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ON 4064
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ON 4064

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade/Russian Easter Festival Overture

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2012

Originally recorded in 2010


Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Charles Dutoit


Henry Wood Hall, London


Chris Hazell

Matthew Cosgrove

(Executive for Onyx)

Chris Evans

(Executive for RPO)


Simon Eadon

Record Label


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 61:17
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Scheherazade, Op. 35

1 I The Sea and Sinbad's Ship 10:45
  Largo e maestoso - Allegro non troppo  
2 II The Story of the Kalendar Prince 11:46
  Lento - Andantino - Allegro molto - Con moto  
3 III The Young Prince and Princess 10:36
  Andantino quasi allegretto - Pochissimo più mosso - Come prima - Pochissimo più animato  
4 IV The Festival at Baghdad - The Sea - Shipwreck on the Rock Surmounted by a Bronze Warrior 12:37
  Allegro molto - Vivo - Allegro non troppo maestoso  

Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36


Two of the greatest orchestral showpieces in the repertoire - Rimsky’s superbly scored and dramatic orchestral suite based on stories from The Arabian Nights and his colourful depiction of the Russian Orthodox Easter festival, combining both traditional tunes with liturgical chant.

Charles Dutoit is one of the greatest exponents of this repertoire, and together with his new orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic,delivers performances of great passion and exhilaration.

This is the first in a series of recordings from Dutoit and the RPO to be released by Onyx.

Charles Dutoit’s debut recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sees him revisiting a work he recorded first some 20 years ago. Rimsky’s opulent orchestral suite Sheherazade receives a characteristically dynamic performance here, coupled with the atmospheric Russian Easter Festival Overture.

"...Clio Gould, the RPO’s leader, offers a ravishing account of the solo violin narrative thread linking the different episodes in the music. Her playing has  a fragile beauty, tentative at times...A highlight of the performance is the lovingly phrased string playing in the third movement, The Young Prince and Princess’, reaching an ardent climax perfectly paced...The splendid performance of the Russian Easter Festival Overture conjures up a heady atmosphere of bells and swirling incense. The playing is most refined, especially the sonorous brass intoning Orthodox chants, shaped beautifully and topped by glittering percussion in the finale, making one marvel again at Rimsky’s colourful orchestration."

Mark Pullinger - International Record Review - January 2011

"What makes the performance a keeper for me are Clio Gould’s violin solos, superbly played and extremely characterful, full of strikingly original touches, including a great expressive variety of vibrato (and senza vibrato) effects."

Boyd Pomeroy - Fanfare

"Rimsky-Korsakov’s phenomenal skills as an orchestral colourist shines out nowhere better than in the voluptuous, Arabian Nights inspired Scheherazade, an all-time concert favourite and one that has charmed thousands of pairs of innocent ears into the earthy delights of classical music (speaking as one ensnared by it early). Not that, despite exotic flutes and tambourines, it sounds all that eastern. Atmosphere and melodies are excitingly Russian. The RPO’s warm strings and wild, extrovert brass capture the mood, with Clio Gould as bewitching soloist/leader. With great seasonal insouciance, the work is paired with the Russian Easter Festival Overture."

Fiona Maddocks - The Observer - 29 November 2010

"...This Scheherazadeis too good to miss."

Bob Briggs - - December 2010

"...this is a fine and enjoyable performance played with evident enthusiasm and spontaneity.Overall, Scheherazade is here given a lively and colourful performance, the RPO doing a notable job for its new conductor, the musicians producing lustrous and sonorous sounds and with some excellent solos being the icing on the orchestral cake, not least from Clio Gould, her violin contributions suggesting a winsome, capricious, impassioned and feisty story-teller. If Dutoit can let brass dominate (trombones especially), and the ultimate in pianissimo is rarely achieved, he is very successful at not distorting or exaggerating the line, the music unfolding naturally rather than being pulled around; nowhere is this better exampled than in ‘The Young Prince and Princess’, which has had no end of indignities heaped upon it, yet even here the quietest of pianissimos are rarely to be heard. Greater subtlety is achievable in even the most vibrant of passages, too, but there’s no doubting the vividness of it all, and the conviction with which it is put across. What a delicious score Scheherazade is when left to its own devices but cared for with musical judgment rather than with an eye or more on showmanship – as it is here by Dutoit and the RPO, who go on to give a superb performance of Russian Easter Festival Overture, full of solemn proclamations and rousing chorales..... this release reproduces a powerful chemistry between the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit that beckons well for future seasons and recordings."

Colin Anderson - - 28 November 2010

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