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Glazunov: Symphonies, Etc / Polyansky, Et Al


Release Date: 02/05/2008 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 93565   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Julia KrascoVsevolod GrivnovLudmila KuznetsovaOlga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya,   ... 
Conductor:  Valeri PolyanskiiTadaaki OtakaYondani Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony OrchestraRussian State Symphony CappellaBBC National Orchestra of Wales,   ... 
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 7 Hours 25 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

An important release: a complete symphonic cycle by a major Russian composer. Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) played an important role in Russian musical life. A favourite pupil of Rimsky-Korsakov and Mili Balakirev he was closely associated with the Russian nationalist group “The Mighty Handful.” For many years he was director of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He left Russia for America and Europe, and spent his final years in Paris. Glazunov forms a bridge between the Russian Nationalist School and the German romantic school of Wagner and Liszt (who greatly admired Glazunov and performed his works). His music, with occasional folkloristic influences, is very melodious, and brilliantly orchestrated.

• Excellent performances
Read more in the true Russian style by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Valeri Polyansky, licensed from Chandos Records.

• Next to the complete 8 symphonies this set also includes Glazunov’s popular Violin Concerto, the Raymonda ballet suite, the Concert Waltzes and two large-scale Cantatas.

R E V I E W S:

Glazunov's First Symphony is an endearing work -- the assertive opening surge reminds one of Schumann, but the graceful secondary material is immediately Russian in colour. The dancing Scherzo is peasant-like in rhythm and shape: its Trio (using a Polish folk-melody) demonstrates the orchestral charm that was to make this movement the highlight of the later Glazunov symphonies. The Adagio has that special combination of introspective melancholy and passionate outbursts that is the essence of a Russian symphony. It is very beautifully played here. Polyansky has the work's full measure: his pacing keeps the music alive and flowing without pushing too melodramatically and the jaunty mood of the finale, delightfully scored, is perfectly caught. Polyansky manages the tempo changes with engaging spontaneity, and the Chandos sound (full, with glowing wind colouring) is flattering. The Violin Concerto is a more inspired concerto than Dvorak's, and the Krasko/Polyansky performance is fully worthy of it.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [12/1999; reviewing Symphony No 1, Violin Concerto]

Glazunov’s highly enjoyable Second Symphony opens with a boldly dramatized Russian chorale theme on the brass echoed by the woodwind. Glazunov’s delightful scoring is all his own. The seductively flowing slow movement is Borodin-like, and Glazunov later reintroduces the motto theme, which again appears as the centrepiece of a sparkling, Tchaikovskian Scherzo, lilting delectably into a charming petite valse that the greater composer would surely have been pleased to own. All three movements are splendidly played by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra under Polyansky, who could hardly be more vital or warmly sympathetic, helped by the glamorous Chandos recording. Very enjoyable, as is the Coronation Cantata, just as attractively full of Slavic melody. After a glowing opening chorus, the music celebrates the Russian countryside. The sheer Russianness of this singing is unforgettably characterful. Splendid stuff, and it could not be more excitingly sung or played.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [10/1999; reviewing Symphony No 2, Coronation Cantata]

The Third Symphony opens endearingly with the principal melody for strings soaring over throbbing wind chords. Polyansky freely varies the music’s forward flow but keeps the tension fairly high, helped by ardent playing from his string section. At the close Glazunov brings the opening theme back again in brassy grandeur. There follows a delectably scored Scherzo and the orchestra obviously relishes its sparkle, its light-hearted central trio the highlight of the work. The Concert Waltzes are sheer delight, the one very like Glazunov’s best ballet music, the other with an almost Viennese lilt. They are played with affection and elegance in equal proportions. The Chandos recording is excellent if reverberant.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [10/2002; reviewing Symphony No 3, Concert Waltzes]

Glazunov’s Symphony No 8 is one of his very finest. There is some lovely woodwind playing in the Mesto slow movement and the strings create a genuinely passionate climax. The finale does not outstay its welcome, with the chorale theme splendidly sonorous at the opening, the drive and tension of the playing well maintained to the end. The lovely Poème lyrique was understandably admired by Tchaikovsky for its rich flow of Russian melancholy, so well captured here. But what makes this disc so very attractive is the Cantata in Memory of Pushkin’s 100th Birthday. Far more than just an occasional piece, it is full of warmly lyrical ideas, with Glazunov’s inspired flow of invention more than compensating for the doggerel poetry he was forced to set by the ‘unrefusable’ Grand Duke Constantine Romanov. This one of those happy works, full of melody, that makes you feel glad to be alive. A truly memorable performance then, and the recording is well up to house standards. Don’t miss it.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [9/2003; reviewing Symphony No 8, Poème lyrique, Cantata in Memory of Pushkin’s 100th Birthday]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in E major, Op. 5 "Slavic" by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881-1882; Russia 
Length: 36 Minutes 46 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Violin in A minor, Op. 82 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Julia Krasco (Violin)
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1904; Russia 
Length: 20 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 2 in F sharp minor, Op. 16 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1886; Russia 
Length: 45 Minutes 16 Secs. 
4.
Coronation Cantata, Op. 56 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Vsevolod Grivnov (Tenor), Ludmila Kuznetsova (Mezzo Soprano), Olga Lutsiv-Ternovskaya (Soprano),
Dmitri Stepanovich (Bass)
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895 
Length: 27 Minutes 44 Secs. 
5.
Symphony no 3 in D major, Op. 33 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Length: 46 Minutes 11 Secs. 
6.
Concert Waltz no 1 in D major, Op. 47 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Length: 9 Minutes 11 Secs. 
7.
Concert Waltz no 2 in F major, Op. 51 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Length: 9 Minutes 23 Secs. 
8.
Symphony no 4 in E flat major, Op. 48 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Length: 32 Minutes 13 Secs. 
9.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, Op. 55 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Russia 
Length: 36 Minutes 35 Secs. 
10.
Symphony no 6 in C minor, Op. 58 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Length: 33 Minutes 46 Secs. 
11.
Characteristic Suite, Op. 9 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1887; Russia 
Length: 34 Minutes 13 Secs. 
12.
Symphony no 7 in F major, Op. 77 "Pastorale" by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Tadaaki Otaka
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Russia 
Length: 33 Minutes 05 Secs. 
13.
Raymonda Suite, Op. 57a by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Yondani Butt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Russia 
Length: 22 Minutes 05 Secs. 
14.
Symphony no 8 in E flat major, Op. 83 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Russia 
Length: 39 Minutes 09 Secs. 
15.
Cantata in Memory of Pushkin's 100th Birthday, Op. 65 by Alexander Glazunov
Performer:  Ludmila Kuznetsova (Mezzo Soprano), Vsevolod Grivnov (Tenor)
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1899; Russia 
Length: 28 Minutes 18 Secs. 
16.
Lyric Poem, Op. 12 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Valeri Polyanskii
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1884-1887; Russia 
Length: 11 Minutes 13 Secs. 

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