Having recorded the symphonies for Orfeo, Järvi now turns to Glazunov's orchestral music for Chandos and once again his approach is warm and cultivated. The recording, made in the Caird Hall, Dundee, is full and resonant in the Chandos manner, and makes the scoring sound fairly thick, especially in the suite From the middle ages. This is in four programmatic movements. The first has a highly romantic scenario of lovers embracing ecstatically within a castle, while outside the pounding sea is the symbol of their passion. But eroticism is not Glazunov's strong suit and in fact the "Pas de deux" in the Scênes de ballet has a good deal more romantic abandon and temperament. Then comes a jolly scherzo, a "Troubadour'sRead more Serenade" and a vividly expansive finale, with plenty of sonorous brass, evoking "The Crusaders". Järvi treats it all amiably and the SNO are on good form.
The Scenes de ballet are highly characteristic and the best movements—the engaging "Marionettes" and "Scherzino"—are deliciously piquant. But, one would have liked more glitter here: Rozhdestvensky's Olympia version with the USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra has rather greater point and sparkle, and the Melodiya digital sound is less sumptuous, not to disadvantage (OCD 104—coupled with the Sixth Symphony). How ever, Glazunov fans will still find this Chandos collection enjoyable in an undemanding way, and it is made the more enticing by the inclusion of Liadov's exquisitely scored Musical snuffbox, which is presented with appropriate delicacy, an enchanting trifle.
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