Author Topic: Russian Easter Overture  (Read 639 times)

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Offline david johnson

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Russian Easter Overture
« on: April 03, 2021, 11:35:08 PM »
It's Easter Sunday!  This is certainly a day to enjoy Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture.  That was the first piece of classical music I really got into.  We rehearsed a transcription of it in school band and I became very interested.  I soon purchased the Ansermet/OSR recording of it on London records.  That one has remained a constant enjoyment for me.  My favorite is Barenboim/CSO, but I've heard so many I can't recall them all.  May the Almighty bless us all on this Easter.

Online MusicTurner

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2021, 12:20:00 AM »
Yes, it's one of Rimsky's most attractive pieces ... a lot of folklore ... will find a recording to listen to.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 12:23:25 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2021, 01:12:01 AM »
I agree that it is one of RK's finest works and an early entry point for me into classical music:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 03:03:09 AM »
It is still overall one of my favourite orchestral pieces by anyone.

I've heard it live twice and what a thrill!

I really enjoy the von Matacic recording.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2021, 05:09:00 AM »
I’m not sure why this work deserves its own thread or why this comment couldn’t have been posted in the Rimsky-Korsakov dedicated thread, but it’s been awhile since I’ve heard this work to make any further comments on it.
“Competitions are for horses; not artists.” - Béla Bartók

Online André

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2021, 06:17:45 AM »
It's Easter Sunday!  This is certainly a day to enjoy Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture.  That was the first piece of classical music I really got into.  We rehearsed a transcription of it in school band and I became very interested.  I soon purchased the Ansermet/OSR recording of it on London records.  That one has remained a constant enjoyment for me.  My favorite is Barenboim/CSO, but I've heard so many I can't recall them all.  May the Almighty bless us all on this Easter.

+1 to all of that.

My fave Russian Easter Overture is Ormandy’s. He sets a moderate tempo and doesn’t go off the handle in the concluding section, making it majestic and celebratory.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 01:44:01 PM »
I know he triggers some folks here, but Hurwitz did a video on the Russian Easter Overture:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/a07iHcO5Bdc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/a07iHcO5Bdc</a>

His top choice was Markevitch.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 01:51:17 PM by Daverz »

Offline relm1

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 03:34:16 PM »
I know he triggers some folks here, but Hurwitz did a video on the Russian Easter Overture:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/a07iHcO5Bdc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/a07iHcO5Bdc</a>

His top choice was Markevitch.

I partially agree with him.  Stokowski was a rare let down.  Markevitch is great but he has multiple interpretations recorded and they are very different from each other.  The one Hurwitz calls out is the fastest one with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and uses a gong more than a tam-tam used in the French National Orchestra which is two minutes longer.  I actually prefer that one however the timpani ending is more pronounced in the Concertgebouw but tam-tam is better in the French National Orchestra with Markevitch.  I haven't performed this work in concert but have performed Scheherazade and Capriccio Espagnol multiple times and have a good sense of Russian music.  An important point, what is the difference between a gong and tam-tam?  Holst Planets indicates "gong" and it is always played by a tam-tam.  One should consider the gong as an umbrella of instruments of which the tam-tam is a type.  Gong can include more "french" or eastern instruments but the tam-tam is a larger version.  Russian idiomatic music would use a rather large tam-tam.  A professional percussionist with the Baltimore Symphony indicated a Shostakovich tam-tam would be at least 32" in size.  a 26 inch tam-tam is not an idiomatic sound, it is more of a gong high pitch sound as heard in the Royal Concertgebouw recording.  The larger it is, the more it resonates (booms) and sometimes the volume rises after hit.  I played with a 32" tam-tam not long ago on one of my own works and did a crescendo roll.  I was shocked how loud it got AFTER I stopped beating it!  Compare it to Markevitch's recording with French National.  Also fascinating is that the French performance is about two minutes slower but he doesn't take the coda as slow as he did with the Concertgebouw.  I think it's a draw overall.  The RCO is better with the timpani and slams the brakes on the coda but the French is more even tempered and better tam-tam.  If I had to have one version, I would prefer the French orchestra.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 03:37:26 PM by relm1 »

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2021, 04:42:04 PM »
I have several versions, but I especially enjoy the one I am listening to right this minute: Anima Eterna Brugges with Immerseel on Zig-Zag. I'm not a big version comparison guy, but I like this one a lot. :)

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2021, 05:23:06 PM »
It is still overall one of my favourite orchestral pieces by anyone.

I've heard it live twice and what a thrill!

Agreed! It could be my all-time favorite overture. I only heard it once live and wow, a supremely memorable concert.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

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Offline david johnson

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2021, 10:22:29 PM »
"I’m not sure why this work deserves its own thread or why this comment couldn’t have been posted in the Rimsky-Korsakov dedicated thread, but it’s been awhile since I’ve heard this work to make any further comments on it."

Mirror Image...because it's Easter (here in the West), and that's the title of the work.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 10:37:28 PM by david johnson »

Offline Daverz

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2021, 03:44:47 PM »
Listened to the Markevitch/Paris Conservatory recording.  Pithy, and good mono, but this work calls out for better sonics. 

My favorite is Rodzinski, beautifully recorded and exciting.



It's also in a "Greatest Conductors of the 20th Century" set and in Scirbendum's "Art of Artur Rodzinski" set.

OK, the stereo Markevitch is next.


EDIT: And Markevitch really kicks butt.  More grandeur than Rodzinski, and just as exciting and well-played.


« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 03:57:10 PM by Daverz »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2021, 09:39:54 PM »
Must be great to have heard it live!
I like Ansermet's recording (on that fine old Decca 'Ace of Diamonds' LP, posted above) but that's because it's the one that I grew up with. I have a couple of other recordings and must search them out.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2021, 09:41:17 PM »
Listened to the Markevitch/Paris Conservatory recording.  Pithy, and good mono, but this work calls out for better sonics. 

My favorite is Rodzinski, beautifully recorded and exciting.



It's also in a "Greatest Conductors of the 20th Century" set and in Scirbendum's "Art of Artur Rodzinski" set.

OK, the stereo Markevitch is next.


EDIT: And Markevitch really kicks butt.  More grandeur than Rodzinski, and just as exciting and well-played.


I recall enjoying that Philips CD. Must look out for the Rodzinski - I like his old recording of Shostakovich's 8th Symphony.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 09:43:03 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Russian Easter Overture
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2021, 06:42:15 PM »
I don't claim superiority for this 1960 recording; I just enjoy it:



It's mighty good.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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