Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Zdeněk Chalabala

Rimsky-Korsakov: Sheherazade - Khachaturian: Gayane

Catalogue Number: SU 4094-2
Published: 23rd March 2012
Genre: Orchestral
Format: 2 CD
Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov - Sheherazade. Symphonic Suite, Op. 35
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky - Night on Bald Mountain. Fantasia for Orchestra
Aram Khachaturian - Gayane. Excerpts from Ballet Suites

Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor: Zdeněk Chalabala

Owing in large part to their exotic inspiration, Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade and Aram Khachaturian's Gayane are among the most beautiful and most frequently performed Russian and Soviet works of music. The creator of Sheherazade, who as a young navy officer travelled the oceans, was enchanted by the Oriental collection of stories and folk tales The One Thousand and One Nights. Yet Rimsky-Korsakov's colourful instrumentation also gave lustre to another work, Mussorgsky's fantasia Night on Bald Mountain, with its dramatic depiction of a wild Sabbath of witches. Khachaturian's ballet suite Gayane includes Armenian folk melodies, which were the composer's most powerful inspiration and undoubtedly helped to earn the piece global popularity (the celebrated Sabre Dance is one of the most frequently played compositions worldwide). The recordings of all three works were made between 1953 and 1955, the paramount period of Zdeněk Chalabala, the chief conductor of Prague's National Theatre Opera at the time. The great imagination with which he tells stories, combined with the inimitable timbre of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, makes these recordings truly remarkable. Yet another treasure appearing on CD for the first time…

Sheherazade - immortal stories with the scent of Orient in the vivid colours of Chalabala's recording.


”Chalabala's gre­atest claim to fame was as an opera conductor…and if asked to name his principal quality in purely orchestral music it would be that same theatrical flair…All the recordings have been well transferred and, provided you're not monophobic, this exciting double-pack should earn itself a favoured place in your collection, certainly for this repertory.”
Gramophone, Awards Issue 2012

CD 1

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Sheherazade. Symphonic Suite, Op. 35
1. The Sea and Simbad's Ship. Largo maestoso 10:09
2. The Tsarevich Calendar. Lento 11:32
3. Love between the Tsarevich and the Princess. Andantino, quasi allegretto 11:33
4. Festival in Baghdad. Shipwreck. Allegro molto 12:20
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
5. Night on Bald Mountain. Fantasia for Orchestra 11:07

CD 2

Aram Ilich Khatchatourian
Gayané. Excerpts from the Ballet Suites for Symphonic Orchestra
1. Entrance 02:40
2. Adagio Gayane 05:22
3. Dance of the Rose Maidens (Suite I., No. 2) 02:09
4. Lyrical Duet (Suite II., No. 2) 05:12
5. Lullaby (Suite I., No. 5) 06:21
6. Gayane and Giko 09:28
7. Dance of the Highlanders 01:42
8. Fire 04:28
9. Lezghinka (Suite I., No. 8) 02:50
10. Gopak 03:05
11. Sabre Dance (Suite III., No. 5) 02:30
12. Ayesha's Awakening and Dance (Suite I., No. 3) 06:10