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Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky [IMPORT] [Original recording remastered]

Fritz Reiner Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £9.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: Sergei Prokofiev
  • Audio CD (6 Nov 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Bmg/Rca Victor
  • ASIN: B00004WFO9
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,218 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Russia Under the Mongolian YokeFritz Reiner 3:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: Song About Alexander NevskyFritz Reiner 3:48£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: The Crusaders in PskovFritz Reiner 8:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: Arise, Ye Russian PeopleFritz Reiner 2:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: The Battle on the IceFritz Reiner13:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Alexander Nevsky, Op. 78: Field of the DeadFritz Reiner 5:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Alexander's Entry Into PskovFritz Reiner 4:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Violin Concerto: Allegro con fermezzaPierre Monteux13:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Violin Concerto: Andante sostenutoPierre Monteux12:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Allegro vivacePierre Monteux 9:17£0.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good 2 Feb 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Good performance and remarkable recording for its age (which is elderly). And the American pronunciation of the chorus is not too objectionable.There are better recordings, though - at a cheap price it's OK.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding recording of a stirring film score 30 Jan 2001
By Mark Kolakowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The only real question is whether you really should see the film "Alexander Nevsky" first, before listening to this recording. I think so. I saw it perhaps twice, circa 1973-74, when it was featured on PBS. This recording conjured up a host of vivid, often jarring, images from the film that have never really left my consciousness. As great music, the score certainly stands on its own as an exceptional work of art. However, the full effect is achieved only if you also have been exposed to the accompanying images. The opening track on the CD is near the top of my list for most ominous and/or scary passages in music.
In brief, the late 1930's Soviet film recounted a 13th century attempt by the (German) Teutonic Knights to conquer Russia, and their defeat by a Russian army under Alexander Nevsky (who, by the way, is recognized as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church). Produced before the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939, it was conceived largely as anti-German propaganda, portraying the Knights as a brutally murderous gang, driven in part by a warped (Western) religiosity (thus also an anti-Christian, especially anti-Western Christian, subtext). Setting aside the historical debate over exactly how bloodthirsty the Knights really were, the film is extremely well-crafted, and the scenes of the Knights' depredations are truly haunting.
In the print that I saw aired on TV eons ago, the musical soundtrack was poorly-recorded. The sound ranged from murky to screeching. Nonetheless, it had a great power that was integral to the story. On this disc you can hear how that score should have sounded.
You might check the packaging of this same work in RCA's Basic 100 Series, Volume 72. As some of the customers reviewing that disc comment, it does seem rather odd that the vocals were done in English translation, rather than in Russian. I find this to be a rather minor issue, given the quality of the voices and the overall effect which transcends what actually is being sung (rather banal lyrics, in any tongue).
The Khachaturian piece is wonderful, and shows a side of the composer that may be unfamiliar to those who just know him from Gayane or Masquerade. If you'd prefer more Prokofiev, consider the Basic 100 pairing with Lt. Kije instead. Either way, you can't go wrong.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Nevsky will kick your butt and cook you breakfast! 16 Feb 2006
By Michael Gebert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The probably apocryphal story is that while making Nevsky, they recorded a scratch track with fewer musicians before doing the final recording, played the movie for Stalin, he said "Love it! Don't change a thing!"-- and they were afraid to do the final recording after that, hence the crummy sound that the soundtrack of Eisenstein's film has had ever since. In reality it's probably a perfectly typical recording job for the mid-30s, but if it's how you know Prokofiev's score, this classic recording from less than two decades later-- but a different era in terms of recording technology-- will be a revelation. This is bombast at its finest, an incredibly vigorous and muscular and rousing performance, and after listening to it you'll wonder why Reiner didn't lead his orchestra out of the hall and straight to Russia to overthrow Communism. Especially given its bargain price, this is a great reissue and essential as an example of one of the great orchestra-conductor combos of all time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nevsky in English? Why not Porgy and Bess in Russian? But it's nice to have Kogan's Khachaturian back on CD 19 July 2008
By Discophage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This nth CD reissue of Reiner's classic account from 1959 of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky doesn't need my endorsement, of course. But still, any comments on interpretation aside, it does suffer two drawbacks: one is that it is sung in English. Not a good choice, ultimately. It adds very little to the text's understandability - you still need the read the text to understand what the chorus is singing (it is provided in the excellent liner notes). And as excellently as the Chicago Symphony Chorus prepared by Margaret Hillis manages to imitate a deep sounding Russian chorus, the effect is somewhat akin to hearing Gospel or Negro Spirituals or Porgy and Bess sung in Russian - it's OK for Russians, I guess, but for purists it is simply not the authentic thing.

Another problem is the sound of this remastering. It is certainly wide and deep and ample and spacious, but there is so much stereo separation at times, with bass and brass confined to the right channel and violins to the left, that I can't help suspect some fiddling with the original sonics. I don't have the original LP to compare this reissue with, nor the previous CD reissues (with the Suite from Ltn Kijé, Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla; Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kijé; Alexander Nevsky or Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky; Lieutenant Kije Suite) but it sounds at times like those wretched "electronically-reprocessed stereo" mono recordings from the early stereo era. Sometimes more is not better. But maybe on loudspeakers it isn't as bothersome as heard over headphones.

I was stunned to see that this was only the first CD reissue of Leonid Kogan and Pierre Monteux' recording of Khachaturian's Violin Concerto, made in 1958, and it is good to have it back. The remastered sound is less blooming, ample and spacious than in Reiner's Nevsky, but much more natural, with a realistic balance between violin and orchestra - meaning that the violin is not prominent, but embedded in the orchestral texture. Kogan's tone may be leaner and less sunny than with the concerto's first performer and dedicatee, David Oistrakh, but he plays with precision and drive. The liner notes reproduce the original LP notes by Rudolph Elie, recounting Kogan's US debut on January 10, 1958, with the same orchestra and conductor, in Brahms' Violin Concerto. Khachaturian was recorded two days later (with Saint-Saens' Havanaise, the original LP coupling), and Monteux had never before conducted the piece. In the outer movements, you don't hear it. The orchestra has all the required snap and brilliance, marginally more even than Oistrakh and Khachaturian in their 1965 stereo recording with the USSR Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra (the brass in particular have great bite), and the two partners never milk the more lyrical moments, avoiding any mawkish sentimentality. In fact the approach is very similar to Oistrakh and Khachaturian¬'s earlier, mono recording from 1954 with the London Philharmonia on HMV/EMI. Kogan practices a substantial cut in the first movement cadenza (18 measures, at 8:28) - Oistrakh always played his own cadenza, not the printed one. Like Oistrakh, Kogan also does a minor cut in the finale. It is only in the slow movement that Khachaturian and Oistrakh, especially in their later recording, delve deeper, developing a more brooding atmosphere, finding incomparable shades of soft dreaminess, and offering a more despaired climax.

I have the 1954 recording of Oistrakh and Khachaturian on Khachaturian: Gayane Suite for orchestra No1; Concerto for violin in Dm, but it now can be more cheaply found on Khachaturian: Violin Concerto/Taneyev: Suite de Concert - David Oistrakh, Aram Khachaturian, Philharmonia Orchestra. As for the 1965 stereo remake, I happen to have it on a variety of CD reissues: the French Chant du Monde CD, volume 3 of the 15-CD "Edition David Oistrakh" published in the late 1980s, paired with Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto, Edition David Oistrakh - Khatchaturian, Kabalevski Violin Concertos; on Russian Disc's Khachaturian: Concerto for violin in Dm; Concerto for piano in Df paired with the Piano Concerto, in another composer-conducted performance with Nicolai Petrov; on Khatchaturian: Symphony No.1, Violin Con, a 2-CD set from Melodiya with various composer-conducted Khachaturian compositions, and on a 2-CD set from Vox with the Sibelius Concerto, plus Franck and Shostakovich's Violin Sonatas played by Oistrakh and Richter (Sibelius: Concerto Op47; Franck: Sonata for violin in A); the Vox Khachaturian/Sibelius is itself a reissue from an earlier Mobile Fidelity CD which I don't have, David Oistrakh: Khachaturian / Sibelius. All these reissues sound virtually alike.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonid Kogan's American Debut PRICELESS KHACHATURIAN VIOLIN CONCERTO Document 19 Jan 2010
By Beethoven, Too - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
When Pierre Monteux was hired at the last second to conduct this performance of the Khachaturian Violin Concerto for the American debut recording of Russian Legend Leonid Kogan, a miracle truly occurred. The result was this legendary recording. Historic as the Reiner recording of Alexander Nevsky may be, you can safely disregard that portion of this CD release and BUY IT for the Khachaturian alone. The electricity in Kogan's playing is not matched in any other Kogan recording before or since. There are certain passages that are unparalleled by any other violinist, including Kogan's other recordings and those of the great Oistrakh. Monteux performs magic with the Boston Symphony as accompaniment here, making Khachaturian's own conducted performances pale. This recording belongs in every library of CD violin concerto collections. The sound is outstanding (despite what an odd review or two on this page says) for its time, and the balance is fine. One hears the thrilling energy in every note of the violin. Grab it while you can -- this recording was unavailable for the longest time, and we are very fortunate to have this wonderful window of opportunity to purchase it now. I could name several well-known violinists who own copies of this magnificent performance in THEIR libraries, TWO copies in one case -- owing to the possibility of one falling into disrepair. This is a recording well worth having. [Also recommended is Oistrakh & Khachaturian in their original "commercial" release on Angel/EMI ... even still, this is ONE recording where Kogan arguably surpasses the master in many respects! Not to be missed.]
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Khachaturian 23 Oct 2009
By Colloredo von Salzburg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This Cd includes wonderful performances of Prokofiev and Khachaturian.
Nevsky by Reiner is very interesting but the real gem in this CD is the
thrilling performance of Kh`s Violin Concerto. Kogan and Monteux make a
perfect match and give a solid rendition. This is another great sample
of this wonderful RCA Living Stereo Series.
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