Kabalevsky: Colas Breugnon Suite; The Comedians; Romeo and Juliet Suite

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COMPOSERS: Kabalevsky
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Colas Breugnon Suite; The Comedians; Romeo and Juliet Suite
PERFORMER: Moscow SO/Vasily Jelvakov
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553411
Kabalevsky (1904-87) was one of the more acquiescent Soviet composers, toeing the party line by producing tuneful and accessible music. Beecham thought the overture to the opera Colas Breugnon one of the noisiest in the repertoire. It is certainly a lively work and gets the suite off to a cracking start.

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The Comedians suite depicts the life of an itinerant company of buffoons with ten catchy numbers, particularly a breezy Galop. To conclude, there’s a suite from incidental music to Romeo and Juliet, rather overshadowed by Prokofiev’s. This disc is largely a carefree romp mixed with some lyrical and dramatic music, all evidently scored with skill. The Muscovites play with rhythmic panache and commitment under Jelvakov. Christopher Fifield