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Notes and Editorial Reviews
The late, great Evgeny Svetlanov was not content with merely being one of the most brilliant representatives of the Russian school of conducting, who made each of his concerts a truly shattering event. He also stood out from most of his colleagues for the incredible breadth of his repertoire, with which he delighted Paris audiences on numerous occasions in the final years of his life. After a memorable first release of works by Scriabin and Debussy, the Radio-France series is today enriched by one of the most outstanding evenings of the 'Svetlanov era'. On 27 Novembre 1998, at the Salle Pleyel, he led the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France to triumph in the French premiere of the Second Symphony of Sergey Mikhailovich Liapunov. This
now little-known composer, a pupil of Taneyev and Balakirev, intended the work as a tribute to the great Russian symphonic tradition of the nineteenth century: over its undulating oriental melodies, its brightly colourful orchestration, its sense of an implacable destiny, hover the shades of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. This vast, almost hour-long fresco, finished in December 1917 in the dramatic circumstances of the Revolution, may be considered as an ambiguous farewell to a world in the process of collapse. And in fact Liapunov, who died in exile in Paris on 7 November 1924, was destined never to hear his symphony in concert. It was only in 1951 that it received its first performance, with teh Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under a young conductor name...Evgeny Svetlanov. Read less
Works on This Recording
Symphony no 2 in B flat minor, Op. 66 by Sergei Lyapunov
French Radio New Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1917; USSR
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Nice late Romantic Russian Music July 5, 2012
By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews
"Lyapunov's 2nd Symphony is a good example of late 19th/early 20th century Russian symphonic music-alternating moods of aggressive brassiness amd gorgeous delicacy. Easily accessible, it may strike the listener as sprawling and unstructured, but this is not a major problem. According to the booklet notes, the work dates from 1917, which may explain the highly unusual album cover photo, a direct reflection of Czarist/Imperial Russia, not the nascent Bolshevik regime about to take over. This seems to indicate that Lyapunov was looking backward and using traditional Russian themes in this work. All in all, a fine performance, recorded live (there is great applause at the end). An interesting side question is why did the great Russian conductor Yevgeni Svetlanov record this symphony with a French orchestra, rather than a Russian ensemble? The notes include Svetlanov's comments on why he was dismissed as the long-term conductor of the Russian State Orchestra after the fall of the Soviet Union. Is this recording some kind of political statement? This release is definitely worth a listen."