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CHAN 10153M
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CHAN 10153
(multiple CD Set)
Ivan the Terrible

Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible/ Ballad of an Unknown Boy

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2003

Originally recorded in 2003


Russian State Symphony Orchestra

Valeri Polyansky

Tatiana Zheranzhe


Sergey Toptygin


Alexander Tsylinko


Mikhail Makhov


Ludmila Kuznetsova


Viktoria Smolnikova


Elena Kozneva


Vladimir Sytnik


Russian State Symphonic Cappella


Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory


Valeri Polyansky


Igor Veprintsev

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 116:35
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Ivan the Terrible

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Ivan the Terrible, Op. 116

  Incidental music for the film Ivan Grozny by Sergei Eisenstein  
  For soloists, choir and orchestra  
  Part I  
  Scene 1. Prologue 11:34      
1 Overture 2:38
2 Death of Glinskaya 1:06
3 Young Ivan's March 1:42
4 The Ocean - the Sea* 3:19
5 Shuisky and the keepers of the hounds 1:34
6 Death of Glinskaya 1:05
  Scene 2. The Coronation 9:44      
7 Kyrie eleison 1:11
8 Sofroniev Cherubic Hymn (A. Kastalsky) 5:41
9 May he live forever!† 2:52
  Scene 3. The Wedding 6:21      
10 Glorifiication 3:03
11 The Swan 1:08
12 The Simpleton 1:02
13 Riot 1:08
  Scene 4. The Conquest of Kazan 11:53      
14 Entrance of the Tartars 0:14
15 Cannon are brought to Kazan 1:08
16 Kurbsky's trumpets 0:27
17 Ivan's tent 1:06
18 Tartar steppes 1:43
19 The Artillerymen 0:48
20 The Tartars 1:17
21 Kurbsky's trumpets 0:28
22 Attack 1:03
23 Malyuta's jealousy 0:42
24 Kazan has fallen 0:57
  Scene 5. Ivan's illness 8:00      
25 O, my soul (liturgical chant) 1:38
26 O, Lord most gracious (liturgical chant) 0:52
27 O, my soul (liturgical chant) 1:20
28 Ivan's appeal to the Boyars 4:10
  Scene 6. The Death of Anastasia 12:00      
29 Anastasia's illness 3:44
30 Anastasia is poisoned 2:25
31 Eternal remembrance (liturgical chant) 1:22
32 Rest with the saints (liturgical chant) 1:20
33 Thou alone (liturgical chant) 1:52
34 Ivan at Anastasia'a coffin 1:17
  Scene 7. The Oath of the Oprichniks 7:55      
35 Oath of the Oprichniks 6:08
36 Come back!‡ 1:47
  Part II  
37 Overture 1:31
  Scene 8. At the Polish Court 2:53      
38 Fanfares 0:32
39 Polonaise 1:47
40 Fanfares 0:34
  Scene 9. Lamentation for the executed Boyars 6:41      
41 Do not sob, Mother (F. Ivanov) 3:13
42 It were better for you, Judas 1:55
43 Shuisky and the keepers of the hounds 1:34
  Scene 10. The Fiery Furnace (liturgical drama) 7:09      
44 Wondrous is God (D. Bortnyansky) 0:53
45 Song of the boys§ 3:15
46 Song about the beaver* 3:01
  Scene 11. The Tsar's banquet and The Cathedral 12:35      
47 Chaotic dance and Orderly dance of the Oprichniks 1:43
48 Song of the Oprichniks¶ 2:03
49 O, my soul (liturgical chant) 1:21
50 Song of the Oprichniks (without choir) 0:48
51 Chorus of the Oprichniks (without words) 3:55
52 Vladimir's murder 0:22
53 Entrance of Ivan 0:54
54 Finale 1:29

Ballad of an Unknown Boy, Op. 93

  Cantata for soloists, choir and orchestra  
 Ludmila Kuznetsova mezzo-soprano*
 Viktoria Smolnikova mezzo-soprano§
 Elena Kozneva mezzo-soprano§
 Tatiana Zheranzhe alto§
 Vladimir Sytnik tenor‡
 Sergey Toptygin baritone¶
 Alexander Tsylinko bass†
 Mikhail Makhov bass‡
 Valeri Polyansky
  10-14 January 2003  
This is the premiere recording of the Ballad of an Unknown Boy. There are few recordings of the music for the film Ivan the Terrible available, making this CD a valuable addition to the catalogue.

Prokofiev never reworked his music for Ivan the Terrible and while various attempts have been made to create a concert work from the music, the present recording includes the complete score Prokofiev composed for the film.

Valeri Polyansky is famous for his recordings of music from his native Russia, and he and his Russian orchestra prove the ideal exponents of this repertoire.

Chandos has released a number of Prokofiev recordings this year to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the composer’s death. Like this release, all have contained rare repertoire and all have been enthusiastically received.

"The film director Eisenstein and Prokofiev met in 1925 and were very much creative soul mates. They had hoped to collaborate on a variety of films but were rarely able to do so because of conflicting schedules. Thus, when, in 1942, Eisenstein started his epic film about the sixteenth-century tsar Ivan Grozny it was to Prokofiev that he turned for the music.

Ivan’s infamously cruel reign wrought enormous changes in Russia. He increased the country’s military strength, curtailed the power of the land-owning aristocrats and set up the Oprichniki – a police force notorious for its brutality. Stalin was an admirer of Ivan and Eisenstein relished the opportunity to draw parallels between Ivan and Russia’s latter-day dictator, examining the moral questions and weighing Ivan’s cruelty against his achievements. Part One of the film, released in 1944, won a Stalin prize, but in Part Two Eisenstein presented Ivan (and by implication Stalin) as crueller and more paranoid and his actions as less justified. As the Russian film industry entered a period of increased repression, Ivan was one of several films that were banned in 1946, with work on Part Three being stopped altogether.

Ballad of an Unknown Boy is one of several patriotic works by Prokofiev. The cantata uses a poem which tells of a boy whose mother and sister are killed by the Nazis and who exacts revenge by blowing up a carload of German officers. Although his identity remains a mystery, his actions are an inspiration to others.

'The performance shows the conductor at his best… he gives the score's tangy colours and bold gestures their due…Polyansky gives us a good sense of the music's imaginative timbres and its riveting dramatic power.'

The Russian State Symphony Orchestra plays splendidly for Valeri Polyansky…
The Strad on CHAN 9890 (Symphony-Concerto etc.)

'This is an atmospheric and hugely vivid reading by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra and conductor Valeri Polyansky that suggests an intimate knowledge of Eisentein's film. It is helped considerably by a generously warm and resonant recorded acoustic.'
International Record Review

Both discs feature fine performances by a reliable Chandos team.
The Daily Telegraph on CHAN 10044 (On the Dnieper etc.) and CHAN 10056 (Egyptian Nights etc.)

Valeri Polyansky makes a strong case for the ballet On the Dnieper.
Financial Times on CHAN 10044 (On the Dnieper etc.)

' Prokofiev's score for Ivan the Terrible is some of the best film music ever written, fusing the composer's melodic gifts, his salty version of high-romantic orchestration, his love of grand church chants and thrilling marches. Despite the lack of Eisenstein's visuals, this powerful recording captures much of the film's epic grandeur, with Polyansky drawing some massive climaxes and breathtaking moments of intimacy from his forces.'
Classic FM Magazine

Polyansky and the orchestra plunge crisply and confidently into the varied scores… Prokofiev newcomers and old timers alike should find pleasure in this disc.
The Times on CHAN 10056 (Egyptian Nights etc.)

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