Author Topic: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version  (Read 1929 times)

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Offline KevinP

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Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« on: December 18, 2016, 12:26:22 AM »
Realized I don't have a recording of the unorchestrated version of this. Any recommendations?


Turner

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2016, 01:30:44 AM »
The super-budget Brilliant release of the complete Mussorgsky songs on 4 CDs by Leiferkus/Skigin (originally a Conifer recording) has the advantage of getting them all & the fine qualities of Leiferkus´ voice & good performances; I actually often prefer his general voice tone to that of Christoff, but that´s my individual preference, of course.

I also own Nesterenko/Shenderovich, and that performance is different from Leiferkus´ - more expressive and intimately theatrical, almost spoken-word at times, with more nuances in the voice. In the last song, he perhaps speeds down a bit too much IMO, but it´s a recommendable performance, also from the pianist´s part.

At least this illustrates some aspects of the recordings to choose from. It´s not that theatrical effects are absent in the overall Leiferkus set - in the Nursery Cycle, they are very apparent, and he changes between tenor- and bass effects there. But they are less present in the Songs and Dances of Death.

Lastly, I have a poor & obscure LP one with Peter Werschenskij, rightly forgotten.

(As regards orchestral versions, I own Christoff/Tzipine, Borg/Klima & Nesterenko/Rozhdestvensky, the last one in Denisov´s orchestration.)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 02:13:43 AM by Turner »

Drasko

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2016, 02:55:57 AM »


Nesterenko/Krainev

Turner

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2016, 03:46:23 AM »


Nesterenko/Krainev

Interesting, likely the one I´m talking about, since my Melodiya LP (recording 1976) mentions Shenderovich and Krainev as pianists in these two cycles, but seems to specify Shenderovich for  "Songs and Dances ...", albeit in a rather unclear listing. I guess either the LP or the CD listing is wrong, unless Nesterenko did two.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 04:24:13 AM by Turner »

Offline KevinP

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 04:50:18 AM »
I had originally written that what it was coupled with could become a deciding factor but removed it in case someone recommended a recording based on the programming.

Alas, both are tempting.


Drasko

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2016, 04:56:04 AM »
Interesting, likely the one I´m talking about, since my Melodiya LP (recording 1976) mentions Shenderovich and Krainev as pianists in these two cycles, but seems to specify Shenderovich for  "Songs and Dances ...", albeit in a rather unclear listing. I guess either the LP or the CD listing is wrong, unless Nesterenko did two.

It could be that there are two different recordings. The above pictured CD is to best of my knowledge reissue (partial) of Melodiya 2LP set which lists only Krainev and the recordings are from 1979 (and 1974 for Sunless), this one:

https://www.discogs.com/M-Mussorgsky-YevgenI-Nesterenko-Vladimir-Krainev-Romances-And-Songs/release/5854993

So I guess if your LP is from 1976 it could be Krainev in Sunless and Shenderovich in an earlier recording of the Songs and Dances of Death.


Drasko

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 05:33:22 AM »
I had originally written that what it was coupled with could become a deciding factor

In my opinion Sunless (aka Without Sun) is easily preferable song cycle and pairing than The Nursery, which is sung in falsetto and can get annoying on repeated listening. I often even prefer Sunless to the Songs and Dances of Death, it's subtler, fleeting, kind of proto-impressionistic.

As for performers I prefer Nesterenko to Leiferkus. Nesterenko is probably my overall favorite, he strikes great balance with being more expressive and involved storyteller than Leiferkus but without going overboard and chewing scenery like Christoff.

and few left-field choices who I found interesting (but might be difficult to find):

Yi-Kwei Sze (with Brooks Smith I think?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2PkpkBAja8

Benjamin Luxon with David Willison (Argo LP)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osyd4U9Hn0M

I've heard that there is supposedly great recording by Boris Gmyria but never seen it. Here's his Song of the Flea:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGo4fnM00js

« Last Edit: December 18, 2016, 05:37:46 AM by Draško »

Turner

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2016, 09:45:28 AM »
It could be that there are two different recordings. The above pictured CD is to best of my knowledge reissue (partial) of Melodiya 2LP set which lists only Krainev and the recordings are from 1979 (and 1974 for Sunless), this one:

https://www.discogs.com/M-Mussorgsky-YevgenI-Nesterenko-Vladimir-Krainev-Romances-And-Songs/release/5854993

So I guess if your LP is from 1976 it could be Krainev in Sunless and Shenderovich in an earlier recording of the Songs and Dances of Death.

Yes, probably, though not totally verified yet .... I have this, but in a 1986 Melodiya pressing.
My LP text says it was recorded in 1976, not 1979 as written in Discogs.
https://www.discogs.com/Yevgeny-Nesterenko-Mussorgsky-Mussorgsky-Songs/release/6816507

Offline Jo498

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2016, 10:03:44 AM »
Sunless/Without Sun is probably the great song cycle that is most poorly represented on (available) recordings. I agree that it is at least as good as the Songs and Dances but far less known and I don't have a decent recording...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline betterthanfine

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Re: Songs and Dances of Death, original piano version
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2016, 02:58:17 PM »
How do people like Galina and Slava? :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3TrlL08BhE