This site uses features found in IE5 and Netscape 6 and higher

Sergei Prokofiev - Cinderella Ballet Suite

Sergei Prokofiev

Cinderella Ballet

Alexander Glazunov

The Seasons

Decca 455349

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Buy this CD from US

Buy Amazon International

Buy this CD from Amazon CanadaBuy this CD from Amazon UKBuy this CD from Amazon DeutchBuy this CD from Amazon FranceBuy this CD from Amazon Japan

Or buy it here:
Buy it cheaper at CD Universe
More Like This
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Serge Prokofiev, like most Soviet composers of Stalin's time, trod a very fine line between artistic freedom and the demands of his political overseers.

He left Russia shortly after the Revolution. While he was celebrated overseas from Japan to Chicago, and considered Paris his home, he always longed to return to Russia. After several successful concert tours to Moscow, he returned for good in 1936.

By then Stalin was firmly in power, and all music composed had to be formally sanctioned by the State. Stalin liked the classics but was opposed to "modernism" and the revolutionary thoughts it may incite.

In fact, in 1948, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Khachaturian were hauled up before Andrei Zhdanov and rebuked for writing "formalistic and anti-democratic" music. The rebuke was a veiled threat, and all three composers music became much less adventurous after this time, at least until after the death of Stalin.

Prokofiev actually wrote seven ballets, continuing the rich legacy of narrative Russian ballet started by Tchaikovsky. Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella are the best known and significantly, both date from before the political clampdown on artistic freedom.

Cinderella Poster
Cinderella, commissioned by the Kirov Ballet, is a delicious work, full of light, color and bursting with wit. The score closely follows Perrault's classic story, the tender yearnings of Cinderella, the sumptuous waltz with the Prince and the dark, threatening chimes as the clock strike midnight.

It is surprising that it is less popular than Romeo and Juliet. Cinderella's score has more beautiful melodies, but also an acerbic bite and wit which adds zest. There is also less repetition of melodies, so the action flows smoothly and satisfyingly.

Vladimir Ashkenazy's performance must the gold standard for this work. This is a fairy tale, delicate and feminine, but like all fairy tales, has a dark undercurrent (and remember, Cinderella wa written during the darkest days of the Second World War). Ashkenazy makes the chiming of the clock sound like a thunderous battlefield, but the waltzes and love scenes sing.

Alexander Glazunov - The Seasons

Happily, Ashkenazy's other great orchestral recording is coupled with Cinderella. Alexander Glazunov's The Seasons is also a ballet, but in contrast to Cinderella, has a non-narrative structure. The four seasons are divided into four tableaux, each consisting of a dance that represents the mood of the season.
Glazunov - The Seasons - Winter
A Polonaise represents Frost, a short dance scene for Ice, a Scherzo for Hail and finally and Waltz for Snow.
Glazunov - The Seasons - Spring
Two gnomes dispel Winter by lighting a fire, and Spring is celebrated by the arrival of the wild birds, and flowers.
Glazunov - The Seasons - Summer
Set amongst the cornflowers and poppies, the heat of the summer sun is relieved by water carrying naiads, dancing a graceful Bacarole.
Glazunov - The Seasons - Autumn
Autumn is the season of frolic and wine. It begins with a Bacchanale, and the previous seasons are fondly remembered, spirits subdued by the falling of leaves.
Glazunov is often criticized for being overly Western and neglecting his Russian origins. He is undoubtedly a composer in the tradition of Tchaikovsky rather that the nationalists like Mussorgsky. This is however music that stands on its own two feet, and this performance exceptional.

Please support
by purchasing this CD using this link.
Buy this CD from US

Track Listing

Serge Prokofiev - Cinderella
Alexander Glazunov - The Seasons
Vladimir Ashkenazy
The Cleveland Orchestra

Compact Disc 1
  1. Intro
  2. Shawl Dance
  3. Cinderella
  4. The Father
  5. The Fairy Godmother
  6. The Sisters' New Clothes
  7. The Dancing Lesson
  8. Departure Of The Stepmother And Sisters For The Ball
  9. Cinderella Dreams Of The Ball
  10. Gavotte
  11. Second Appearance Of The Fairy Godmother
  12. Spring Fairy
  13. Summer Fairy
  14. Grasshoppers And Dragonflies
  15. Autumn Fairy
  16. Winter Fairy
  17. The Interrupted Departure
  18. The Clock
  19. Cinderella's Departure For The Ball
  20. Dance Of The Courtiers
  21. Court Dance (Passepied)
  22. Cavaliers' Dance (Bourree)
  23. Skinny's Var
  24. Dumpy's Var
  25. Dance Of The Courtiers (Repeat)
  26. Mazurka And Entrance Of The Prince
  27. Dance Of The Prince's Four Companions
  28. Mazurka (Repeat)
  29. Cinderella's Arrival At The Ball
  30. Grand Waltz
  31. Promenade
  32. Cinderella's Dance
  33. Dance Of The Prince
  34. Refreshments For The Guests
  35. Duet Of The Sisters With The Oranges
  36. Duet Of The Prince And Cinderella
  37. Waltz-Coda
  38. Midnight

Compact Disc 2
    Cinderella (continued)
  1. The Prince And The Cobblers
  2. First Galop Of The Prince
  3. Temptation
  4. Second Galop Of The Prince
  5. Oriental Dance
  6. Third Galop Of The Prince
  7. Cinderella's Awakening
  8. The Morning After The Ball
  9. The Prince's Visit
  10. The Prince Recognises Cinderella
  11. Waltz
  12. Amoroso: The Prince And Cinderella

    The Seasons
  13. Winter - Intro - Frost - Ice - Hail - Snow
  14. Spring
  15. Summer - Waltz Of The Cornflowers And Poppies/Barcarolle...
  16. Autumn - Bacchanale/Entries Of The Seasons/Petit Adagio...

Search Good-Music-Guide