Balakirev: Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

This page lists all recordings of Islamey - Oriental Fantasy, by Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) on CD, SACD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

Recommendations

Editor's Choice
September 2008
Editor's Choice
November 2002
4 starWinner

All recordings

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Louis Kentner plays Balakirev, Lyapunov & Liszt

Louis Kentner plays Balakirev, Lyapunov & Liszt


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

recorded on 14 June 1944

Mazurka No. 6 in A Flat

recorded on 14 April 1944

Piano Sonata in B flat minor

recorded on 2 June 1949

Rêverie in F major

recorded on 15 June 1944

Liszt:

Piano Sonata in B minor, S178

recorded on 28 May & 4 June 1948

Lyapunov:

12 Études d'exécution transcendente, Op. 11 (complete)

recorded on 13–15, 20 & 29 December 1949

Étude d'exécution transcendente, Op. 11 No. 1 'Berceuse'

recorded on 7 March 1939 (first recording)


Though born in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire and having studied and launched his career in Budapest, Louis Kentner decided to relocate to London in the 1930’s and for the next 50 years remained a part of the British musical establishment. He was a mainstay of the Columbia catalogue throughout the 1930’s and 40s where he recorded a wide range of repertoire including the ‘Hammerklavier’ sonata and many premiere recordings of major Liszt works. APR has already devoted two CDs to the latter (APR5514 & APR5614). In the 1950s he went on to record for HMV, both as soloist and as duo partner to Menuhin, whose brother-in-law he had become through marriage.

Almost all the recordings on this set date from the end of the 78rpm era and have been unjustly neglected as a result. Two major works of the late romantic Russian repertoire, the Balakirev Sonata and the Lyapunov Transcendental Studies, here received their premiere recordings, and to many listeners, they have yet to be surpassed. Kentner had an invincible Lisztian technique; there was no one better to tackle Lyapunov’s homage to Liszt’s own ‘Transcendentals’. He was also able to take complete command of that other virtuoso warhorse – Islamey.

Of particular interest is Kentner’s only recording of the Liszt Sonata, and a magnificent one it turns out to be. Issued on 78s in 1951 when most other labels had switched to LP, this recording had a very short life and has never previously been reissued. It is a major addition to the available discography of Liszt sonatas and to Kentner’s legacy.

“Avoiding salon platitudes, Kentner’s readings exude a rich, fin de siècle perfume. Islamey may be less dazzling than some more recent recordings, but it is beautifully laid out and thoroughly virtuoso…this release comes as another welcome instance of APR’s continuing efforts to bring the history of recorded piano playing to our ears” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“Kentner’s recordings given a new lease of life” MusicWeb International, 21st September 2016

APR - APR6020

(CD - 2 discs)

$16.00

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36, etc.

Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

In the Garden

Liadov:

A Musical Snuffbox, Op. 32

Prelude Op. 57/1

Rachmaninov:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 36

Morceaux de Fantaisie, Op. 3

Polka de V.R.

Taneyev, S:

Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor, Op. 29


Olga Kern (piano)

"Sheer talent does not come more transparently and, to top it all, harmonia mundi's sound is of demonstration refinement and quality." (The Gramophone)

Harmonia Mundi - HMU907399

(CD)

$13.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Rimsky Korsakov: Scheherazade

Rimsky Korsakov: Scheherazade


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Borodin:

In the Steppes of Central Asia

Rimsky Korsakov:

Scheherazade, Op. 35


“Recorded under live conditions but without an audience in St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre, this Scheherazade is the most red-blooded, exciting account of Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral warhorse currently available, helped by full, immediate sound of a richness rare in Russian recordings. The magnetism is established from the start, with Gergiev completely dispelling the feeling that this is a work which keeps stopping and starting too often for its own good. Consistently you register that these are players who have the music in their blood, with rubato naturally inflected. In expressive freedom Gergiev is often less extreme than Reiner or Karajan, as in the quasi recitando bassoon solo near the start of the second movement or the espressivo oboe solo which follows, in which Gergiev notes also the atempo marking, keeping it steady. The virtuosity of the St Petersburg soloists conveys an edge-ofseat tension, particularly when Gergiev opts for challengingly fast speeds in the climactic passages of the second and fourth movements.
This is a work written over only a few weeks, and far more than usual this is a performance that, defying the many changes of tempo, conveys that urgency of inspiration. Yet Gergiev brings out points of detail in the brilliant instrumentation normally bypassed, as in the upward glissando for the cellos in the opening section of the third movement, either ignored or merely hinted at by others.
Two points might be counted controversial.
The tempo for that opening section of the third movement, 'The Young Prince and Princess', is markedly slower than with the others. Yet in context Gergiev conjures extra contrast with the other movements. The other point is that, though the recorded sound has spectacular weight and power over the widest range, it's clear that reverberation has been added to a recording made in a relatively dry theatre acoustic. Happily, it doesn't get in the way of orchestral detail. Both performance and recording, whatever the acoustic juggling, have a power that pins you back in your seat.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“[Gergiev] bring[s] out Rimsky's crystalline solo textures, such as the passages for solo cello, horn and woodwinds in the first movement. And if tempos are slow in the first three movements, Gergiev makes up for lost time in the fiery, bristling fourth, which becomes a tour-de-force for an orchestra clearly at the height of its powers” Matthew Shorter, bbc.co.uk, 25th February 2003

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2002

Philips - 4708402

(CD)

$13.25

(also available to download from $8.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Balakirev: Orchestral Works

Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Balakirev: Orchestral Works


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Borodin:

Prince Igor: Polovtsian Dances

Tchaikovsky:

1812 Overture, Op. 49


Presto CD

Philips - 4125522

(Presto CD)

$14.25

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (piano version), etc.

Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Mussorgsky:

Pictures at an Exhibition (piano version)

Sorochintsy Fair: Gopak

On the southern shore of the Crimea (Gurzuf)

Une Larme (A Tear)

Near the southern shore of the Crimea (Capriccio)


Jeno Jando (piano)

Naxos Clearance - up to 70% off

Naxos - 8550044

(CD)

Normally: $7.00

Special: $3.92

(also available to download from $7.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

à la russe

à la russe


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Rachmaninov:

Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28

Stravinsky:

The Firebird: Danse infernale du roi Kastchei

Berceuse from The Firebird

Finale from The Firebird

Tchaikovsky:

Méditation (No. 5 from Morceaux, Op. 72)

Passé lontain (No. 17 from Morceaux, Op. 72)

Scherzo à la Russe, Op. 1 No. 1


Alexandre Kantorow (piano)

Alexandre Kantorow released his first disc for BIS in 2016, performing Liszt’s piano concertos to critical acclaim: ‘I’m here to tell you that Alexandre Kantorow is Liszt reincarnated’ wrote one impressed reviewer, in Fanfare Magazine. Not yet 20 years old, the French pianist and son of violinist and conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow now explores his Russian roots, in a recital that opens with Rachmaninov’s weighty First Piano Sonata, inspired by Goethe’s play Faust, and its three main characters, the scholar Faust, his beloved Gretchen and Mephistopheles, the Devil’s emissary. The nostalgic intimacy of Méditation and Passé lointain, from Tchaikovsky’s Op. 72 collection, offers respite from the drama, but tension returns with Guido Agosti’s virtuosic piano arrangement of three extracts from Stravinsky’s Firebird.

Kantorow closes his Russian recital with Mily Balakirev’s ‘oriental fantasy’ Islamey, one of the iconic works of the piano literature. Fiendishly difficult, the piece famously inspired Ravel to write something that would be even harder to play (his Gaspard de la nuit). A committed Russian nationalist, Balakirev himself found the inspiration for Islamey during a journey to the Caucasus when he was introduced to the local music tradition.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

BIS - BIS2150

(SACD)

$14.25

Scheduled for release on 2 June 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Natasha

Natasha


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Brahms:

Piano Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 2

Kahane:

Piano Sonata

Prokofiev:

Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major, Op. 83


Natasha Paremski (piano)

Steinway & Sons - STNS30063

(CD)

$12.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

orch S. Lyapunov

Erkin:

Kocecke: Dance Suite

Ippolitov-Ivanov:

Caucasian Sketches, Op. 10, No. 2 'In the Village'

Caucasian Sketches, Op. 10, No. Caucasian Sketches, Op. 10, No. 4 ‘The Procession of the Sardar’

Rimsky Korsakov:

Scheherazade, Op. 35


The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Sascha Goetzel, have over the course of the past five years, built a formidable reputation as one of the most creative and exciting orchestras in Europe. Two earlier CDs for ONYX were extremely well received by critics around the world and the new release will not disappoint. Since it was founded, BIPO has worked to develop not only as an orchestra, but as a showcase for music from different traditions – a multicultural mosaic where each little stone is carefully placed with the utmost respect for its neighbour, making a unique contribution to its surroundings. This new recording explores the eastern musical roots of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, identifying elements from the eastern side of the Bosphorus which have impinged on the Western cultural background of these composers. For the first time the BIPO introduce original oriental instruments on a Scheherezade recording: between the first and second movements the oud plays a traditional melody; the violin solo recitatives are accompanied by the qanin instead of the harp; throughout the work a variety of Turkish and Arabian percussion instruments are delicately incorporated to support Rimsky-Korsakov's Arabic rhythm-writing.

Read Presto's complete review of this disc here.

“As always, Goetzel’s orchestra buckles down with a boisterous energy that disarms criticism.” The Times, 25th July 2014 ****

“It might not be the ultimate performance ofScheherazade, but the exotic interpolations refresh this overplayed work and the many solo passages are played with panache.” The Observer, 27th July 2014 ***

“the interludes work beautifully as palate-cleansers and serve to throw the music which surrounds them into sharper relief...The Borusan forces offer some of the most vital, vivid orchestral playing I’ve heard in a long time, whether throwing new light on an established warhorse or introducing us to relative rarities – I urge you to give them a whirl.” Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 4th August 2014

“[Scheherazade] is a work that well demonstrates the orchestra's virtues, which include not only a fine set of principals who have their individual voices in the brighly hued scoring but an overall warmth of tone and precision of ensemble and intonation that are hard won by newly formed orchestras. This is an attractive performance, vigorous of impulse and...pleasingly sensuous.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2014

“a terrific recording … Goetzel paces the work extremely convincingly … For daring, exotic colour, this is the most beguiling Sheherazade to have entertained me for some time.” International Record Review, October 2014

Presto Disc of the Week

4th August 2014

Presto Discs of 2014

Winner

Onyx - ONYX4124

(CD)

$14.25

(also available to download from $10.00)

This item is currently out of stock at the UK distributor. You may order it now but please be aware that it may be six weeks or more before it can be despatched. (Available now to download.)

Russian Gems (Piano Rarities)

Russian Gems (Piano Rarities)


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Isserlis, J:

Fairy Tale in F major

Medtner:

Piano Sonata in F minor, Op. 5

Rachmaninov:

Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17: Romanza

transcr. by Vladimir Leyetchkiss

Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 17: Waltz

transcr. by Vladimir Leyetchkiss

Rakov:

Russian Song

trans. Grigory Ginzberg

Rózycki:

Casanova, Op. 47: Act III - Waltz

trans. Grigory Ginzberg

Taneyev, S:

Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor, Op. 29


Sandro Russo (piano)

Musical Concepts - MC150

(CD)

$13.50

Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.

Maria Verbaite plays Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Grieg, Rachmaninov and Balakirev

Maria Verbaite plays Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Grieg, Rachmaninov and Balakirev


Balakirev:

Islamey - Oriental Fantasy

Chopin:

Nocturne No. 13 in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1

Polonaise No. 2 in E flat minor, Op. 26 No. 2

Scherzo No. 3 in C sharp minor, Op. 39

Grieg:

Lyric Pieces Op. 12: No. 1 - Arietta

Lyric Pieces Op. 43: No. 2 - Lonely Wanderer

Lyric Pieces Op. 54: No. 3 - March of the Trolls

Liszt:

La leggierezza - Étude de concert No. 2, S144

Rachmaninov:

Moment musical No. 3 in B minor, Op. 16 No. 3

Moment musical No. 4 in E minor, Op. 16 No. 4

Schubert:

Impromptu in G flat major, D899 No. 3


Maria Verbaite

Sterling - CDA1668

(CD)

$15.50

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)

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