WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Myaskovsky: Complete Symphonic Works Vol 15 / Svetlanov, Et Al


Release Date: 01/27/2009 
Label:  Musical Concepts   Catalog #: 1041   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Nikolay Myaskovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



MYASKOVSKY Links. Slavonic Rhapsody. Serenade in E?. Sinfonietta in A Evgeny Svetlanov, cond; Russian St Academic SO ALTO 1041 (74:49)


In his large-scale works, Myaskovsky was generally more reserved than were his compatriots Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and especially Khachaturian. Even in his most public efforts—like the Symphony No. 16, written to commemorate an aviation disaster (see 32: 3)—Myaskovsky’s rhetoric is diffident, his points more likely to be carried by harmonic Read more nuance and contrapuntal twisting than by sonic saturation. It’s therefore something of a paradox that his works for small orchestra—including the op. 32 triptych—are among his least successful. It almost seems as if his imagination were cramped by not having a large noise-making apparatus to resist.


That said, on this 15th volume of the Alto/Olympia Myaskovsky series (for details on its curious discographic history, see 32: 3), Svetlanov plays the op. 32 Serenade with surprising grit and conviction. Not even he can disguise the uncharacteristically four-square phrasing in the finale. But the opening movement has impressive thrust—and by heightening its acrid flavor, he gives the melancholy second movement a far greater depth than it has on Verbitsky’s pioneering version. He’s similarly committed to the early Sinfonietta. It’s a derivative work (Mussorgsky makes a cameo in the second movement) without a trace of the torment that marks such contemporary scores as the first two symphonies or the Poe-inspired Silence . Still, it helps fill out our knowledge of the composer—and this is the only recording I’ve come across.


As for the large-orchestra works: Svetlanov can’t convince me that the late Slavonic Rhapsody —despite its impressively brooding opening and its powerful conclusions—is anything but stylistically disjointed. While it’s more sober than the title might lead you to expect, Myaskovsky was rarely at his best using folksy material, and the half-hearted and repetitious bell-drenched climax about two-thirds of the way in suggests that he was having trouble maintaining his interest in the project. Links , a six-movement suite apparently based on early piano music, is another slightly incoherent work, tumbling from a mysteriously film-noirish opening into a ditzy waltz, eventually ending up with an incongruously backward looking Polonaise. It’s not one of Svetlanov’s more committed readings, and the orchestra glosses over too much of the detail, but this new recording certainly gives a fuller vision of the piece than the old Ginsburg account.


In sum, this will be of great interest to Myaskovskians who have been purchasing the Alto/Olympia series and want to complete it—but it’s not for beginners. If you’re starting out with the composer’s orchestral music, you’re urged to begin instead with the Kondrashin recording of the Sixth Symphony (Melodiya 1000841) and the Morton Gould recording of the 21st (currently available only on a premium-priced 10-CD set from the Chicago Symphony—an inexpensive reissue is a high priority), and then to move on to Svetlanov’s run of the symphonies. Only then should you turn here.


FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Serenade in E flat major, Op. 32 no 1 by Nikolay Myaskovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928-1929; USSR 
2.
Sinfonietta for Strings by Nikolay Myaskovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
3.
Links, Op. 65 by Nikolay Myaskovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
4.
Slav Rhapsody in D minor, Op. 71 by Nikolay Myaskovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Academic Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 

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