Best of Russian Adagios

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Artist: Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Evgeny Svetlanov (conductor)

The apparently innate Russian genius for composing soulful melodies, combined with the influence of 200 years of Russian ballet, has resulted in a repertoire of dramatic and opulent scores. Opera, symphonies, concertos, songs and chamber works from Russian composers are all infused with the spirit of Mother Russia – her suffering, her dramatic and eventful history, her people and their way of life.

This collection of heartfelt adagios includes famous excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, and Glazunov’s Raymonda, Prokoviev’s Cinderella and the famous adagio from Spartacus by Khachaturian.
There are some rarer pieces as well – Rimsky-Korsakov’s Nocturne ‘Moonlight’ from his opera Pan Voyevoda and Khrennikov’s Hussar Ballad, as well as the wistful slow movement from Miaskovsky’s last symphony (No.27), written after he had been denounced by Stalin’s henchmen as being guilty of ‘Western Formalism’ (a charge levelled by Khrennikov). Miaskovsky composed this work as he was ill with the cancer that would eventually kill him, and through it he harks back to the Russia of Tchaikovsky’s music – a nostalgic and dignified farewell in the face of Stalin’s tyrannical ignorance.

00:00:00 Pas de deux: Adagio (The Nutcracker)
00:06:04 Pas d’action: Adagio (The Sleeping Beauty)
00:13:57 Nocturne: ‘Moonlight’ (Pan Voyevoda)
00:18:54 Raymonda: Act I: Intermezzo
00:24:34 Raymonda: Act III: Intermezzo
00:30:30 Adagio (Spartacus)
00:42:32 Adagio of Cinderella and the Prince (Cinderella)
00:47:59 Adagio (The Hussar Ballad)
00:55:30 Symphony, No. 27 Op.85 – II. Adagio

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