Gavriil Popov's first two symphonies, which appeared in February on Olympia, are disconcertingly contrasted works, and they certainly disconcerted the Soviet authorities who had to puzzle Out whether the music should be condemned or rewarded with a Stalin prize. The safest option was to do both. No. 6, here, did not help them much. It is subtitled Festive, though the Russian word, prazdnichnaya, could also make it mean 'Holiday Symphony'. How could this do for what happened to be the centenary of Lenin's birth? How could a work that begins with a long and complicated unison fanfare on horns, leading into rather a ramshackle movement succeeded by a weirdly introspective Largo section, with a jokey finale that tucks in a bit of Petrushka,Read more produce a sense of either holiday-making or the festal salutations appropriate to Lenin?
The Chamber Symphony, or Septet, is another matter again. Written as his Op. 2 in 1926, it comes fairly close to the world of Hindemith in spirit but not in letter: that is to say, the manner relates to the kind of serenade works written for use and immediate pleasure in those years, but has its own idiom - or idioms, since Popov was at this stage confusingly eclectic. There are some delightful inventions, witness of a bright, alert mind. One of the most haunting comes in the Largo, when strange, almost bluesy phrases evolve over slouching chords. Some of the music is boisterously enjoyable; some of it is just boisterous. But there is something sympathetic about it all, and if it does not serve to give deeper insight into Popov's creative nature, its enigma stays in the mind. The performances sound bright and well judged, and Olympia can be congratulated on accompanying the record with a very helpful insert-note by Per Skans.
Symphony no 6, Op. 99 "Festive"by Gavriil N. Popov
USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1970; USSR Date of Recording: 1984 Venue: Moscow Length: 36 Minutes 05 Secs.
Chamber Symphony, Op. 2by Gavriil N. Popov
Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1927; USSR Date of Recording: 1971 Venue: Moscow Length: 33 Minutes 40 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Popov: symphoniesFebruary 23, 2013By Gouyou-Beauchamps (Pyla sur mer, France)See All My Reviews"Je connaissais déjà les symphonies n°1 et 2 que je considère comme vraiment interessantes. La 6ème est intéressante aussi mais, me semble t'il, à un niveau un peu inférieur. La symphonie de chambre pour 7 instruments est de nature tout à fait différente; elle n'est pas un chef d'oeuvre mais est parfois remarquable, par moments, pour sa légèreté et sa fantaisie. Au total comment un tel ivrogne a t'il pu écrire de telles oeuvres? Il est vrai que Chostakovitch le considérait comme un très bon compositeur."Report Abuse