Reference Recordings is proud to present the Utah Symphony conducted by Thierry Fischer, in grand new performances of Alexander Nevsky and the Lieutenant Kijé Suite, two of his most brilliant and dramatic musical works. The music of Lieutenant Kijé was originally written as the score to the film of the same name, released in March 1934. It was Prokofiev's first film music and his first commission. Prokofiev soon adapted it into the five-movement Lieutenant Kijé Suite, first performed in December 1934, and which quickly became a favorite in the international concert repertoire. Then, in 1938, Prokofiev collaborated with film director Eisenstein to create the score for the film Alexander Nevsky. He later adapted much of his score into the large-scale cantata for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and chorus featured on this recording.
Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers patrons access to world class live musical performances of the world's greatest music in the state's top venues. Since being named the orchestra's seventh music director in 2009, Thierry Fischer has attracted leading musicians and top soloists, refreshed programming, drawn increased audiences, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, the Utah Symphony has made seven international tours and performed at Carnegie Hall in Spring 2016 coinciding with the orchestra's 75th anniversary celebrations. The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings, including recent Reference Recordings releases of Mahler's Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 8, Andrew Norman's Switch, Nico Muhly's Control, and Augusta Read Thomas' Eos.
This release was recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 100 Grammy nominations and awards. For over 40 years, Soundmirror has recorded for every major classical record label, including Reference Recordings.
This stunningly recorded disc with 60 minutes of compelling music performed with style and verve will almost certainly make it the go-to choice for a modern version [of] these two works.
"Prokofiev wrote a lot of music for films, and much of it has made its way to the concert hall. The Alexander Nevsky cantata, which derives from his score for Eisenstein's movie, begins dramatically with brass and string choirs. The tension builds progressively through "Russia under the Mongolian Tyranny," which ends in quiet desperation. Utah's choirs enter with "Song of Alexander Nevsky," their voices in perfect balance. With A"rise, People of Russia," the pace quickens toward war, culminating with "The Battle on the Ice."
"I've never heard a rendering of the battle as bleak and crushing as this. One feels the impact of the braking ice and the noise of war. By the end, we are spent, as the strings linger over the now-quiet battlefield. This segues into "The field of the Dead," a requiem. Kolosova's tone is pained, warm, and kind; she's good, but she does not supplant Lili Chookasian as my favorite in this role. The cantata concludes with a joyous and triumphant celebration, as "Alexander enters Pskov." This is a performance of gravity and grace.
"The Lieutenant Kije Suite, which is based on a short satire about the life of a fictitious hero, is all wit and charm, but Fischer and the Utah orchestra avoid the trap of treating it as a set of bonbons. SoundMirror's recording team delivers sound that is remarkably transparent, balanced, and powerful. These are the best sounding versions available of both of these popular pieces." - Kalman Rubinson, stereophile.com, January 2020
- Super Audio CD
- SACD 5.0 Multi-Channel SACD Layer
- SACD Stereo SACD Layer
- This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
- Made in Germany
- Total playing time: 60:06
|Thierry Fischer||Music director|
|Utah Symphony chorus|
|University of Utah A Cappella Choir|
|University of Utah Chamber choir|
Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953)
- Russia Under Mongolian Tyranny
- Song Of Alexander Nevsky
- The Crusade In Pskov
- Arise, People Of Russia
- The Battle On The Ice
- The Field Of The Dead
- Alexander Enters Pskov
Lieutenant Kije Suite
- Kije's Birth
- Kije's Wedding
- Kije's Funeral