Svetlanov: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake (3 CD, APE)
Svetlanov: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake (3 CD, APE)

Composer: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra: USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Yevgeny Svetlanov
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 3
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Melodiya
Size: 582 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

Disc: 1
01. Introduction – Moderato Assai
02. Act One: 1. Scene – Allegro Giusto
03. Act One: 2. Valse – Tempo Di Valse
04. Act One: 3. Scene – Allegro Moderato
05. Act One: 4. Pas De Trois – a) Intrada
06. Act One: 4. Pas De Trois – b) Andante Sotenuto
07. Act One: 4. Pas De Trois – c) Allegro Semplice. Presto
08. Act One: 4. Pas De Trois – d) Moderato
09. Act One: 4. Pas De Trois – e) Allegro
10. Act One: 4. Pas De Trois – f) Coda – Allegro Vivace
11. Act One: 5. Pas De Deux – a) Tempo Di Valse
12. Act One: 5. Pas De Deux – b) Andante
13. Act One: 5. Pas De Deux – c) Tempo Di Valse
14. Act One: 5. Pas De Deux – d) Coda – Allegro Molto Vivace
15. Act One: 6. Pas D’ Action – Andantino Quasi Moderato
16. Act One: 7. Sujet
17. Act One: 8. Danse Des Coupes
18. Act One: 9. Finale – Andante

Disc: 2
01. Act Two: 10. Scene – Moderato
02. Act Two: 11. Scene – Allegro Moderato
03. Act Two: 12. Scene – Allegro
04. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – a) Tempo Di Valse
05. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – b) Moderato Assai
06. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – c) Tempo Di Valse
07. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – d) Allegro Moderato
08. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – e) Pas D’Action – Andante – Allegro
09. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – f) Danse Generale – Tempo Di Valse
10. Act Two: 13. Danses Des Cygnes – g) Coda – Allegro Vivo
11. Act Two: 14. Scene – Moderato
12. Act Three: 15. Scene – Allegro Giusto
13. Act Three: 16. Danses Du Corp De Ballet Et Des Nains
14. Act Three: 17. Scene – Entree Des Invites Et Valse – Allegro

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Disc: 3
01. Act Three: 18. Scene – Allegro
02. Act Three: 19. Pas De Six – Variations Et Coda
03. Act Three: 20. a) Danse Hongroise – Moderato Assai
04. Act Three: 20. b) Danse Russe – Moderato
05. Act Three: 21. Danse Espagnole – Allegro Non Troppo
06. Act Three: 22. Danse Napolitaine – Allegro Moderato
07. Act Three: 23. Mazurka
08. Act Three: 24. Scene – Allegro
09. Act Three: 25. Entr’Acte – Moderato
10. Act Three: 26. Scene – Allegro Non Troppo
11. Act Three: 27. Danses Des Petits Cygnes – Moderato
12. Act Three: 28. Scene – Allegro Agitato
13. Act Three: 29. Scene Finale – Andante

The most profound Swan Lake

Evgeny Svetlanov’s way with Tchaikovsky’s music, and his ballets in particular, is unparalleled. His view may be unsettling to western ears, but what this revelatory recording of “Swan Lake” proves beyond all is that there is a lot more to the music than we usually come to hear. Svetlanov explores this magisterial but often molested score to the very limit, moulding the music with an exceptional feeling for rubato. By bringing out all the orchestral details and with his innumerable changes in tempi and dynamics, ranging from tender and graceful dansante passages to hard-hitting and loud outbursts, Svetlanov’s “Swan Lake” is a fascinating experience from start to end, making it easier to understand why it left contemporaries baffled at the time of its creation. Moreover, instead of presenting a succession of charming tunes, Svetlanov clearly perceives Tchaikovsky’s first attempt at ballet as a musical and dramatic entity, building the tension all the way from the frenzied opening scenes to the starkly tragic finale (Svetlanov’s “Swan Lake” does not have a happy ending as was ordained in the Soviet era).
The digital recording dating from 1988 is adequate but lacks the presence, warmth and polish of the best western recordings. It may not be the easiest “Swan Lake” to live with, nor is it the only possible interpretation of the ballet, yet Svetlanov’s is by far the most profound version on disc around.
Not to be missed by anyone wishing to explore one of the greatest ballet scores ever, indispensable for those who still think of Tchaikovsky’s music as sugary and sentimental wish-wash.

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