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Great Russian Symphonies


Release Date: 04/24/2012 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8501059   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyAlexander BorodinNikolai Rimsky-KorsakovSergei Prokofiev,   ... 
Conductor:  Adrian LeaperGerard SchwarzAntoni WitTheodore Kuchar,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony OrchestraRoyal Philharmonic OrchestraSeattle Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 10 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 12 Hours 5 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

GREAT RUSSIAN SYMPHONIES (10-CD Box Set)

The word ‘symphony’ is used to describe an extended orchestral composition in Western classical music. By the eighteenth century the Italianate opera sinfonia—musical interludes between operas or concertos—had assumed the structure of three contrasting movements, and it is this form that is often considered as the direct forerunner of the orchestral symphony. With the rise of established professional orchestras, the symphony assumed a more prominent place in concert life between 1790 and 1820 until it eventually came to be regarded by many as the yardstick by which one would measure a composer’s achievement.

The symphony came late to Russia. The first attempts at a
Read more Russian Nationalist symphony were made in the late nineteenth-century by Balakirev and his acolytes, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov as well as by Tchaikovsky, whose symphonies (despite his European leanings) have a distinctly Russian flavour. In their wake followed numerous composers, from Glazunov to Myaskovsky, similarly instilling their music with the melodies of their homeland. In the years that followed Russian politics had an unmistakable impact on the Russian symphonists, as Rachmaninov and Prokofiev (among others) went into exile whilst composers such as Shostakovich vented their political frustrations through the medium of music—his Leningrad Symphony being a prime example.

R E V I E W:

The most important works here also tend to get the best performances. So let’s proceed in order of overall quality. Best are Shostakovich’s Fifth with Petrenko, Borodin’s Second and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with Schwarz, Kuchar’s Prokofiev First and Fifth, and Kalinnikov’s First, and Antoni Wit in Tchaikovsky’s Fifth and Sixth. All the rest are fair to good. These include Glazunov’s Sixth and Rachmaninov’s Second (and The Rock) with Anissimov, Shostakovich’s Seventh and Miaskovsky’s 25th (Yablonsky), Tchaikovsky’s Fourth and assorted short works (1812 Overture, Romeo and Juliet) with Adrian Leaper, and Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy and Third Symphony with Golovschin. Topping it all off is a pretty respectable Antar Symphony conducted by André Anichanov. Yes, you can do better in most of this music, but this 10-disc set is well-chosen and an easy way to get a big pile of popular and unfairly neglected Russian symphonies, so who’s complaining?

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 4 in F minor, Op. 36 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877-1878; Russia 
Date of Recording: 3/1991 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Polish Radio, Katowice 
Length: 45 Minutes 41 Secs. 
2.
1812 Overture, Op. 49 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Russia 
3.
Romeo and Juliet Overture by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1880; Russia 
4.
Symphony no 2 in B minor by Alexander Borodin
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869-1876; Russia 
5.
Scheherazade, Op. 35 by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
6.
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/1992 
7.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Antoni Wit
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
8.
Symphony no 1 in D major, Op. 25 "Classical" by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916-1917; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1995 
9.
Symphony no 5 in B flat major, Op. 100 by Sergei Prokofiev
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944; USSR 
Date of Recording: 1995 
10.
Symphony no 1 in G minor by Vasily Kalinnikov
Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1894-1895; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/1994 
Venue:  Concert Hall, Ukrainian Radio, Kiev 
Length: 38 Minutes 36 Secs. 
11.
Symphony no 24 in F minor, Op. 63 by Nikolay Myaskovsky
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USSR 
12.
Symphony no 7 in C major, Op. 60 "Leningrad" by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USSR 
13.
Symphony no 5 in D minor, Op. 47 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USSR 
14.
Symphony no 2, Op. 9 "Antar" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Conductor:  André Anichanov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1875; Russia 
15.
Symphony no 2 in E minor, Op. 27 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906-1907; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/1997 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 58 Minutes 6 Secs. 
16.
The Rock, Op. 7 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1996-97 
Venue:  National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland 
Length: 14 Minutes 33 Secs. 
17.
Symphony no 6 in C minor, Op. 58 by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1896; Russia 
Date of Recording: 07/1996 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 35 Minutes 38 Secs. 
18.
Symphony no 4, Op. 54 "Poem of ecstasy" by Alexander Scriabin
Conductor:  Igor Golovchin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1905-1908; Russia 
19.
Symphony no 3 in C minor, Op. 43 "Le divin poème" by Alexander Scriabin
Conductor:  Igor Golovchin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902-1904; Russia 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36: I. Andante sostenuto - Moderato con anima
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36: II. Andantino in modo di canzona
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36: III. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato - Allegro
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36: IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco
Symphony No. 2 in B minor: I. Allegro
Symphony No. 2 in B minor: II. Scherzo: Prestissimo. Trio: Allegretto
Symphony No. 2 in B minor: III. Andante
Symphony No. 2 in B minor: IV. Finale: Allegro
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64: I. Andante - Allegro con anima
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64: II. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64: III. Valse: Allegro moderato
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64: IV. Finale: Andante maestoso-Allegro vivo
Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture (3rd version, 1880)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Grandes symphonies russes July 15, 2012 By François ANTONIAZZI (LAUSANNE, Switzerland) See All My Reviews "Je ne suis malheureusement pas en mesure d'écrire en anglais et j'espère que vous comprenez le français.

C'est avec beaucoup d'intérêt que j'ai écouté cette collection de symphonies de compositeurs russes. Certaines m'étaient connues (notamment celles de Tchaïkoysky et de Chostakovitch), d'autres ont constitué pour moi une passionnante découverte (celles de Glazounov, de Kalinnikov et de Myaskovsky). Toutes sont remarquablement interprétées et constituent un raccourci saisissant de la musique symphonique russe. Un souffle épique parcourt la plupart de ces oeuvres. C'est particulièrement le cas de la 7ème symphonie de Chostakovitch qui évoque la résistance des Russes tout au long du siège de Leningrad. A découvrir absolument!
Enfin, le choix du tableau de Vassili Ivanovitch Surikov, représentant la place Saint-Isaac au clair de nuit, était tout indiqué comme support visuel de de ces oeuvres russes."
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  A Must for Lovers of RussianMusic July 12, 2012 By Sydney Merritt (Ithaca, NY) See All My Reviews "This is a superb boxed set of music composed by great Russian Composers on the Naxos Label. Would not hesitate to recommend this.Qualty of the recordings is excellent,orchestras excellent, and the price, one of the best bargains issued thru Arkiv" Report Abuse
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