Romeo and Juliet (2016)

Prokofiev

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Vasily Petrenko

 

This stunning recording presents Prokofiev’s scintillating score for his ballet Romeo and Juliet, recorded here in its entirety - which is a first for the orchestra as well as its conductor. The Oslo Philharmonic recorded Suites Nos. 1 and 2 under Mariss Jansons in 1989, but never the complete ballet up until this point. Prokofiev’s imaginative orchestration has made the ballet Romeo and Juliet world-famous, primarily through the orchestral suites as opposed to the ballet as a whole. Unmistakably a child of the Rimsky-Korsakov school of orchestration, Prokofiev’s orchestra arsenal for the ballet includes tenor saxophone, four mandolins, cornet, celesta, organ, piano and a number of percussion instruments
Prokofiev’s imaginative orchestration has made the ballet Romeo and Juliet world-famous, primarily through the orchestral suites as opposed to the ballet as a whole. Unmistakably a child of the Rimsky-Korsakov school of orchestration, Prokofiev’s orchestra arsenal for the ballet includes tenor saxophone, four mandolins, cornet, celesta, organ, piano and a number of percussion instruments.

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? 
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. 
(From the balcony scene in William Shakespeare’s  Romeo and Juliet
On the balcony. Neither graceful dance nor William Shakespeare’s immortal words have been necessary to experience the excitement and beauty of the young love playing out on the balcony, since Sergei Prokofiev (1891−1953) set to music one of the most famous love scenes of all time. The nocturnal magic is established immediately with the sound of flutes, clarinets, harps and muted strings (“but soft”) and, subsequently, with the unusual organ solo (“what light”). Yet it is not until the three horns introduce their plaintive accompaniment, and cellos, violas and violins announce the central love theme (“O Romeo, Romeo”) that the music begins to seethe with colour and feeling. Its greatest miracle is nonetheless the composer’s facility for shunning suffocating sentimentality and achieving genuine emotional expression with his tonal and melodic distinctiveness and constant surprises. 

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Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

On 27 September 1919, a new orchestra took to the stage of the old Logan Hall in Oslo to give its first public concert. Conductor Georg Schnéevoigt presided over thrilling performances of Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Christian Sinding’s First Symphony. After forty years of making-do, the Norwegian capital had at last got the orchestra it deserved. The Oslo Philharmonic was born. 

In the eight months that followed, the Oslo Philharmonic gave 135 concerts, most of which sold out. It tackled passionate Mahler, glistening Debussy and thrusting Nielsen. Soon, world famous musicians were coming to conduct it, relishing its youth and enthusiasm. Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel visited Oslo to coach the musicians through brand new music. National broadcaster NRK began to hang microphones at the orchestra’s concerts, transmitting them to the whole of Norway. 

 

Over the next half-century, the Oslo Philharmonic’s reputation grew steadily. Then, in 1979, it changed forever. A young Latvian arrived in Norway, taking the orchestra apart section-by-section, putting it back together a finely tuned machine with a whole new attitude. Under Mariss Jansons, the orchestra became a rival to the great Philharmonics of Vienna, Berlin and New York. It was soon playing everywhere, from Seattle to Salzburg, Lisbon to London. Back home in Oslo, it got a modern, permanent concert hall of its own. In 1986, EMI drew up the largest orchestral contract in its history, ensuring the world would hear the rich, visceral sound of the Oslo Philharmonic. 

 

 

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Romeo and Juliet (2016)

Prokofiev

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

    Guy Weatherall -

"Petrenko clearly relishes every bar of this rich score, in an exciting reading full of both energy and detail. His dedication is matched by that of his players, whose panache and formidable concentration are exemplary: solos are uniformly magnificent and the closing pages, for example, can scarcely have been more moving. Recorded sound is broad and clear, although perhaps lacking in sheer sonic impact."

Guy Weatherall

    The Classical CD Blog

"Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" contains so much good music. The Oslo Philharmonic's very fine new recording of it is worth hearing. The orchestra's dynamics are exceptional and the chamber music pieces are optimal. Vasily Petrenko makes this an experience with his fellow players. This recording will be an exciting one to listen to."

Trond Erikson from The Classical CD Blog[read full review]

    Kulturspeilet

"The Wonderful Music of the entire Romeo and Juliet ballet composed by Sergei Prokofiev is now available from the Oslo Philharmonic and conductor Vasily Petrenko. To put it straight: this recording is a gold mine that can stand as an expression of some of the very best that Petrenko has performed with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. Quite simply and unvarnished I can say that Petrenko has a good handle on Prokofiev's music on this album. This is great music, and it is performed in a big way. Flowers to the Oslo Philharmonic and Petrenko!"

Kjell Moe from Kulturspeilet[read full review]

Romeo and Juliet (2016)

Prokofiev

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Producer: John Fraser
Recording Engineer: Arne Akselberg, Thomas Wolden
Recording location: Oslo Concert Hall, Norway
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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LWC1105: Romeo and Juliet
02:24:21   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
1.
Act 1 - I. Introduction
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00:02:45   Select quality & channels above
2.
Act 1 - II. Romeo
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3.
Act 1 - III. The Street Wakens
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4.
Act 1 - IV. Morning Dance
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5.
Act 1 - V. The Quarrel
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6.
Act 1 - VI. The Fight
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7.
Act 1 - VII. The Duke's Command
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8.
Act 1 - VIII. Interlude
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9.
Act 1 - IX. At the Capulets
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10.
Act 1 - X. The Young Juliet
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11.
Act 1 - XI. Arrival of the Guests
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12.
Act 1 - XII. Masks
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13.
Act 1 - XIII. Dance of the Knights
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14.
Act 1 - XIV. Juliet's Variation
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15.
Act 1 - XV. Mercutio
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16.
Act 1 - XVI. Madrigal
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17.
Act 1 - XVII. Tybalt Recognizes Romeo
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18.
Act 1 - XVIII. Gavotte
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19.
Act 1 - XIX. Balcony Scene
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20.
Act 1 - XX. Romeo's Variation
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21.
Act 1 - XXI. Love Dance
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22.
Act 2 - XXII. Folk Dance
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23.
Act 2 - XXIII. Romeo and Mercutio
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24.
Act 2 - XXIV. Dance of the Five Couples
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25.
Act 2 - XXV. Dance with Mandolins
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26.
Act 2 - XXVI. Nurse
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27.
Act 2 - XXVII. The Nurse and Romeo
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28.
Act 2 - XXVIII. Romeo at Friar Laurence's
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29.
Act 2 - XXIX. Juliet at Friar Laurence's
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30.
Act 2 - XXX. Public Merrymaking
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31.
Act 2 - XXXI. Further Public Festivities
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32.
Act 2 - XXXII. Meeting of Tybalt and Mercutio
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33.
Act 2 - XXXIII. The Duel
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34.
Act 2 - XXXIV. Death of Mercutio
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35.
Act 2 - XXXV. Romeo Decides to Avenge Mercutio
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36.
Act 2 - XXXVI. Finale
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37.
Act 3 - XXXVII. Introduction
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38.
Act 3 - XXXIII. Romeo and Juliet
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39.
Act 3 - XXXIX. Romeo Bids Juliet Farewell
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40.
Act 3 - XL. Nurse
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41.
Act 3 - XLI. Juliet Refuses to Marry Paris
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42.
Act 3 - XLII. Juliet Alone
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43.
Act 3 - XLIII. Interlude
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44.
Act 3 - XLIV. At Friar Laurence's Cell
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45.
Act 3 - XLV. Interlude
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46.
Act 3 - XLVI. Juliet's Room
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47.
Act 3 - XLVII. Juliet Alone
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48.
Act 3 - XLVIII. Aubade
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49.
Act 3 - XLIX. Dance of the Girls with Lilies
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50.
Act 3 - L. At Juliet's Bedside
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51.
Act 3 - LI. Juliet's Funeral
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52.
Act 3 - LII. Juliet's Death
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