Leonard Slatkin / Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

Prokofiev: The Film Music

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This is in fact not a new recording at all, but the remix, remastering and reissue of a favorite late-'70s VoxBox release performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. All things considered, it's a stupendous value for the money, presenting the buyer with two discs containing excellent performances of "Ivan the Terrible," "Alexander Nevsky" and "Lieutenant Kizeh, " the last of which outstrips, in warmth, performance and subtlety, most recorded performances of the piece. This is a collection that takes well to the dynamics of the compact disc, the circa-1979 recording being granted sufficient range and clarity to deal with both the louder drama and the quieter subtleties of the music. The one minor quibble is that the recording itself is, unlike the orchestral and choral performances, slightly too dry. A little more reverberation would have increased the ambience considerably.