Vasily Petrenko

Tchaikovsky: Ballet Music [Highlights]

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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell

Like much of Tchaikovsky's musical output, his ballet scores were often subject to criticism. This is certainly true of his first attempt at ballet, Swan Lake. Although still firmly rooted in the traditions of the day, Tchaikovsky certainly tried to move out on his own by making the score much more orchestra-based than most of his predecessors. This, of course, drew the ire of dancers and theater directors alike as the attention was taken away from the dancers and placed on the musicians. History shines more favorably on Tchaikovsky's independent streak, making him the first Russian composer whose ballet scores are played as stand-alone orchestral works, not to mention the fact that Tchaikovsky was unknowingly paving the way for a string of subsequent Russian ballet composers like Stravinsky and Prokofiev. Excerpts from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and the perennial holiday favorite the Nutcracker are featured on this album by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko, who, at the rather young age of 29, became the orchestra's principal conductor in 2006, leads the orchestra in an extremely energetic and lively reading of these works. Most of the numbers are performed much more quickly than would ever be heard with a dance company, but the sprightly tempos make for especially exciting listening. Petrenko combines the orchestra's brilliant sound and exceptional technical precision with his own knowledge of the Russian master to create this enjoyable, appealing album.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Swan Lake, ballet, Op. 20
1 Vasily Petrenko 02:32 Amazon
2 Vasily Petrenko 06:47 Amazon
3 Vasily Petrenko 01:34 Amazon
4 Vasily Petrenko 03:13 Amazon
5 Vasily Petrenko 02:24 Amazon
6 Vasily Petrenko 02:08 Amazon
7 Vasily Petrenko 04:29 Amazon
The Sleeping Beauty, ballet, Op. 66
8 Vasily Petrenko 04:52 Amazon
9 Vasily Petrenko 02:16 Amazon
10 Vasily Petrenko 00:57 Amazon
11 Vasily Petrenko 00:42 Amazon
12 Vasily Petrenko 01:18 Amazon
13 Vasily Petrenko 04:41 Amazon
Nutcracker, suite from the ballet, Op. 71a
14 Vasily Petrenko 03:19 Amazon
15 Vasily Petrenko 02:40 Amazon
16 Vasily Petrenko 02:00 Amazon
17 Vasily Petrenko 01:13 Amazon
18 Vasily Petrenko 01:08 Amazon
19 Vasily Petrenko 02:48 Amazon
20 Vasily Petrenko 06:55 Amazon
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