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NA 3411
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NA 3411

KABALEVSKY, D.B.: Romeo and Juliet / Colas Breugnon / Comedians (Moscow Symphony, Jelvakov)

The Classical Shop
release date: November 2011


Moscow Symphony Orchestra

Jelvakov, Vasily

Vasily Jelvakov



Mosfilm Studio, Moscow

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 69:26
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KABALEVSKY, D.B.: Romeo and Juliet / Colas Breugnon / Comedians (Moscow Symphony, Jelvakov)



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Colas Breugnon, Op. 24

1 Overture 4:25
2 The People's Feast 6:00
3 The People's Calamity 5:55
4 The People's Insurrection 4:23

Komedianti (The Comedians), Op. 26

5 I. Prologue 0:59
6 II. Galop 1:29
7 III. March 1:26
8 IV. Waltz 1:36
9 V. Pantomime 1:49
10 VI. Intermezzo 0:52
11 VII. Little Lyrical Scene 1:14
12 VIII. Gavotte 1:49
13 IX. Scherzo 1:37
14 X. Epilogue 2:31

Romeo and Juliet

15 I. Introduction 3:15
16 II. Morning in Verona 1:53
17 III. Preparation for the Ball 1:41
18 IV. Procession of the Guests 3:28
19 V. Quick Dance 1:27
20 VI. Lyrical Dance 5:14
21 VII. In the Cell of Friar Laurence 3:12
22 VIII. Tarantella 3:26
23 IX. Romeo and Juliet 2:58
24 X. Death and Reconciliation 6:47
 Vasily Jelvakov Conductor
 Jelvakov, Vasily

Kabalevsky’s opera Colas Breugnon had its first performance in Leningrad in 1938 and was revised in 1953 and again in 1969. The libretto was based on Romain Rolland’s novel Le martre de Clamecy, a work that suited the political principles of Soviet Russia, with its general theme of the unprincipled exploitation of the people by their masters. The overture is a portrait of the protagonist and the opening Prologue has Breugnon writing an account of his life. The first ac t is set near Clamecy in Burgundy. Peasant girls are working in the vineyards. Colas Breugnon, a gifted wood-carver, joins Selina. They are in love, but Colas Breugnon will not propose. Gifliard, equerry to the Duke, enters and tells him that he will marry Selina. The two men fight, with Colas Breugnon encouraged by the girls, especially by Jacqueline, who is in love with him. A bell is heard, announcing the return of the Duke from Paris, accompanied by soldiers and guests. An Intermezzo accompanies an exchange between citizens and soldiery .In the second scene, set in a meadow near Clamecy, the people are assembled to meet the Duke, according to custom. Musicians play, joined by Colas Breugnon. He is noticed by one of the Duke’s guests, who questions him. He replies lightly and the Duke shows her a fountain carved by Colas Breugnon, who is invited to the Duke’s castle. Gifliard tells them that Colas is to go to study in Paris. He dances with Selina, who now agrees to marry him.

In the second act Colas is in his workshop, finishing a statue of Selina, helped by an apprentice. Jacqueline comes in and then the Duke, who takes the statue to his castle, when Gifliard shows it to him. Brooding, Colas is joined by a drunken priest. There is a sound of drum and pipe outside and of children singing the Dies irae, since the soldiers have brought the plague to Clamecy. People plan to leave to escape infection, but Colas Breugnon resolves to stay. The following Intermezzo is in the form of a funeral procession. In the next scene Colas has the plague and in a delirium wanders through an abandoned vineyard, seeing visions of death. He survives, however, even after the priest and his apprentice tell him that, on the Duke’s orders, his workshop and house and all they contain has been burned to the ground leaving only his flute. An Intermezzo follows, as Colas Breugnon limps away along the road.

In the next scene Colas Breugnon meets Jacqueline, now dying, and near Clamecy meets Selina, recalling past happiness. She reproaches him for not proposing to her. People warn him against entering Clamecy, which is on fire. In the castle, where Colas Breugnon’s carvings have been taken, the Duke asks if the artist is alive and is told by Gifliard that Colas is stirring up the people against him. He orders all the carvings to be burnt. At this moment Colas Breugnon enters, laughing when he sees the destruction. After another Intermezzo the scene changes to a procession to celebrate the town’s patron saint. The Duke and his courtiers celebrate the Feast of St Martin and a statue by Colas Breugnon is unveiled, to reveal a representation of the Duke sitting on a donkey. To the amusement of the people, the Duke and his guests withdraw. The Suite from the opera is taken by the composer from the first version of the work.

The Comedians, a suite for small orchestra, was written in 1940, taken from music for the play The Inventor and the Comedian, by the Soviet writer M. Daniel. The Galop enjoys particular popularity in music that demonstrates Kabalevsky’s light touch with a score that is pure entertainment.

A more sombre note intrudes into the Suite from incidental music for Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Written in 1956, the music starts, in its Introduction with enmity and love, the division between the love of Romeo and Juliet and the enmity of Montagues and Capulets. Morning in Verona is followed by Preparation for the Ball, at which the two lovers will meet, and a Procession of the Guests. A Quick Dance is followed by a Lyrical Dance, as the lovers meet, and a scene in the cell of Friar Laurence, whose well intentioned intervention is the cause of the tragedy. A rapid Tarantella leads to music for the lovers and their final death in the Capulet tomb.

"This disc is largely a carefree romp mixed with some lyrical and dramatic music, all evidently scored with skill. The Muscovites play with rhythmic panache and commitment under Jelakov."

BBC Music Magazine - October 1996

"The Naxos booklet notes are...informative...excellent value for money."

Classic CD - December 1996

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