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This disc restores to the catalogue, after an absence of more than 50 years, Koussevitzky’s second recording of Peter and the Wolf, with Eleanor Roosevelt as narrator. Taped during his last recording sessions on 29th November, 1950, Koussevitzky’s performance of Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 is given with an electricity that transcends studio conditions, yet it is not without light, shade and emotional retreat. The final such example of Koussevitzky’s art, which pertinently concludes this disc, is a rapt and expressive account of Grieg’s The Last Spring, notable for the warmth and intensity of the Boston strings.
Sergey Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67
Soon, a duck came waddling around
Grandpapa came out
And now, this is how things stood
Meanwhile, Peter made a lasso
And there they go!
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 43
II. Tempo Andante, ma rubato
IV. Finale: Allegro moderato
Edvard Grieg: 2 Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34
Elegiac Melodies, Op. 34: No. 2. Last spring
“Koussevitzky’s is a red-blooded, wholly abandoned approach…. both warm and brilliant… a supreme conductor who has still not had his full due.”
“This account of Peter (whether you take to the narration or not) is supremely natural and should provide a model for young conductors...as a bonne bouche there is a rapt and expressive account of Grieg's The Last Spring”
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