WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Taneyev: Oresteia Overture & Interlude, Canzona, Etc / Sanderling, Et Al


Release Date: 06/30/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570584   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Sergei Taneyev
Performer:  Stanislav Jankovsky
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Unfamiliar scores played with great conviction. A real treat.

Taneyev may not be high on most people's list of 19th-century Russian composers but that could change as this Naxos series progresses. The First and Third symphonies with the Novosibirsk orchestra under Thomas Sanderling - son of the illustrious Kurt - certainly impressed me and, if anything, this new release has heightened my admiration for composer and orchestra alike.

Taneyev's only opera, based on Aeschylus's Oresteia, was recorded by DG and Olympia some time ago, but neither version is in the current catalogue. Curiously, the overture was composed and performed several years before the opera was completed. It's a substantial piece in its
Read more own right, lasting around 20 minutes, and listeners may be forgiven for thinking they've stumbled on a little-known piece of Wagner or Richard Strauss. That said, this is more than musical mimicry, revealing a rich supply of motile Russian melodies and a symphonic sweep that wouldn't have disgraced Taneyev's great friend and mentor, Tchaikovsky. From that first Stygian string theme through to its restrained finale this overture is full of lovely touches; and even though there is a whiff of Scriabin in those aromatic harmonies Sanderling ensures they never cloy or overwhelm the senses.

Arguably the Act III Entr'acte is even more seductive - it certainly has a Straussian amplitude - which is probably why this piece was so popular during the composer's lifetime. I was particularly struck by the sheer passion and unanimity of the playing and Sanderling's firm, clear-eyed view of the score. The recording is just as satisfying, deep when it needs to be and suitably grand in the splendid climaxes. Indeed, any misgivings I might have had about this band and their conductor simply evaporated at this point.

How very different that all is to the delectable Adagio in C major, written during the composer's final year at the Moscow Conservatory. As Anastasia Belina points out in her liner notes, much of Taneyev's youthful work was only discovered years later. The Adagio, published in 1950, is a real gem, especially when it's played with such elegance and refinement. And how different again is the Overture on a Russian Theme, written for the All-Russian Art and Trade Exhibition of 1882. Taneyev makes use of authentic Russian songs - as collected by Rimsky-Korsakov - forging them into a piece that has all the cut and thrust of a Cossack sword. It's virile stuff, guaranteed to please those who like their Russians to strut and swagger.

The style of the cantata, written for the opening of the Pushkin Memorial in Moscow, is echoed in the celebratory music of post-revolutionary Russia, used to great effect by the likes of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. That's not to suggest this is merely a patriotic prole-pleaser, because it isn't; it may be just 64 bars long but it has all the passion and splendour of those great choral numbers in Alexander Nevsky. As for the Canzona it's a frothy little confection, complemented by the bright-toned playing of clarinettist Stanislav Yankovsky. A slight piece, perhaps, but enjoyable none the less.

The Overture in D minor, like the Adagio, is an early work and this time it shows. It has a bluff quality - and a tendency to outstay its welcome - that the other pieces in this collection manage to avoid. (I wonder if other listeners can hear Brahms in this music?) Still, one mildly disappointing piece out of seven isn't bad, and it certainly isn't enough to dilute my enthusiasm for this disc as a whole. Factor in committed playing and full-blooded sound and you have one of the year's most entertaining releases so far.

Go on, treat yourself.

-- Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Oresteya Overture, Op. 6 by Sergei Taneyev
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897; Leipzig, Germany 
Length: 20 Minutes 48 Secs. 
2.
The Oresteia: Apollo's Temple in Delphi by Sergei Taneyev
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 10 Secs. 
3.
Adagio in C major by Sergei Taneyev
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Russia 
Length: 5 Minutes 54 Secs. 
4.
Overture on a Russian Theme by Sergei Taneyev
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1882; Russia 
Length: 17 Minutes 26 Secs. 
5.
Canzona for Clarinet and Strings in F minor by Sergei Taneyev
Performer:  Stanislav Jankovsky (Clarinet)
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1883; Russia 
Length: 6 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6.
Overture in D minor by Sergei Taneyev
Conductor:  Thomas Sanderling
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1875; Russia 
Length: 14 Minutes 48 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Overture to Oresteya, Op. 6
Oresteya: Act III: Entr'acte: The Temple of Apollo at Delphi
Adagio in C major
Overture on a Russian theme
Cantata for the Unveiling of the Moscow Pushkin Memorial, "Ya pamyatnik sebe vozdvig nerukotvorniy" (I Have Built myself a Monument not Made by Hands)
Canzona
Overture in D minor

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook




YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Aleady a subscriber? Sign In