Film Music: The Neglected Art
, July 2012
Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904–1987), a household musical name in Russia but outside his country he pretty much identified with The Comedians…a suite he created based on a children’s play he wrote music for. Hopefully this new CD offering from Delos in their continuing project of reissues from the defunct Russian Disc label will introduce you to an extremely accessible composer.
“Overture Pathetique,” Op. 64…begins with an upbeat melody filled with enthusiasm and hope from the woodwinds which is the basis for the entire work. There is no complicated harmony only each orchestral section offering this tune which is brought to a rousing conclusion.
“Overture to the Opera Colas Breugon,” Op. 24…begins upbeat with a vivacious fun melody that is offered from the entire orchestra with emphasis placed on the brass. It will instantly put you in good spirits and offers a snappy bright conclusion.
“The Comedians,” Op. 26…opens with a short prologue that will remind you of Shostakovich with the opening fanfare of brass slightly askew which leads into his well known gavotte, a melody that you’ll remember instantly. The work is definitely a fun listen.
The opening selection “Romeo and Juliet,” Op. 56 subtitled musical drawings after Shakespeare…is a mixture of somber melodramatic material as well as fun and gaiety. The tone poem offers a fine example of the tonal colors and orchestration that Dmitry is capable of. While one can hear the Tchaikovsky it still has its own unique flavor. Again each section is a separate miniature that is capable of standing alone.
As an avid classical listener I found this material to be bright and extremely accessible. The Byelorrussian Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra perform like it was quite familiar with the material. Anatoly Lapunov seems to have chosen a comfortable pace that I found quite acceptable. The recording is clear and crisp with good separation and tonal range. I’m enjoying the reissue project from Delos and look forward to more in the future. © 2012 Film Music: The Neglected Art Read complete review