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John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, December 2012

Maestro Andrew Mogrelia and the Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra recorded the full ballet in the mid Nineties for Naxos, originally issued in a two-disc set, and what we have here is a generous selection of highlights on a single disc.

Mogrelia… handles the more lyrical, romantic, and tragic sequences with a delicate hand…“The Young Juliet” at the beginning and “Juliet’s Death” at the end are most graceful and affecting.

The booklet notes describe the tracks pretty well, each segment clearly labeled to summarize the action of the plot.

Naxos recorded the complete ballet at the Concert Hall of Ukrainian Radio in 1994 and released this current set of highlights in 2012. The audio is quite nice, one of Naxos’s best-sounding recordings. It’s big and full…with a wide stereo spread and a moderately good sense of depth. Midrange clarity and transient response are first-rate, and bass, though modest, is effective. It’s quite enjoyable sound. © 2012 Classical Candor Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2012

Today’s most popular 20th century ballet, Prokofiev’s bitter-sweet score is packed full of brilliance, rhythmic impact and ‘sugar and cream’ love themes. There is a little musical padding here and there that can be removed, as we have in this release, and with almost seventy-eight minutes you still have the essence of this colourful work. The conductor, Andrew Mogrelia, has spent much of his working life in the field of ballet, and this speaks volumes in his choice of tempos that are intended for dancing. So we do not have the usual concert style of performance, which is usually too fast, particularly in the big formal corps de ballet sections. There are also many passages that call for orchestral brilliance and individual virtuosity, and those who have heard the Ukraine orchestra in the concert hall will know of its ability to serve up both, while retaining a very personal quality somewhat removed from the thick textures of the Moscow orchestras. You have to go no further than the second track, The Street Wakens, to enjoy that transparency. But, of course, for many listeners a performance succeeds or fails on half a dozen purple patches—Masks, Dance of the Knights, Mercutio’s Dance, The Duel , Death of Mercutio and the Scene at the Tomb—all very well played…There is lots of added reverberation which add to the sentiment of the love scenes. The recording dates from 1994and is taken from a complete performance on Naxos 8.553184–85. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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