Russian Ballet Suites

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 1, Op. 64-bis
Khachaturian: Suite from Spartacus
Shostakovich: Suite from "The Bolt", Op. 27a
Alexander Vedernikov, conductor
Pentatone SACD
Purchase via RNO Pentatone Music iTunes



Vedernikov's pacing seems entirely natural... The Prokofiev and Khachaturian have nearly all the cinematic sweep you could want; Vedernikov is better than most conductors at maintaining the edge and intensity of the frantic swordfight passage in Prokofiev's "Death of Tybalt," never letting it devolve into cartoon chase music.

Audiophile Edition

The playing is superbly balletic and spirited and the programming of the three suites achieves plenty of variety and interest. Prokofiev's best ballet score shines in the seven excerpts, and the Adagio from the Spartacus score of Khachaturian is one of the most moving melodies imaginable... I was ready to hear more of Romeo and Juliet as well as Spartacus and Phrygia in these rich, sparkling and enveloping discings. Even if you already own the complete Romeo and Juliet you should at least sample this wonderul trio of works for its energy and terrific sonics.

What They’re Saying

"[The] American-Russian Festival Orchestra, featuring distinguished players from the Russian National Orchestra and a number of prominent American orchestras...[conveys] a vital message to our participants and observers, that by working together we can share our musical and historical cultures and increase our understanding of one another."

Athena T. Blackburn

Founding board member, Festival Napa Valley