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Tchaikovsky: The Maid of Orleans [Box set]

Irina Arkhipova , Tchaikovsky , Gennady Rozhdestvensky , The Academic Choir & Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 22.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Tchaikovsky: The Maid of Orleans + Tchaikovsky: The Oprichnik + The Voyevoda
Price For All Three: 49.36

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Product details

  • Orchestra: The Academic Choir & Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Composer: Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (11 Mar 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Melodiya
  • ASIN: B00BHJ0LW0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,780 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Introduction
2. Chorus of Maidens: Until There's the Sun in the Sky
3. Scene & Terzetto
4. Answer Me, Joan
5. Chorus of Peasants and Scene
6. Brothers and Friends, Dry Your Tears
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Gypsy Dance
2. Dance of the Pages and Dwarves
3. Dance of the Clowns and Tumblers
4. I'm Pleased With You! Let Them Be Treated
5. I Beg of You, Hurry Now
6. Grief, Grief! Our Troops Defeated, Sire
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. March
2. Scene & Duettino
3. Our Founder and Creator,we Are Asking for Your Blessing from Heaven
4. Oh God! My Father!
5. She Bends Her Head
6. Why the People Are Trembling
See all 10 tracks on this disc

Product Description

I. Arkhipova, E. Vladimirov,

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
At last! It's a mystery to me why we have waited so long for this exceptionally fine recording of Tchaikovsky's 'Maid of Orleans' to appear on compact disc: having got to know this performance from a decades old EMI vinyl boxed set, I have been searching the monthly new releases for its reissue pretty much since the advent of the compact disc format - to no avail until now. Even leaving aside the fine quality of the performances here, it fulfils a significant gap in the composer's discography, as the only other audio releases of the opera are an historical one from the 1940s in pretty poor sound and a more modern stereo, live recording in what is also pretty abysmal sound quality for the time and which is, in addition, quite heavily cut.*

I'm not really sure why 'The Maid of Orleans' has become something of a Cinderella-figure among the composer's operatic output though I suspect the reasons lie more in what it isn't than what it is: ironically, although Tchaikovsky seems to have picked the subject matter with an eye to international appeal (and the manner as much as the subject matter - the influences of grand opera and the inclusion of an extended ballet sequence in particular suggest that he hoped the work would be a hit in France), the fact that the work is not overtly Russian in tone might well have militated against its success both in a Romantic and post-Romantic world that too often deemed non-nationalist music somehow inauthentic or of less artistic value; stylistically, in many respects it also represents a step backward after the highly original intimacy of 'Eugene Onegin', which Gerald Abraham once described as "a novel in musical form" - and a musical rendering of a classic Russian verse novel by Russia's national poet, to boot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars At last! 1 May 2014
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This is the very same Melodya recording I used to have on 3 LP'S back in the seventies, and the dances are placed within the opera in their right place and not as an afterthought at the end as is often the case…Gounod's Faust comes to mind.

Although the 2012 remastering is presentable and acceptable with no new recordings made since then, the singing is a little shrill and the music rather shaky in places.

BUT! What a relief to have back in my possession one of my all-time favourite operas. I agree with the previous reviewer it is incomprehensible that no live performances are made of this marvellous music, nor up to date recordings…come on Mr Gergiev!

Ignore the rest, buy this one!

Note: If you are copying this into iTunes for transfer to your listening device, there is no Gracenote information for CD 2, you have to go into your complete songlist and extract the 11 tracks one by one and give them names from the very adequate booklet and then juggle them into the right order between CD's 1 & 3 which do have all the information, albeit in Russian!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Reissue 12 Sep 2013
By Dick Wunder - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is my favorite Tchaikovsky opera, mostly because of the drama and beautiful melodies in Act I. I've been waiting decades for this wonderful Melodiya recording to be reissued as a CD. And here it finally is, with excellent sound. Track indexing is included, along with brief program notes, but not (alas) a libretto. Now if only Melodiya would reissue some of its other great recordings, such as the Kabalevsky Requiem.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 13 July 2013
By Robert Robichaud - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The interpretation is, of course, magnificent in the hands of this conductor. Add to this, that it is not a widely recorded opera.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful recording, great sound, and a Joan to reckon with. 26 July 2014
By Alan Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Another reviewer says "Welcome reissue" and I will underline that with "INDEED". This was an album I first saw in a record store years ago and purchased. (So I even have a libretto - not included with the CD release.) Tchaikovsky was trying to do a better job with the story than Verdi, and I am pretty sure he succeeded. The first act covers the English invasion of France and Joan's summons by the voices. The first portion of the act is exposition, but once you get to the Hymn for deliverance the act is incandescent. The second act deals with Joan (or Yoanna) being brought before King Charles. The third act centers more on her love for Lionel, and the last is Joan being burned at the stake.

This performance lives through the conducting of Gennady Rozhdestvensky. He can't have conducted it very frequently, but you would never know it. Scene after scene pulses with top-drawer Tchaikovsky. The requisite ballet in act two would make a great suite if combined with the Act One and Act Two preludes. If the fourth act is a little bit of a let-down, that is the concept of Tchaikovsky, who wanted to eschew the spectacle and concentrate on the personal side of Joan's immolation.

Joan is Irina Arkhipova and I can't imagine it being sung better. I've read good reports for other singers of the role, but either the sound of the recording was awful or the singer didn't deliver the goods that well. Arkhipova sings this soprano-mezzo role (Tchaikovsky could never decide completely) with incredible power and glorious tone. It is a fitting tribute to this artist that this recording was re-issued. Evghenyi Vladimirov is her father, and he makes a positive contribution in a relatively short (but important) role. Andrey Sokolov sings Raymond, Joan's fiancée. He sings only in the first act, and he conveys the drama well. Charles VII is Vladimir Makhov, and he is a bit of a trial. Granted this opera takes a lot of singers and asks a lot of them, but Makhov just doesn't quite get to some of the top notes in Act Two. Sergei Yakovenko as Lionel does much better and sings well in his duets with Joan.

Considering the in and out nature of Melodiya recordings, I would suggest you get this one while it's available. It is well worth it. (Projected delivery time was not right - it came sooner by several days.)
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