Fantasy and folklore are the subject of this 2CD collection of orchestral pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov recorded between 1953 and 1963 by the Suisse Romande Orchestra and Ernest Ansermet. We encounter Antar, disillusioned son of a slave who rises to become a Bedouin chief and dies in the arms of a fairy queen. We meet a Tsarina consigned to sea in a barrel with her son who transforms himself into a bumblebee; a witch who steals the moon; and a maiden who is immune from the power of the sun, thanks to her father, Winter, who is enemy of the sun!
Antar represents Decca’s first stereo recording and the booklet note includes an account of the making of this seminal document. The thrilling sound in many of the recordings is complemented by conducting of swiftness and astuteness, and above all, plenty of colour.
Antar – Symphonic Suite
May Night Overture
The Tale of Tsar Saltan – Suite, Op. 57
The Flight of the Bumblebee
Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34
Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36
Christmas Eve – Suite
Dubinushka, Op. 62
Sadko – A Musical Picture, Op. 5
The Snow Maiden – Suite
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Recording producers: James Walker (Antar, May Night, Tale of Tsar Saltan, Flight of the Bumblebee, Russian Easter Festival Overture, Christmas Eve, Dubinushka, Sadko, Snow Maiden); Victor Olof (Capriccio Espagnol)
Recording engineers: Roy Wallace (Christmas Eve, Flight of the Bumblebee, Sadko, Snow Maiden); Roy Wallace, Gil Went (Antar, Dubinushka); James Brown, Gil Went (May Night, Tale of Tsar Saltan, Russian Easter Festival Overture); Arthur Haddy (Capriccio Espagnol)
Recording location: Victoria Hall, Geneva, Switzerland, October 1952 (Capriccio Espagnol); June 1954 (Antar); November 1956 (May Night, Tale of Tsar Saltan, Russian Easter Festival Overture); April 1957 (Flight of the Bumblebee, Sadko); May 1957 (Christmas Eve, Dubinushka); November 1957 (Snow Maiden)