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Prokofiev: War and Peace [Box set, Import]

Gergiev Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £32.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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V A L E R Y G E R G I E V

Valery Gergiev is internationally recognized as one of the most outstanding musical figures of his generation. His inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he oversees the Kirov Orchestra, Ballet and Opera, has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. Together with the ... Read more in Amazon's Gergiev Store

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Kirov Opera & Orchestra
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Composer: Sergey Prokofiev
  • Audio CD (6 Sep 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000414A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 173,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

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


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - OvertureKirov Orchestra, St Petersburg 4:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Svetlaje vesenneje neba"Alexander Gergalov11:03Album Only
Listen  3. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - Ballet Music - "Hor! Pust'nachinajet hor!"Alexander Morozov19:56Album Only
Listen  4. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Nevesta maladova kn'az'a"Yevgeny Fedotov11:01Album Only
Listen  5. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Maja prelesnaja"Olga Borodina10:09Album Only
Listen  6. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Vecheram v des'at' chisov"Olga Markova-Mikhailenko10:22Album Only
Listen  7. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Oj, baryshn'a, galubshka"Alexander Morozov 8:23£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Eta samyj"Gegam Grigorian12:30Album Only
Listen  2. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Padumajte, grafin'a"Mikhail Kit10:53Album Only
Listen  3. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Sily dvunades'ati jazykov"Kirov Chorus, St Petersburg 4:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Pashla, rib'ata!"Igor Shpagin32:02Album Only
Listen  5. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Vino atkuporena"Maria Gortsievskaja10:22Album Only
Listen  6. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Itak, gospoda"Georgy Zastavny 7:21£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Mech nam y plamen' nisut neprijatili"Kirov Chorus, St Petersburg10:51Album Only
Listen  2. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Maskva pusta!"Yuri Zhikalov32:13Album Only
Listen  3. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "T'anetsa, fs'o t'anetsa"Alexander Gergalov13:25Album Only
Listen  4. Sergei Prokofiev: War and Peace, Op.91 - original version - "Karabli sazheny"Yuri Zhikalov20:25Album Only


Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars involving, despite sound 21 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
I approached this recording with caution, largely because I had read in other reviews that the sound was not of the highest quality. It's true that the music does not come over as clearly or with such precision/ dynamic range as the Rostropovich set. Nonetheless, after hearing the Kirov account, I have to say that despite these limitations, it did a better job of persuading me of the merits of Prokofiev's opera. The pacing is more effective, and the singers more idiomatic as a group than on the Rostropovich. Listening through the final tableau, first Gergiev, then Rostropovich, was quite revealing. The latter's ensemble and precision is much better during the terrific opening of this scene, xylophones much more impressive and a louder, more menacing sound. But by the end of the scene with Rostropovich, I found my attention beginning to drift. This is only partly because of the more extended (and more bombastic) variant of the final chorus R. uses: Gergiev's shortened version here really is a much better way of ending the opera. In general, Gergiev seems to have a more urgent and involving way with the piece.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable performance, and Complete too 24 Feb 2002
By "sgchapchal" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although the recording level is too low as established by others reviewing this work/recordings, I have to point out that the dramatic quality is stronger than others. I have the Hickox and like it a little less than this. The Rostropovich is very fine, BUT the singing/acting is weak, the orchestral playing is great. The Bolshoi sets ie: Alexander Melik-Pashaev and Mark Ermler are outstanding in performance and recording, but they are edited versions. Although I have heard the Janssen set I haven't analyzed it clearly, since I do not own it. For a complete version I strongly recommend the Gergiev performance. The acting and conducting is superior to the Hickox performance if one can forgive the low sound recording. I found myself a bit bored at times while listening to the Hickox upon its broadcast before the CD issueing. I did buy it since it is stronger than the Rostropovich, but it lacks a solid continuity of drama between soloists. The Gergiev performance treats every scene with care and understood performance which I don't always find in other performances. It is live and does fail on the attempts of the engineers, but what does that have to do with the artists performance? It is all round complete and more satisfactory than its rival Spoleto performance under Hickox.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sergei Prokofiev: War And Peace 18 Nov 2011
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sergei Prokofiev: War And Peace is a 1993 Philips Classics Productions recording starring the Kirov Chorus and Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev. Chorus Masters Valery Borisov and Leonid Tepliakov. The booklet is almost 350 pages long. Bernard Jacobson has written the essay "Ambitious Operatic Epic". Kadja Grönke has written the synopsis. Also included are photographs of the performers and conductor from the time of the recording. All the lyrics are available in Russian, English, German and French. One can definitely hear the Wagner influence. It is like Prokofiev has taken a page from Tannheuser. An all Russian group for a Russian opera is a must as they perfectly understand the nature of the language. A very fine recording that should not be missed. I loved it. Highly recommended indeed. 5/5.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Musical Experience 12 April 2013
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Sergei Prokofiev contemplated an opera on War and Peace in the early 1940's, even writing a libretto with Mira Mendelson. He concluded, however, that the story was too vast for the stage. His mind was changed when the Germans invaded Russia and the need for a patriotic expression became important. The opera was written in 13 scenes that the composer created with potential cuts in mind. A concert performance was given in June 1945 with extensive cuts, and the first stage production presented only eight of the scenes. It was only in the late 1950's that performances of the full opera were undertaken.

The opera is in to main parts, the first, Peace, incorporating scenes 1 through 7 and War with scenes 8 through 13. The Gergiev recording is arguably the finest of those available with a huge cast for the over seventy roles required by the opera. The singers are well chosen (many familiar from the Kirov Russian opera series) with Andrei sung by Alexandr Gergalov, Pierre by Gegam Gregorian, Natasha by Yelena Prokima and Helene by Olga Borodina. Nikolai Okhotnikov is a splendid Kutuzov. Of the opera scenes, my favorites are 11, where the citizens of Moscow are beginning to fight back against the occupying French and the final scene with Prokofiev's masterful depiction of a snowstorm, using shrieking piccolos, tremolando strings, harps playing swirling glissandi and xylophone accentuating the icy weather. For me, the end of the opera represented a real journey, of transformation, for the characters of the story, concluding with the joyous celebratory chorus of liberation.

Valery Gergiev brings out the lyricism of the "Peace" scenes of the opera and the drama of the "War" scenes. He brings real authority to his reading of Prokofiev's score and we are spared nothing in the scenes of war, terrorism and brutalization of occupation and the realities of battle. Prokofiev aimed to mirror the tone of Tolstoy's novel and succeeded with a score that is rewarding in scene painting the glittering balls of the rich and the hard reality of war. I highly recommend the Gergiev recording to those unsure about tacking such a long and complex work; it is a rewarding experience.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gergiev is strongest in the "Peace" scenes 26 May 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The two contenders for the best "War and Peace" are this 1993 Gergiev set (on 3 CDs) and Rostropovich's 1989 recording (on 4 CDs) for ERato. The lines seem evenly drawn with the critics. Those who favor Rostropovich (whom the dying Prokofiev entrusted with the opera) like his impassioned conducting and Vishnevskaya's ardent portrayl of Natasha, despite the fact that she was twenty years too old for the part. Those who favor Gergiev point to the evenness of his singing cast and the psychological refinement of each character. I can accept both viewpoints. If you have the resources, you might buy the Gergiev for the "Peace" scenes in the drawing rooms and ballrooms, the Rostropovich for the "War" scenes that occupy the second half of the opera. In that regard Gergiev has the advantage of better music, since Prokofiev originally intended to portray only the personal, romantic parts of the novel. War came as an afterthought when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union.

The work itself continues to have problems. No one should come ot it expecting Tolstoy's novel and its moving wisdom. When Prokofiev was composing the opera in the mid-Forties, his inspiraiton was variable. The great Fifth Sym. had just been written in the sumemr of 1941, but that was his last indisputable masterpiece. "War and Peace" contains a feeble Overture, included here by Gergiev but omitted whenever he stages the opera. There are patriotic choruses straight out of Soviet wartime propaganda, clearly aimed at Hitler more than Napoleon. And in general the melodic inspiration falls well short of Romeo and Juliet--the more delicate music, of which there is a lot on CD 1, sounds like outtakes from Prokofiev's fitfully inspired Cinderella ballet.

War and Peace works best if you have seen its epic spectacle onstage, so I sympathize with the reviewers who recommend the DVD instead. Coming to the work cold, with no visual memories of Moscow burning, Natasha's delirious dancing at the ball, Napoleon in retreat with half an army onstage, a listener may get fairly bored. Prokofiev found a middle-of-the-road idiom that has few pinnacles, presumably because of the daunting four hours of stage business he had to compose for. As a work of craft, War and Peace is admirable, but without the epic spectacle, its musical thinness shows thorugh.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1st-rate performance but caveat emptor 27 Feb 2000
By NPW - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With the Bolshoi version hard to find, it is appreciable to have access to an idiomatic, all-Russian recording of War and Peace. This is a first-rate, exciting performance. However, what is not made clear on the packaging of this expensive set (or on Amazon) is that this is a live recording. Some may find the uneven audibility of singers, or stage noise during ballet or crowd scenes, disappointing or distracting. Overall, too, the recording level is low. It is as well to know before buying.
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