Ballet Russes: Prokofiev & Stravinsky

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COMPOSERS: Prokofiev; Ravel/Rabinovch; Stravinsky
LABELS: Orchid
ALBUM TITLE: Ballet Russes: Prokofiev & Stravinsky
WORKS: Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet – Ten piece for Piano, Op. 75; Ravel/Rabinovch: Daphnis et Chloé – Pantomine; Stravinsky: Three Movements from Petrushka
PERFORMER: Roman Rabinovich (piano)


This is clearly a labour of love. Roman Rabinovich’s stylish line drawings adorn the booklet, and the enthusiasm of his joyful playing is infectious – the absence is barely registered of the rich orchestral fabric in which these ballets are usually clothed. It helps that, with Stravinsky’s Petrushka and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Rabinovich has chosen piano versions that were intended as concert pieces in their own right.

There is plenty of dazzling passagework to savour, with the ‘Dance Russe’ from Petrushka zinging along merrily, even if, like so many others, Rabinovich’s effort is apparent. It is the broad palette of colours that is most impressive, especially in the more poetic moments, such as the closing pages of ‘Rome and Juliet before Parting’. To these Rabinovich has added his own arrangement of two passages from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé, with imaginative touches, though the ‘Danse generale’ is less convincing as a pianistic experience.


Christopher Dingle