Tuesday 3 May 2016

Gramophone: Russian Dances Review



"The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande boast a fine pedifree when it comes to Russian ballet... Under Kazuki Yamada, the orchestra continues that tradition, though in weightier sound and weightier performances"

 

We are proud to share with you that our wonderful third release of the Dance Series, 'Rusian Dances' performed by Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Kazuki Yamada received a great review from GRAMOPHONE magazine. The review praises the OSR for playing the Russian repertoires with elegance and purity. Read more of the review below. 

 

Swans, footballers and a baby elephant make for an unusual ballet troupe on this disc of Russian dances. The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande boast a fine pedifree when it comes to Russian ballet. Ernest Ansermet, its founder, was a gifted Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky, making many excellent recordings in the early days of stereo. Under Kazuki Yamada, the orchestra continues that tradition, though in weightier sound and weightier performances.

The eight-movement version of the suite from Swan Lake brings expansive playing and a firmer oboe tone than the somewhat vinegary sound in Ansermet's day. The lakeside pas de deux is a highlight, with glittering, nuanced harp (Notburga Puskas) and poetic violin and cello solos. Olivier Bombrun sparkles in the tricky cornet solo in the 'Danse napolitaine'. However, Ansermet leads more evocative account, with perkier cygnets and, in the Waltz, feathery strings lighter on their feet. Yamada is just a bit too flat-footed to  compete with the best.

[ Check out the album here: ]

 

Another fun polka concludes this enjoyable if random collection: the one Stravinsky wrote in 1942 for the Barnum & Bailey circus in which elephants performed in pink tutus. Combining heavy grotesquery with witty references - most notably Schubert's Marche militaire No 1 - this ballet for playful pachyderm ran and ran, receiving no fewer than 425 performances!

Mark Pullinger

 

Read the complete review on Gramophone Magazine - April 2016 edition.