Sunday, September 09, 2012

Sunday Classics: Do I hear a waltz? (Tchaikovsky edition)


Ferenc Fricsay (1914-1963)

by Ken

Nothing fancy going on here this week. As I explained in Friday night's preview, we're just listening to four waltzes that happen to be included on an-all Tchaikovsky DG CD reissue conducted by Ferenc Fricsay. Okay, maybe not quite "just." It's possible that there are one or two diversions or digressions along the way.

Right now, for example, we're going to kick off, not with a waltz, but with a polonaise. Friday we listened to the waltz from Act II of the opera Yevgeny Onegin -- in both its "concert" form and as it's heard in the opera, as the music around which the opening scene of Act II, a ball given on the country estate of Madame Larina, unfolds. We're going to hear that again, in some different performances (plus the Fricsay, of course), but first we're going to hear the polonaise that opens Act III, introducing a considerably more cosmopolitan ball, in Moscow, at the home of Madame Larina's daughter Tatiana, now married to a genuine prince (and a prince of a fellow is our Prince Gremin).

TCHAIKOVSKY: Yevgeny Onegin, Op. 24:
Act III, Polonaise

Staatskapelle Dresden, James Levine, cond. DG, recorded June 1987

Orchestre de Paris, Semyon Bychkov, cond. Philips, recorded October 1992

USSR State Radio and Television Large Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Fedoseyev, cond. Audiophile Classics, recorded 1986

Sofia Festival Orchestra, Emil Tchakarov, cond. Sony, recorded Jan. 15-21, 1988

Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sir Colin Davis, cond. Philips, recorded December 1977

New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, cond. Columbia/CBS/Sony, recorded Jan. 12, 1971



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