Experience brilliant Russian conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky's performance at the BBC Proms in 1981 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra!
Perhaps best known for his recordings of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake with the notorious Soviet label Melodiya, Russian conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky was a legend particularly celecbrated for his interpretations of the Russian ballet repertoire. The two sequences here, filmed at the 1981 Proms, show Rozhdestvensky at the peak of his three-year tenure with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
First on the program come selected works by Glinka, a composer whose importance is attested to by Tchaikovsky's own words from 1881: "I am a descendant of Glinka." The concert opens with the overture to Glinka's 1842 Ruslan and Ludmilla, a fantastical opera inspired by Pushkin's poem about rival knights, a sleeping beauty, an evil dwarf, a giant head, a ring, and a sword. Instrumental selections from Glinka's first opera, A Life for the Tsar, (which recounts the tale of a peasant who sacrifices himself to protect Mikhail I in a Polish invasion) follow. Tchaikovsky saw the work at the age of nine, and later confirmed that he loved this opera above all others (except for Mozart's Don Giovanni).The second part of this film presents act two of The Nutcracker in its entirety. Starting in the 1950s, Rozhdestvensky was conductor of the Bolshoi ballet—where he conducted The Nutcracker there for the first time at the age of twenty.
Verbier Festival 2011
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra