LESKOVIC Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges (1955) - PACO051

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LESKOVIC Prokofiev: The Love for Three Oranges (1955) - PACO051

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PROKOFIEV The Love for Three Oranges

Studio recording from 1955
Total duration: 1hr 48:41

Slovenian National Opera, Ljubljana
conductor Bogo Leskovich


This set contains the following albums:

The première recording of Prokofiev's best-loved opera

One of only four Russian-language recordings - new XR-remastered transfer

  • This is one of two rare Russian opera recordings by the Slovenian National Opera which came my way from the collection of the former art director of Philips UK. It was sold as a boxed set of two LPs, and given the slightly alternative title of The Love OF Three Oranges (as opposed to the now more common "...FOR Three Oranges").

    The discs were in immaculate condition, suggesting little or no play, and transfer was straightforward. Despite being very well recorded for their day and origin, I noticed a lightness in the bass and some roll-off at the top end, both of which contrived to make the sound rather thin . This is a reasonably straightforward task to fix using XR remastering, and the finished result is clean, clear, bright and with at times quite exceptional depth.

    As the notes below explain, The Love for Three Oranges received a poor reception in the USA when first premièred in 1921. A revival there in the late 1940s however was wildly successful and the opera has entered the standard repertoire of many opera companies since. However this world première recording is particularly fascinating both for being given in the composers native language, and for being for many a particularly unfamiliar work at the time. Whilst the performers may today be unfamiliar to many, it stands as an excellent example of performance practice at the time, as well as being a superb recording it its own right, and was duly very well received upon its release, as this excerpt from a review in the January 1957 issue of The Gramophone indicates:

    This is the performance by the Ljubljana Opera which was such a success at the Holland Festival last year, and later in Paris. No wonder it was ! There is a galaxy of excellent voices in the large cast— some young, some mature—and they deliver the music, which is not at all easy to sing, with assurance, accuracy and, where it is appropriate, expression. The conducting and the playing of the orchestra are excellent. In every way this vivid performance represents a higher level of achievement than the flawed, though often very enjoyable, recordings of Russian operas which Decca have made in Belgrade. It should have a great success now among record buyers.

    Andrew Rose

    • PROKOFIEV - The Love for Three Oranges. Op. 33


      le Roi de Trèfle - Latko Koroshetz
      le Prince - Janec Lipusek
      la Princesse Clarice - Bogdana Stritar
      Léandre - Danilo Merlak
      Truffaldino - Drago Chuden
      Tchélio - Zdravko Kovac
      Fata Morgana - Vanda Guerlovich
      Linette - Vanda Zikherl
      Nicolette - Bogena Glavak
      Ninette - Sonja Kochevar
      la Cusinière - Friderik Lupsha
      Farfarello - Vladimir Dolnichar
      Sméraldine - Elza Karlovatz
      le Maitre de Cérémonies - Slavko Shtrukel
      le Hérault - Simeon Tzar

      Slovenian National Opera Orchestra & Chorus
      conducted by Bogo Leskovich

    Source information:

    World première recording, 1955
    Issued as Philips A 00331-00332 L {2LPS} (1956); Philips ABL 3150-3151 {2LPS} (UK) (1956); Epic 4SC-6012 {2LPS} (USA) (1956)

    Transfer from Philips ABL.3150/51
    XR remastering by Andrew Rose at Pristine Audio, September 2010
    Cover artwork based on a photograph of Prokofiev