Russian Ballet Suites
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.
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.