symphony received a warm reception in Russia and abroad — and remains one of the composer’s most frequently programmed works — Prokofiev’s attitude toward it remained ambiguous, vacillating between dismissive and defensive.

The First Symphony is especially intriguing in light of the view of Prokofiev as a leading figure of the Russian avant-garde in the early decades of the twentieth century. The work’s anachronistic “Classical” moniker seems particularly apt in respect to a number of its features. The symphony is in a familiar four-movement form, the two fast outer movements (Allegro and Vivace, respectively) bracketing a slow movement (Larghetto) and one inspired by a stylized dance (Gavotto); its textures are economical, its scoring appropriate to an orchestra of the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century; and it is of a decidely lighthearted, even humorous character, much in the spirit of the symphonies of Haydn. Indeed, it should be noted that the “Classical” subtitle was Prokofiev’s own; scholar R.D. Darell has suggested that the composer may have chosen it partly to describe the work’s character, partly because he hoped that the work would one day become a classic, and partly out of pure mischief directed at critics. (In regard to the last, Prokofiev wrote that he meant to “tease the geese.”)

Though the symphony is at times sharply dissonant, it maintains a steadfastly tonal basis. Certainly, the “Classical” model is stretched in the work’s harmonic language, which is marked by Prokofiev’s characteristic ambiguous cadences and sudden shifts between tonal centers. Still, the work retains many of the trappings of Viennese Classicism, from the sonata-allegro form of the first movement, to the Mozartean gavotte and trio of the third, to the exuberant, witty finale. Despite the suggestion of its title, the “Classical” Symphony is not really neo-Classical along the lines of contemporaneous works by Stravinsky, but rather a work of elegant simplicity that evokes the spirit of high Viennese Classicism filtered through the more adventurous sensibilities of Prokofiev’s own musical language. – Alexander Carpenter,

Ripping Info:

All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5

Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio Reso-Mat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface

Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only)

Note: This is an unfolded mono recording. If you want to fold it yourself, feel free.


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17 thoughts on “Boston Symphony Orchestra/Koussevitsky – Three Selections by Prokofiev (red vinyl, Franklin Mint pressing)

  1. I refered to RS.File Factory still works fine.
    From this series I would like to listen the 19 AB -Ives’s Fourth with Stokowski,57 AB with Rubistein playing Grieg and Ravel,
    Thank you.

  2. NO.38 Haydn Symphony95&96
    NO.43 Mozart Symphony40
    NO.47 Wagner/Szell/CO
    NO.57 Beethoven Symphony6
    NO.70 Brahms Double Concerto
    NO.71 Beethoven Symphony4&5
    NO.77 Brahms Symphony2
    NO.95 Brahms Symphony3

    Dear TheNightOwl , these titles is the best of the best in this set, best wish, thany you very much!

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