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Prokofiev:Alexander Nevsky Import

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Mar. 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: RCA Victor Red Seal
  • ASIN: B000003FMD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,503 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you love this score as I do then you will certainly want to own this reconstruction of the film-track as it presents a somewhat different experience from the Cantata we normally hear in concert halls. Prokofiev devised the latter for performance in 1939, the year after the release of the film, as a fully orchestrated version of seven movements, having somewhat condensed and streamlined the film-score to create a more cohesive work.

This reconstruction is more episodic and fragmented in that it follows the action of the famous film but is also furnished with an overture derived from music in the Cantata. Owing to the inclusion in particular of extended battle music (including flights of arrows and the percussive duel with the Grand Master), a couple of brief, atmospheric excerpts from the original filmtrack of the sounds of battle, and a slightly re-orchestrated version of the dissonant Breaking of the Ice, it provides us with about ten minutes more music than we usually hear. The producer and arranger were not afraid to take a few minor liberties to transform the original score for reduced orchestra into a something which works when played by a larger band in a concert hall and for the most part their decisions really come off.

However, despite the claims of a few previous reviewers that this version "leaves Abbado and Reiner in the dust" - I don't think this arrangement is all gain over those accounts. Abbado, Reiner and Schippers all manage to generate more bite and tension in the jagged, falling semitone figure with in the charging horses and onset of battle are figured and in truth the LSO and the New York Philharmonic are superior outfits to the St Petersburg Philharmonic.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having read the reviews of this release I was keen to hear it but I have to confess I have found it rather disappointing in comparison to the Cantata Prokofiev himself distilled from the film score. This version seems overlong without the benefit of the accompanying film, the cantata version is more concise. Some versions I have heard of the cantata are also more dramatic. The mezzo soprano on this release is also a bit "wobbly" with excessive vibrato for my taste...
Certainly an interesting idea to recreate the full film score for full orchrestra but without the accompanying film I'm not convinced it's an improvement on the fine cantata.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the version to have of Prokofievs masterpiece. With added music, compared to the (usual) cantate version. A very strong reading of all involved with good sound and a real russian feeling. I thought Järvis reading on Chandos was unsurpassable, but i was wrong. But that is though a complement to this. Give it a try! You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb rendition of Alexander Nevsky soundtrack.The audio quality is outstanding.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bombshell! 17 Sept. 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Becaue of its spectacular sonics, and because it includes so much more of the film score than the cantata Prokofiev extracted for concert performances, this is a great Nevsky, ultra-dramatic and performed with real Russian fire. I dont listen to Nevsky very often, but when I do I reach for this reading or the live Stokowski on Music and Arts, which is of the cantata. Anyway, this performance leaves Reiner and Abbado in the dust.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars expensive but worth it very much 13 Jan. 2006
By Geers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
five stars. The singing is excellent. I do not understand Russian, but this record sure makes you wanting to. The book enclosed is perfect. Did I mention the high quality music Are you looking for Hollywood, please this is not for you Are you looking for craftmanship and nothing else, this one is for you
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nevsky: a great score for classical newbies 18 Jun. 2008
By Samuel Stephens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sergei Prokofiev's "Alexander Nevsky" score is well worth hearing for the material left out of the cantata. Admittedly, the cantata contains all the important parts of the music and is more disciplined in form. It also contains a unique revision in the "Battle on the Ice" movement.

But if you can live without that revision (and you can), there's a more enjoyable quality to hearing the full score. For one thing, the pace is more relaxed. In the cantata, the battle music seems too crowded and crammed together. In the score it is stretched out. The cantata also lacks the very interesting percussion music that accompanies Nevsky as he fights the leader of the Tartars.

Some of the music is repeated, because that is how it worked out on film. On CD this may be somewhat unnecessary, but it's not a big deal anyhow. One of the distractions on this "complete recording" is the inclusion of some of the movies battle scene sounds of sword clashing etc. This interrrupts the continuity of the music and is somewhat aggravating.

But there's more to enjoy than to critisize. Especially for someone new to classical music, this CD will make a great impact. The sound is a bit distant, but I believe this quibble is fixed in RCA's recent re-release of this performance.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite sterling, but very good 2 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I don't agree with most of Emerson Paubel's review. Yes, this soundtrack is a tad longer than I'd prefer. But really, what did Paubel expect from an epic? The music is sumptuous. The imagery communicated is always expressive and often stupendous. The sound quality, especially in the rumbling basses jumps out and grabs you. I do agree with Paubel's view that "The Battle on the Ice" is a great cut, but it's certainly nothing close to being the only one. When you buy this CD, be realistic about what it is: the soundtrack of a Russian epic on an emotional par with the Turner production of "Gettysburg" in 1993, and you won't be go wrong.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great supplement to the Cantata version 21 Dec. 2012
By Ralph Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you love this score as I do then you will certainly want to own this reconstruction of the film-track as it presents a somewhat different experience from the Cantata we normally hear in concert halls. Prokofiev devised the latter for performance in 1939, the year after the release of the film, as a fully orchestrated version of seven movements, having somewhat condensed and streamlined the film-score to create a more cohesive work.

This reconstruction is more episodic and fragmented in that it follows the action of the famous film but is also furnished with an overture derived from music in the Cantata. Owing to the inclusion in particular of extended battle music (including flights of arrows and the percussive duel with the Grans Master), a couple of brief, atmospheric excerpts from the original filmtrack of the sounds of battle, and a slightly re-orchestrated version of the dissonant Breaking of the Ice, it provides us with about ten minutes more music than we usually hear. The producer and arranger were not afraid to take a few minor liberties to transform the original score for reduced orchestra into a something which works when played by a larger band in a concert hall and for the most part their decisions really come off.

However, despite the claims of a few previous reviewers that this version "leaves Abbado and Reiner in the dust" - I don't think this arrangement is all gain over those accounts. Abbado, Reiner and Schippers all manage to generate more bite and tension in the jagged, falling semitone figure with in the charging horses and onset of battle are figured and in truth the LSO and the New York Philaharmonic are superior outfits to the St Petersburg Philharmonic. Furthermore, the rather too distantly recorded and faintly wobbly mezzo-soprano soloist Evgenia Gorohovskaya is not a patch on Obratsovea for Abbado, who is melancholy grief incarnate. Nor am I as impressed by the sound here as some but as has so often been remarked on these pages, that might have as much to do with what equipment one is listening on, so I'll let that pass as it is obviously in good digital sound.

In the end I want to own both incarnations of this wonderful score but I certainly wouldn't jettison all others in favour of this one.
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