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Boris Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 1, Etc / Volgograd PO, Et Al

Release Date: 01/30/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570195   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Boris Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Lolita Angert
Conductor:  Eduard SerovKirill Ershov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Volgograd Philharmonic OrchestraSaratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 3 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Boris, apparently bears no relation to that more famous musical Tchaikovsky, which is just as well: they are both products and developers of the Russian tradition, but they are equally clearly products of their respective centuries. Boris Tchaikovsky’s teachers included Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, and Shebalin — auspicious mentorship that appears to have produced a significant compositional voice, if one until now little appreciated in the West.

One is likely to wonder, particularly regarding the Symphony no. 1 of 1947: how much does it resemble the work of Shostakovich? Features reminiscent of Shostakovich as well as other Soviet composers of the era are present: pungent brass intrusions, glass-edged string writing, spare and
Read more austere orchestration. Tchaikovsky is in this symphony, however, more conservative than Shostakovich or even Vainberg. There isn’t the same level of searing, driving intensity that - depending on how one interprets it - conveys the personal pain of oppression and alienation from one’s society. Tchaikovsky, rather, is interested in deploying the timbres and orchestrations he learned from his teachers for more formally musical argument. He is successful in doing this through the long-line; which is to say, he is a natural symphonist. While this work will not displace any of the twentieth-century “greats,” it makes for compelling listening and deserves to be played in Western concert halls.

The Volgograd Philharmonic, founded recently in 1987, has a lean sound that suits the symphony well. Its founder, Edward Serov, displays a sure control over the global architecture of the music, a virtue not always to be found in better-known conductors.

There is a change of personnel for the two orchestral suites, written to accompany radio dramas. The conservatory orchestra provides a richer sound. Though episodic, as one would expect of incidental music, it should appeal to fans of similar works by Sibelius. After the Ball actually commences with a very Sibelian waltz.

A page in the liner-notes features the Boris Tchaikovsky Society (see website). This group, of which the composer’s widow is a founder and many Russian musical luminaries are members, “organized” these recording. They note, “the Society welcomes everyone who admires the music of this great Russian composer. It will be delighted to answer any inquiries and to send scores.”

Naxos has also recorded the composer’s Piano Concerto (8.557727). I hope that, in their typically systematic way, they will commit his remaining three symphonies to disc.

-- Brian Burtt, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Symphony no 1 by Boris Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Eduard Serov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USSR 
Venue:  Central Concert Hall, Volgograd, Russia 
Length: 32 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Notes: Central Concert Hall, Volgograd, Russia (06/17/2006 - 06/20/2006) 
Suite for Orchestra "The Murmuring Forest" by Boris Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Kirill Ershov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Suite for Orchestra "After the Ball" by Boris Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Kirill Ershov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Suite for Orchestra "The Murmuring Forest" by Boris Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Kirill Ershov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Date of Recording: 01/15/2006 
Venue:  Great Hall, Conservatory of Music, Sarat 
Length: 13 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Suite for Orchestra "After the Ball" by Boris Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Lolita Angert (Piano)
Conductor:  Kirill Ershov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saratov Conservatory Symphony Orchestra
Date of Recording: 06/13/2006 
Venue:  Great Hall, Conservatory of Music, Sarat 
Length: 16 Minutes 54 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 1: I. Moderato
Symphony No. 1: II. Allegro marcato
Symphony No. 1: III. Largo
Symphony No. 1: IV. Allegretto
The Murmuring Forest Suite: I. Moderato
The Murmuring Forest Suite: II. Moderato
The Murmuring Forest Suite: III. Allegro
The Murmuring Forest Suite: IV. Molto vivace
The Murmuring Forest Suite: V. Andante
After the Ball Suite: I. Introduction
After the Ball Suite: II. Waltz
After the Ball Suite: III. Reminiscence
After the Ball Suite: IV. Mazurka
After the Ball Suite: V. At Home
After the Ball Suite: VI. March (Execution)
After the Ball Suite: VII. Conclusion

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