Prokofiev: Cinderella

Cinderella--Ballet in three Acts, op.87
Summer Night--Suite, op.123
Mikhail Pletnev, conductor
DG 445 830-2
Purchase via RNO iTunes

Awards

Top Recordings of the 1990s, Gramophone Magazine


Reviews

Gramophone

This wonderful score is brilliantly played by Pletnev’s virtuoso orchestra. I’ve loved this recording since it first appeared and would heartily recommend it.

Gramophone

This is an outstanding release. ... Pletnev on the podium can be as effective as he is at the keyboard, effortlessly combining Toscanini's crispness and tension with Karajan's unfashionable concern with the longer line. ... Most striking of all is the radical clarity of texture which makes Prokofiev's modest suite seem at once unprecedentedly modern and that much more shrewdly realized in terms of colour. ... The motif of Cinderella repressed, first heard at the very start of the ballet, is given a heavy tread, the orchestra dragging their metaphorical feet to intensify the pensive mood. As for the second motto theme, anticipating her eventual happiness with her dream prince, it is not so much broad and impassioned as achingly beautiful. Nor is the conducting without humour. The sisters' ''dancing lesson'' has never been more vividly evoked, their unruly behaviour and slow learning curve precisely delineated in the truculent attack of the two solo violins. ''The Prince's first galop'' ... is as light as a feather, executed with matchless finesse by the Russian strings. ... I would not want to be without Pletnev's ... supremely articulate view. ... The orchestral playing is superb. ... Strongly recommended.

New York Times

Prokofiev's ballet score "Cinderella" ... is available in a splendid recording with the Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Mikhail Pletnev, who deftly conveys the kinetic vitality, grandeur and refinement of this inspired music.

Gramophone Classical Good CD Guide

This is an outstanding release. There is simply no other way to describe it. The sound is good, the orchestral playing, superb.

Gramophone

This (Prokofiev's "Cinderella") is quite simply the best played, most atmospheric and affecting Cinderella we have ever had. This is one of the best records, not only of the year, but of the 1990s!

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa Valley...is precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural links...at a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace