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CHAN 5124M
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CHAN 5124
(multiple CD Set)

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake

The Classical Shop
release date: October 2013

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2012


Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra

Neeme Jarvi

James Ehnes



Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway


Brian Pidgeon


Ralph Couzens

Gunnar Herleif Nilsen


Record Label



Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 153:49
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Swan Lake, Op. 20

  Ballet in Four Acts  
1 Introduction. Moderato assai - Allegro ma non troppo - 2:39
  Tempo I  
  Act I 46:08      
2 1. Scene. Allegro giusto 2:51
3 2. Valse. Intrada. Tempo di valse - Valse 7:08
4 3. Scene. Allegro moderato 3:37
  4. Pas de Trois  
5 I. Intrada. Allegro 2:19
6 II. Andante sostenuto 2:42
7 III. Allegro simplice - Presto 1:10
8 IV. Moderato 1:07
9 V. Allegro 1:17
10 VI. Coda. Allegro vivace 1:38
  5. Pas de Deux  
11 I. Tempo di valse ma mon troppo vivo, quasi moderato 2:18
12 II. Andante - Allegro - Molto più mosso 4:51
 James Ehnes violin
13 III. Tempo di valse - 1:24
14 IV. Coda. Allegro molto vivace 1:51
15 6. Pas d'Action. Andantino quasi moderato - Allegro 2:04
16 7. Sujet (Scene). [Moderato] - 0:48
17 8. Danse des Coupes. Tempo di polacca 6:05
18 9. Finale I. Andante 2:44
  Act II 32:20      
19 10. Scene. Moderato - Più mosso 2:40
20 11. Scene. Allegro moderato - Moderato - Più mosso - 5:09
  Allegro vivo - L'istesso tempo -  
21 12. Scene. Allegro - Moderato assai quasi andante 3:39
  13. Danses des Cygnes  
22 I. Tempo di valse 2:22
23 II. (Solo d'Odette.) Moderato più mosso 2:06
24 III. Tempo di valse 1:50
25 IV. [Pas de Quatre.] Allegro moderato 1:37
26 Vi. Pas d'Action (Odette et le Prince.) 7:02
  Andante - Andante non troppo - Più mosso - Tempo I - Allegro - Più mosso  
 James Ehnes violin
  Johannes Wik harp  
  Robert deMaine cello  
27 VI. (Tour le Monde Danse.) Tempo di valse 1:30
28 VII. Coda. Allegro vivo 1:39
29 14. Scene (Finale II). Moderato - Più mosso 2:42
30 15. Allegro giusto 2:20
31 16. Danses du Corps de Ballet et des Nains. 2:25
  Moderato assai - (Ballabile.) Allegro vivo - Trio  
32 17. Scene. La Sortie des Invités et la Valse. 8:13
  Allegro - Tempo di valse - Allegro - Tempo di valse - Allegro - Tempo di valse  
33 18. Scene. Allegro - [Allegro] - Allegro giusto 1:41
  19. Pas de Six  
34 Intrada. Moderato assai 2:32
35 Variation I. Allegro 1:19
36 [Variation II.] Andante con moto 2:53
37 Variation [III]. Moderato 1:11
38 Variation [V]. Allegro 0:57
39 Variation [V]. Moderato - Allegro simplice - Più mosso 1:24
  Johannes Wik harp  
40 Coda. Allegro molto 1:56
  19a. Pas de Deux (pour Mlle Anna Sobeshchanskaya)  
41 Moderato - Andante 3:52
 James Ehnes violin
42 [Variation I.] Allegro moderato 0:49
43 [Variation II.] Allegro 0:58
44 [Coda.] Allegro molto vivace 2:29
45 20. Danse Hongroise (Czardas). 3:37
  Moderato assai - Allegro moderato - Vivace  
46 20a. Danse Russe (pour Mlle Pelagia Karpakova). 4:12
  Moderato - Cadenza - Andante simplice - Allegro vivo - Presto  
 James Ehnes violin
47 21. Danse Espagnole. Allegro non troppo - Tempo di bolero - 2:29
  L'istesso tempo - Più mosso  
48 22. Danse Napolitaine. Allegro moderato - 2:31
  Andantino quasi moderato - Molto più mosso - Presto  
  Gary Peterson cornet  
49 23. Mazurka. Tempo di mazurka - Più mosso 3:59
50 24. Scene (Finale III). 3:13
  Allegro - Valse - Allegro vivo - L'istesso tempo  
  Act IV 18:02      
51 25. Entr'acte. Moderato - 2:05
  Johannes Wik harp  
52 26. Scene. Allegro non troppo - 1:59
53 27. Danses des Petits Cygnes. Moderato 4:24
54 28. Scene. Allegro agitato - Molto meno mosso - Allegro vivace - 3:06
55 29. Scene Finale. Andante - Allegro agitato - 6:26
  Alla breve. Moderato e maestoso - Meno mosso - Moderato  
 Neeme Jarvi
  18 June and 3-6 December 2012  

This is the second instalment in our series devoted to Tchaikovsky’s three great ballets. Neeme Järvi and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra initiated the project last year with the complete score of The Sleeping Beauty. Here they present another, equally well-loved work: Swan Lake. Once again they bring us the complete uncut version of the score, with the pre-eminent James Ehnes lending his magic to the violin solos. The complete score of The Nutcracker will follow in 2014.

In Swan Lake, the Swan Queen takes her melancholy, oboe-led place among the composer’s many heroes and heroines destined never to know lasting fulfilment in love. The story tells of Odette, a princess turned by an evil sorcerer’s curse into a swan, and thus caught between the human and supernatural worlds, until she is finally released from the spell, and united in death with her true love.

This was Tchaikovsky’s first full-length ballet, but its premiere in 1875, staged at Moscow’s Bolshoy Theatre, was by no means a resounding success. According to most accounts, the choreography was inept, the shabby sets and costumes were borrowed from other productions, and the orchestral playing was poor.

As such, most ballet companies today base their productions on the 1895 revival by the pre-eminent choreographer Marius Petipa, staged for the Imperial Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. For this revival, Tchaikovsky’s score was revised by the composer Riccardo Drigo, also the chief conductor of the St Petersburg Imperial Theatre. Although these amendments may have served the conventional 1890s notion of ‘danceability’, one may argue that the overall cuts and reordering ultimately destroyed Tchaikovsky’s ground-plan of drama and tonality.

In this recording, we present Tchaikovsky’s original score of twenty-nine numbers and four acts, written for the Bolshoy Theatre, along with several supplementary numbers provided not long after the initial 1875 premiere.

 "...Järvi gives us a version that’s certainly more complete that are a number of others.  What I can say is that of the four recordings of the score which I am familiar, Järvi’s would now be my first choice, and taking all other factors into account - superb playing by the Bergan Philharmonic, James Ehns’s beguiling solo violin contributions, and a killer recording - I’d extrapolate from this that Järvi’s Swan Lake is now the one to have."

Jerry Dubins - Fanfare - March/April 2014

 “This is a lively and characterful Swan Lake from Neeme Järvi and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra…  The Bergen Philharmonic savour the colour and contour of the dances and have been caught by the Chandos team in a recording that has bite and presence. Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece in dance is presented in a compelling manner to please all the senses. A very fine swan indeed.”

Adrian Edwards – Gramophone magazine – March 2014

  “…Spectacular recording quality allows us to appreciate just how good the Bergen Philharmonic’s playing is. There’s a marvellous cornet solo from Gary Peterson in Act 3’s sequence of national dances, and Johannes Wik’s harp playing is a source of continual delight. James Ehnes’s star turn as guest violin soloist is a bonus. Unmissable, in other words.”

Graham Rickson – – 21 December 2013

"... Järvi ensures each individual scene or dance offers excitement, emotion and character and the Chandos sound has splendid depth and impact ... impressive playing from the Bergen orchestra and stylish solo violin contributions from James Ehnes ..."

Ian Julier - International Record Review - December 2013

                                Orchestral Choice

                    Performance *****         Recording *****

 "... Ehnes has more to do in this ballet than he had in Sleeping Beauty; he is superb throughout, raising the ’Danse Russe’ into a smouldering display of Gypsy-style virtuosity. The Bergan Philharmonic offers the most polished playing, driven ny Järvi,,,"

Daniel Jaffé - BBC Music magazine - Christmas 2013

             CD of the Week

“…The veteran Neeme Järvi gives us Swan Lake exactly as the composer intended; all 29 numbers from the original score, plus some supplementary pieces provided by the composer just after the premiere. But what really makes this set such a compelling purchase is not the impeccable musicology, but the exhilarating performance of all 155 minutes of this extraordinary score… Right from poor Odette’s opening oboe solo, the Bergen Philharmonic play most beautifully, confirming their fast-rising reputation. And it’s luxury casting by Chandos to bring in the Canadian virtuoso James Ehnes for the violin solos.” *****

David Mellor – The Mail on Sunday – 20 October 2013

"... Over two and a half hours of glorious music is here with an added attraction as the violin solos are played by the golden toned Canadian James Ehnes ..."

Peter Spaull - Liverpool Post 24 October 2013

"...There is music seldom heard here in the theatre ... his [Jarvi’s] light touch keeps the Bergen players on their toes. Ehnes glitters in his virtuoso solos."

Hugh Canning - The Sunday Times (Culture magazine) - 13 October 2013

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