Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sergei Prokofiev - Zdravitsa - Peter Il'yich Tchaikovsky Ode to Joy - Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture (Original version) The London Philharmonic & Choir - Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, Derek Gleeson - IMP Masters 1996

I was extremely excited about this disc when it was released; this was the first modern recording of Prokofiev's "Zdravitsa" (there is a recording from 1980 on Melodiya but it's always been hard to find..impossible to get was a recording from the 60s, also on Melodiya) I believe this IMP offering was the only other available recording, until a Chandos disc surfaced around 2003), for chorus and orchestra. Tchaikovsky's "Ode to Joy" Cantata is a world premiere commercial recording, and I do not know if others have been released since then; I would assume so. The original version of Tchaikovsky's "Romeo & Juliet" Overture had been recorded before but it's lesser known to the revised version, which needless to say has likely been recorded 210 times. I do prefer the original treatment here.


Prokofiev composed "Zdravitsa" in 1939, the same year that he wrote one of his masterpieces, the cantata "Alexander Nevsky" (actually it was re-arranged as a cantata in 1939, the original score was composed in early 1938, for the Sergei Eisenstein epic) to which is bares a resemblance in character. Zdravista was recorded during the war years and was broadcast through the streets of Moscow as a propaganda tool, the original text paying homage to Stalin on his 60th birthday. These original recordings are believed to be lost or damaged. In the 1960s, the music was reset to a text by poet A. Machistova, glorifying Russian folkloric themes and its recent Communist heritage. At this point, it was recorded by the USSR Radio Orchestra and limited pressing was made available through the Melodiya label. This recording on IMP is a further revision of of Machistova's text, deleting references to Communism and the Party, and replacing it with praise and reverence for the homeland. 

"Zdravitsa" is a dramatic and substantial work, similar too to "War and Peace" in several ways. It draws from Russian, Ukranian, Kurd and other folk sources. This is the world premiere of the final revision. 


Tchaikovsky's Cantata set to Schiller was composed from Novemeber to December of 1865. It is scored for Soprano, Contralto, Tenor, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra and had its first performance on January 10th, 1866 at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After it's publication in 1960, practically a century later, Ode to Joy was performed and recorded by the USSR Radio Orchestra, and like Prokofiev's Zdravista, a limited number of vinyl pressings were made available. There have been no subsequent recordings of this work, thus this recording is again a great "rescue mission". Tchaikovsky   
suppressed publication of Ode to Joy, believing that it would cause him to be compared to Beethoven.
"Ode to Joy" was his final student work (for his graduation ceremony from the St. Petersburg Conservatory) and clearly it seems that Tchaikovsky was not pleased with it as he continued to ban it's publication during his lifetime. Anton Rubinstein apparently refused to perform it at a St. Petersburg concert unless it had "numerous revisions"; Cesar Cui described it as "utterly feeble" in his published review of the concert. Cui's criticism so hurt Tchaikovsky that it alienated the young composer forever from the "Mighty Five", the group of composers (including Cui) whose philosophy would otherwise surely have supported and encouraged him. The negative evaluations clearly were untrue, as one will hear; the young composer was but 21 years old at the time and Ode to Joy should now be considered Tchaikovsky's first masterwork. 

Endorsement of the cantata came from the Russian music critic Herman Augustovich Laroche, who wrote to Tchaikovsky: "The cantata is the greatest musical event in Russia since "Judith". (by Serov) I will tell you frankly that I consider you the greatest musical talent to which Russia can look in the future" And despite the initial criticism, Rubinstein himself days later recommended Tchaikovsky for the sought-after position of professor of theory at the new Moscow Conservatory. The cantata reveals an impressive control of form and contrapuntal devices, not to mention a secure and inventive understanding of vocal and instrumental colors. Above all, it portrays a nobility of feeling.

In 1869 (and on the suggestion of Balakirev) Tchaikovsky wrote his fantasy-overture "Romeo and Juliet" for an 1870 concert in St. Petersburg. Later he was to rewrite the work, composing a new introduction, revising the development, the recapitulation and the finale. But the original is a striking work and has much material, subsequently removed from the later versions that is worthy of its creator.

Enjoy all

Prokofiev_Zdravitsa_Tchaikovsky_Ode_To_Joy-Tzadik.zip

http://www12.zippyshare.com/v/gqFH6UAb/file.html

13 comments:

Marcelo Lasta said...

Amo este cd,que compré en Buenos Aires,hace ya varios años,y difundí,desde luego,por la radio varias veces,en especial la Oda a la dicha del ruso,una espectacular versión,otro cd,que muere conmigo,super Tzadik!! ¿algun Pianoconcerto de Lloyd? gracias,tu amigo gaucho,Dr.Tapirman.

GUSTAVO MEJIA RODAS said...

EXCELENTE BLOG
Gracias por compartir conocimientos y obras
Estare gozando este fin de semana de algunas de estas joyas
Un saludo dese Bogota.

Stephen Peithman said...

Thank you for sharing this!

Stephen

Brent said...

Here's an old Soviet recording of Zdravitsa, maybe the one you mention:

Prokofiev: Zdravitsa (The Salute), Op. 85 - a “toast” or "salute" to Stalin on his 60th birthday.
Moscow Radio Chorus and Orchestra, Evgeny Svetlanov, cond. (1963)

http://www18.zippyshare.com/v/JDC0hUKm/file.html

Brent Miller

nhac giaohuong said...

Thanks

Tzadik said...

Buen fin de semana para que T. doctor querida no me sorprende que usted tiene ya, su colección y el conocimiento parece solamente ser igualada por su entusiasmo :-)
Estoy seguro de que era el único que estaba compartiendo este disco encantador en Buenos Aires, y de hecho la ciudad (y equipos de música de la gente) tuvo que haber sido un lugar mejor para él! Hablando de Tchaikovsky, después de todos estos años me parece que la Serenata para cuerdas todavía es tan grande un escuchar, ya que era la primera vez. Es uno de los mejores, y no hay escasez de gran Serenatas String (Dvorak, Larrson etc.) me gusta 'Oda a la Alegría' mucho, pero aún así es la Prokofiev aquí que me encanta! -Yo Todavía estoy trabajando en la búsqueda de los discos de George Lloyd mi amigo, no me doy por vencido;) Mi conjetura es que los tengo en el almacenamiento todavía ..

su TZ

Tzadik said...

Hola Gustavo

Gracias por sus comentarios y por las amables palabras que usted. Usted es bienvenido, espero que la música hace que su fin de semana que es mucho mejor :) Y estoy seguro que cualquier fin de semana en Colombia es un gran día, nunca he tenido el placer hasta el momento. Saludos !!

TZ

Tzadik said...

Stephen you are welcome, thank you for commenting friend.

TZ

Tzadik said...

Brent, THANK YOU for sharing the file, this would be the correct one!! Did you transfer this yourself? I was wondering what the '10' signifies (beginning of the track title)? Perhaps this classic version made it's way on to a compilation of some kind?

Kind regards,

TZ

Tzadik said...

nhac, it's very nice to hear from you again! Happy you are enjoying the album my friend. And stop by anytime :)

Best,

TZ

Marcelo Lasta said...

Hola Tzadik,si,la Serenata de Peter es genial,pero prefiero la nr.1 de Brahms,o la serenata para arcos de Suk,en un cd por solistas de Zagreb,una gema super,de verdad,te la recomiendo mucho esta obra,un opus sublime,por cierto.En cto.Llodd,the Hope is the last en perderse,así pues,linda semana,estimado amigo.Dr.Tapirman.

Brent said...

Not my transfer, and looking through my documentation I can't find to whom should go the credit, but it does say they got it from a "pristine copy of HMV ASD 2593 (1970)." I got it from SymphonyShare or ConcertArchive most likely, along with the Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution, Op. 74, taking up track no.s 1-9, thus Zdravitsa had track no. 10.

I quite like Zdravitsa. It does sound very much like Alexander Nevsky.

Brent Miller

Tzadik said...

Ah I see, thanks for the info Brent. It certainly sounds like a pristine copy, again I'm happy that you shared it! Who the OP was at this point doesn't really matter; we are all grateful of course. Zdravitsa from the very opening is pure Prokofian magic; it is clear that it's his music and no one else's!


Thanks again

TZ