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CHAN 10424
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CHAN 10424

Rimsky-Korsakov: Works for Orchestra

The Classical Shop
release date: June 2007

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2006


BBC Philharmonic

Vassily Sinaisky


Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester


Brian Pidgeon

Mike George


Stephen Rinker

Sharon Hughes

(Assistant: Capriccio, Sinfonietta)

Denise Else

(Assistant: other works)

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 73:38
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Select Complete Single Disc for

Overture to 'The Maid of Pskov'


Legend (Conte féerique), Op. 29

2 I Larghetto 5:34
3 II Allegretto ma non troppo e pesante 1:41
4 III Allegretto 2:42
5 IV Allegro 2:52
6 V Allegro 3:55

Neapolitan Song. Op.63

  (arrangement of Denza's 'Funiculì, funicula')  
  Allegro vivo e giocoso  

Overture to 'The Tsar's Bride'


Sinfonietta on Russian Themes, Op. 31

9 I Allegretto pastorale 7:41
10 II Adagio 9:48
11 III Scherzo-Finale. Vivo 6:56

Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34

12 I Alborada. Vivo e strepitoso - 1:16
13 II Variazioni. Andante con moto - 5:07
14 III Alborada. Vivo e strepitoso - 1:15
15 IV Scena e canto gitano. Allegretto - 5:03
16 V Fandango asturiano - Coda. Vivace assai 3:18
A unique selection of sumptuously orchestrated works, some of them rarely recorded
Alongside well-known repertoire is the only available recording of the Neapolitan Song in its orchestral version.
Magnificently performed by the BBC Philharmonic under Vassily Sinaisky

This new disc from the BBC Philharmonic offers the ever-popular Capriccio espagnol along with the rarely heard Overtures to The Maid of Pskov and The Tsar’s Bride, both displaying the composer’s penchant for vividly colouristic orchestration, and other works that are unaccountably given few outings in the concert hall and on disc.

One of the ‘Five’, or ‘Mighty Handful’, Rimsky-Korsakov was the only one really to master the orchestra: indeed he contributed as much to the craft of orchestration in Russia as Berlioz did in France and Wagner in Germany.
Nationalist works by Glinka deeply impressed him and he met and was influenced also by Balakirev. Regarding opera as ‘essentially the most enchanting and intoxicating of lies’, he drew on his country’s rich folk heritage to create a fairy-tale world in which the fanciful and commonplace were fused through extravagant orchestral and fervently romantic vocal writing. His devotion to Russian folk-music was to result in a classic collection of folksongs, and these appear in a number of his compositions. The Sinfonietta on Russian Themes began life in 1878 – 79 as a string quartet, but was rewritten for orchestra with strong Russian themes and inflections. For Capriccio espagnol, Rimsky-Korsakov turned to the sights and sounds of Spain. He wrote, ‘the Spanish themes, of dance character, furnished me with rich material for employing colourful orchestral effects’. At the first performance it was encored, and it remains one of his most popular orchestral pieces. Neapolitan Song also rejoices in the Mediterranean world, in this case making use of Luigi Denza’s popular song ‘Funiculì, funiculà’ and is recorded here in the orchestral version – a version currently not otherwise available on disc.

The BBC Philharmonic exploits Rimsky-Korsakov’s colourful orchestrations in fantastic performances that highlight the music role as the epitome of the brilliance and pageantry of Tsarist Russia.

You may want to have this most f all for the Neapolitan Song, Rimsky’s brash, all-stops-out setting of Luigi Denza’s popular ‘Funiculi Funicula’ with big bold swathes of sound from trumpet and drum. It would be understatement to say Sinaisky and the BBC Philharmonic play it to the hilt – why this piece never became a Pops staple I can’t imagine.
American Record Guide

This well-filled disc maintains the high standard Chandos established with Neeme Järvi’s legendary set of Rimsky opera suites.
BBC Music Magazine ‘Choice’

Sinaisky’s performance is expansive, warmly relaxed…

Vassily Sinaisky is on home territory here, and brings plenty of fizz to the old war-horse [Capriccio Espagnol]. Overtures to the Maid of Pskov and the Tsar’s Bride are here with the Fairy Tale Legend, The Sinfonitetta on Russian Themes and a short skirmish with Finiculi-Finicula. Rimsky always writes (or borrows) a good tune, and is a colourful orchestrator, and, with the first-class Chandos sound, the music gives much greater pleasure than might be expected.
Liverpool Daily Post

Reviews of previous recorded collaborations between the BBC Philharmonic and Sinaisky:
…such is the class of the BBC Philharmonic’s playing for their principal guest conductor that by the end of the disc I felt that I had at least been shown facets of his [Kabalevsky] art that I had never before appreciated.
Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’

…and once again Sinaisky handles it with scrupulous fidelity to every shifting mood.
BBC Music Magazine

J Adrian

P March

P Joelson

This disc is one of the best interpretations of music by Rimsky-Korsakov. Sinaisky and BBC Philharmonic gives shining to the colours of the score.
I Kononov