A tall imposing figure, so tall, in fact, that he often dispensed with a podium, Efrem Kurtz was a distinguished Russian conductor, who had studied with Glazunov and Tcherepnin and was a pupil of Arthur Nikisch. Kurtz had a broad symphonic and operatic repertory and conducted the premieres of works by Copland, Barber, Walton, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Shostakovich and Khachaturian. But he was most highly regarded for his interpretations of Russian music.
Kurtz was a familiar name to the record collector of the 1950s and embarked upon a series of Tchaikovsky ballet recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra for EMI in 1958. HIQ has already released Swan Lake and the release The Sleeping Beauty is in preparation. Of this Nutcracker highlights Gramaphone wrote: "This is probably as good a selection as could reasonably be expected."
In the original review in The Gramophone of November 1958, R.F. remarked: "The orchestral quality is superb, and the dynamic contrasts tremendous. If you can hear the opening pizzicato notes of the Sugar-Plum Fairy, the end of the Valse des Fleurs will have your neighbours banging on the wall in desperation."
Recorded March 1958, Kingsway Hall, London. Recording Producer: Peter Andry. Balance Engineer: Neville Boyling
Now offered by Hi-Q Records on JVC's XRCD-24 bit Super Analog disc. XRCD-24 represents JVC's continuing commitment to the pursuit of digital audio perfection. XRCD offers clearer definition, more accurate imaging, and higher audio quality than any compact disc before.
|The Nutcracker Op. 71|
|2. No. 2 - Marche • No. 3 - Petit Galop Des Enfants Et Entrée De Parents • No. 8 - Scène • No. 9 - Valse Des Flocons De Neige|
|3. No. 12 - Divertissement|
|a. Le Chocolat|
|b. Le Café|
|4. No. 12 - Divertissement|
|c. Le Thé|
|e. Danse Des Mirlitons|
|5. No. 13 - Valse Des Fleurs|
|6. No. 14a - Pas De Deux|
|7. No. 14b - Pour Le Danseur|
|c. No. 14 Pour La Danseuse|
|d. No. 14 - Coda - Valse Finale|