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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing piece ... Amazing performance!, 17 Aug 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade; Tsar Saltan (Audio CD)
I was eleven when I first heard the amazing piece, Sheherazade, last year at the BBC Proms, with the BBC Phil and Vassily Sinaisky. I instantly fell in love this amazing piece. The day after that I brought this recording.
When it arrived I listened to the whole piece again and again, I couldn't stop myself as it is such a good recording.
Enrique Batiz is a fantastic conductor, the Philharomia are amazing as well. Batiz made sure every instrument could be heard, and brought out loads of dynamics and the sound is absolutely amazing! As I am only 12, I can't really say much else, I don't know what else to say. So, if you are looking for a recording of this piece, I highly reccommend this recording.
If you want to hear a few excerpts from the piece before you buy the CD, you can go to my youtube channel (earthatic) and type in Rimsky Korsakov in the Uploads Search Bar and it will come up with a video with a few excerpts.
This recording won't let you down!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of fabulous music for the money!, 29 Jan 2007
Captain Kirk (Here in the U K) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade; Tsar Saltan (Audio CD)
The music of Rimsky-Korsakov is played wonderfully by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Enrique Batiz on this extremely good value for money CD from Naxos.

The Philharmonia is a world class orchestra based in London and Naxos has made a very good recording of one of the most popular classical pieces in the repertoire played by this ensemble.

The interpretation by Enrique Batiz of Scheherazade is well balanced and for me,taken at just the right tempo in all of the movements. This is a work which can easily be ruined by being played too fast or too slowly - in this recording I feel the conductor has got it just right.

This is a lovely melodic, dramatic and passionate work and I can think of no other composer who can hold a candle to the fabulous orchestrating skills of Rimsky-Korsakov. The tonal colours and richness of the writing for each section of the orchestra is truly mind blowing - even so long after the death of the composer,one cannot help but marvel at the beauty of his orchestrations for this piece.

The stereo balance and sound of the recording is also excellent on this CD. Many older recordings, although good, tend not to be quite so bright and fresh sounding as does this offering due to many technical difficulties in capturing the sound of all the instruments without sacrificing dynamics and balance. For instance, in the first movement, The Sea and Sinbads Ship, there are very strong passages for brass which can obliterate the strings. On some recordings the engineer has toned down the brass to compensate for this but really it is a question of microphone positioning and that is where this recording succeeds. There is a little muffling of clarity where the tuba and trombones play together in the first movement but the important thing is that nothing major is left out. It is vital that the big trombone parts with their clear rasping sound in the lower register are heard fully and not stifled by the tubas. This adds greatly to the dramatic effects of the composers writing and to the tonal colours of the orchestration. The strings are not drowned out in this recording even though the tubas and trombones are "up front" in some passages. If I were to be super critical, I would say that the trombones could have been a little more prominent but they are heard very well on this CD.

I do however have a slight grumble with the solo violin part played by David Nolan on this recording. I honestly do feel as though the opening passages of the solo violin part in each movement are terribly rushed and played far too quickly. At times it even sounds almost off key and even as though some notes are missing - this is a vital part of the whole piece and should be played with enormous expression and passion in order to convey the composers intentions to the listener. I would have preferred a more controlled and less frenzied solo violin in this performance.

To the soloists credit, there are some moments of inspiration and great playing in some of the passages.

The last three tracks on this CD are excellent. Listen out for the sound of the sea in the orchestration in "The Tsarina In A Barrel At Sea."

Rimsky-Korsakov was himself a sailor in the Russian navy and one can tell from where he drew his inspiration for his writing of these wonderful pieces of music. This is a great CD and there is an awesome amount of fabulous music for a very good price and compares well to many higher priced CD's.

I have used a 1993 recording by The London Philharmonic Orchestra on the Classic FM label for my comparison in order to give what I hope is a fair and balanced review. Because of the exceptionally high quality of the recording and overall performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, I have awarded the Philharmonia Orchestra Naxos recording 4 stars.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batiz as good as Stokowski? Surely not..., 29 April 2011
Ralph Moore "Ralph operaphile" (Bishop's Stortford, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade; Tsar Saltan (Audio CD)
Actually, yes. I am a great admirer of both Stokowski and Batiz and the latter has done some sterling work for Naxos, including one of my favourite recordings of Rachmaninov's "Isle of the Dead", so there is no reason at all why he should not be favourably compared with the Old Magician in the same piece.

My comparison was with Stokowski's fifth and final recording of this, Rimsky Korsakov's episodic and exotically scored oriental tone poem-come-symphony. Before I make any musical observations, I should simply say that if you want the particular coupling provided by either Naxos or RCA, the quality of both performances is such that you should either go with your preference or buy both, as the standard of playing is superb and the Naxos disc can be had for pennies on Marketplace. Stokowski's fizzy, volatile, super-charged reading of the rollicking "Russian Easter Overture" played by a virtuoso Chicago Symphony Orchestra makes and unusual and very welcome bonus - but the choice of programme on Naxos is equally attractive, being the rarely heard "Musical Pictures" suite gleaned from Rimsky's equally rarely performed fantasy opera "The Tale of the Tsar Saltan" (now usually remembered only for the "Flight of the Bumblebee"). Likewise, there is nothing much to choose between the sound quality offered by both discs: Naxos has the advantage of being digital and achieving an extraordinarily good and realistic balance, bringing out instruments that can sometimes be drowned out in so heavily orchestrated a piece without creating an artificial effect. I am particularly impressed by how well the Naxos engineers capture brass and timpani. However, the Stokowski recording was always in superb analogue sound, too and I doubt very much that you will be disappointed in it - in fact, I find it a tad brighter and more immediate with no discernible hiss. A little artificiality obtrudes with some more obvious manipulation of volume levels: for instance, the harp is preternaturally prominent, but I quibble.

Both solo violinists are excellent: Eric Gruenberg, reprising a role he took for Stokowski eleven years earlier in the LSO/Decca recording, being richly romantic and David Nolan for Batiz slightly cooler and more poised. I like both. Overall, it would be hard to separate the two interpretations; both are vivid, striking, extremely well played and really deliver thrills at the climactic points. Batiz shares Stokowski's famous drive and daring; the amazing this, of course, that Stokowski was six weeks short of his ninety-third birthday when he made this recording. I listened several times to both in succession and couldn't indeed decide or indeed hear a lot of difference - so who says I have to? Own both at very little cost and simply enjoy them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schehezade, 26 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade; Tsar Saltan (Audio CD)
Para el que no ha escuchado nuca nada de korsakov este disco es bastante completo ya que se inerpreta dos de las piezas mas cononidas del autor, Scheherazade y Tsar Saltan. El sonido es muy limpio y por el precio que cuesta dicho disco merece la pena comprarlo
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Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade; Tsar Saltan
Rimsky-Korsakov - Scheherazade; Tsar Saltan by Philharmonia Orchestra (Audio CD - 1993)
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