Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet | Naxos 857353435

Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet

£15.15

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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 857353435

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Ballet

Release Date: 16th March 2018

Contents

Artists

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Marin Alsop

Works

Prokofiev, Sergei

Romeo and Juliet, op.64

Artists

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Marin Alsop

About

Based on Shakespeare’s most famous romantic play, Prokofiev’s realisation of Romeo and Juliet as a full-length narrative ballet was audacious in its day. It was written during a period of artistic turmoil under a Soviet regime in which arguments raged over such fundamental aspects as the choice between a happy or a tragic ending. Famous movements such as the Dance of the Knights have helped maintain Romeo and Juliet as Prokofiev’s best-loved stage work. Marin Alsop’s acclaimed cycle of Prokofiev’s Symphonies has been described as ‘an outstanding achievement’ by BBC Music Magazine.

Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo and Juliet is his best loved and most commercially successful stage work by a long way, having been recorded widely both as here in its complete form, as well as in the two suites prepared by the composer when it seemed a full production seemed unlikely. The last Naxos recording of the full score was back in 1995 (8553184-85), and subsequent to Marin Alsop’s triumphant completion of her Prokofiev symphonic cycle this is a perfect time for a new release.

Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives”. Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). Her success as the BSO’s music director has garnered national and international attention for her innovative programming and artistry. Alsop is often making history: in 2005 she was the first conductor to be awarded a MacArthur Genius award, and in September 2013 as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London – an honour that she repeated in 2015.

Marin Alsop’s recently completed cycle of Prokofiev’s Symphonies has been widely acclaimed. Of her recording of the Fourth Symphony and The Prodigal Son (8573186), International Record Review wrote: “Conductor and orchestra both shine with the excitement of a special relationship in the ascendant”, and Gramophone wrote that the First Symphony (8573353) “has many delightful touches — the finale has just the right kind of fizz and sparkle.”

Marin Alsop’s association with the Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has also brought us numerous successes, including Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (8572486) considered by ClassicsToday.com to be “a splendid performance of this oft-recorded work… a memorable and wholly successful effort, excellently engineered to boot. …this is very, very good, and wholly recommendable as a pairing of these two iconic works.” This partnership will have been given a further boost with our celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centenary, a box set (8508018) that includes all of Marin Alsop’s recordings of Bernstein’s orchestral music on Naxos, released in February 2018.

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