Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade; Capriccio espagnol; Russian Easter Festival Overture

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Rimsky-Korsakov
LABELS: Philips Solo
WORKS: Sheherazade; Capriccio espagnol; Russian Easter Festival Overture
PERFORMER: Herman Krebbers (violin), Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, LSO/Igor Markevitch, Kiril Kondrashin
CATALOGUE NO: 442 643-2 ADD (1963-80)
Kondrashin taped this monotonously over-inflated Sheherazade in 1963, though one would hardly credit the fact from the exceptionally vivid CD transfer of this once-familiar demonstration LP issue. Herman Krebbers’s violin solos have dignity and impressive ardour, but the narrative qualities informing the finest Sheherazades evade Kondrashin, who highlights every climactic incident, while marginalising the vital fairy-tale component of the work. Markevitch’s intelligent, though comparatively detached accounts of the Capriccio espagnol and Russian Easter Festival Overture seem disappointingly mundane, though CD transfers are again splendidly detailed. With numerous bargain-priced Sheherazades around (John Mauceri’s electrifying LSO account on Pickwick comes readily to mind), there’s good reason to look elsewhere. Michael Jameson