Alexander Glazunov

Biography

Born: 1865   Died: 1936   Country: Russia   Period: Romantic
Born in 1865 in St. Petersburg, Glazunov was a leading Russian composer of the generation after Tchaikovsky. Doubtless owing to his exceptional mastery of and attentiveness to form, exemplified by his exceptional grasp of counterpoint, he has been described as a Romantic Classicist and therefore compared to Brahms. Furthermore, since he remained faithful to a traditional nineteenth century musical idiom, while some of his contemporaries pursued Read more varieties of Modernism, critics have described Glazunov's music as academic and formal. But Glazunov's oeuvre, which includes a wide range of genres, cannot be easily reduced to mere critical formulas. At heart, Glazunov was a Romantic composer, and the spirit of his music comes to the fore in his Violin Concerto in A Minor, a richly melodic work, in which the expressive potential of the violin is fully realized.

Displaying an immense musical talent as a child, Glazunov started studying with Rimsky-Korsakov at the age of 15. Glazunov's progress was indeed astonishing, for he completed his Symphony No. 1 at 16. In fact, his symphony, premiered by Balakirev in 1882, established, practically overnight, Glazunov's reputation as a great Russian composer. In 1884, the rich merchant and publisher Belyayev took Glazunov to Weimar, where the young composer met Liszt. Although absorbing many musical influences, particularly those of Liszt and Wagner, Glazunov eventually crafted an individual style, composing symphonies, ballets, and concertos for various instruments. Owing to his growing international fame as a symphonist, Glazunov was invited to conduct his works in Paris in 1889; an invitation from London came in 1896. During the 1890s, Glazunov composed some of his most successful works, including the fourth, fifth, and sixth symphonies, and the ballet Raymonda.

In 1899, Glazunov became an instructor in composition and orchestration at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He resigned his post in the politically turbulent year of 1905, incensed by the government's politically motivated dismissal of Rimsky-Korsakov from his teaching position. However, when things returned to a semblance of normalcy, Glazunov was named head of the Conservatory. While his output may have diminished in terms of sheer quantity after 1905, Glazunov continued composing until the end of his life. After the Revolution of 1917, Glazunov, as director of a major national music school, worked hard, and with varying success, to protect his students from interference by a government which viewed music as an instrument of political propaganda. In addition, he felt isolated in a culture which rejected established musical traditions, and a general feeling of alienation finally prompted him to leave the Soviet Union in 1928.

Glazunov's life in exile, which included an unsuccessful tour of the United States, was difficult but did not suppress his creative energy. He traveled around the world for several years, eventually settling in Paris. Music composed during this period includes the Concerto-Ballata for Cello and Orchestra and the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Strings, a standard work of the saxophone repertoire. Passionately interested in the distinctive characteristics of the instruments he composed for, Glazunov learned to play a variety of instruments, including, in addition to the obligatory piano, violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, French horn, clarinet, as well as several percussion instruments. Consequently, each of his concertos reflects a deep understanding of the instrument's nature and technical capabilities. Critics have reproached Glazunov for being too Western and insufficiently Russian. True, there are few traces in his music of Russian folk influences. However, while Glazunov's music certainly fits into the cosmopolitan culture of his time, it also embodies the unmistakable emotional and spiritual qualities which the attentive listener will recognize as Russian. Read less
Glazunov, Shostakovich: Violin Concertos / Sasha Rozhdestvensky, Gennady Rozhdestvensky
Release Date: 01/11/2011   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 6123   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: The Seasons

Browse 1-25 of 27 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Glazunov: The Seasons; Chopiniana
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002085 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Boris Khaykin,  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Radio/TV Orchestra,  Academic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Glazunov: Complete Symphonies & Concertos / Serebrier
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 664674 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine,  Alexander Romanovsky,  Marc Chisson,  Alexey Serov  ... 
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
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  • 3.
    Great Ballet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501055 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Conductor:  André Anichanov,  Andrew Mogrelia,  Robert Craft,  Alexander Rahbari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra,  Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Glazunov: The Seasons, Violin Concerto, Raymonda Suite / Milstein, Svetlanov, Von Matacic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6783982 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Anatole Fistoulari,  William Steinberg
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  • 5.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4783106 Release Date: 11/07/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Glazunov: Piano Transcription - Concert Waltz And The Seasons
    Label: Pro Piano   Catalog: 224537 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Per Tengstrand
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  • 7.
    Russian Ballet Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49824 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Aram Khachaturian,  Alexander Glazunov,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Norman Carol
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Aram Khachaturian,  Yuri Temirkanov,  Yevgeny Svetlanov  ... 
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  • 8.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    The Anthology Of Russian Symphonic Music - Glazunov, Vol. 3
    Label: Svetlanov Foundation   Catalog: 33/41 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Composers In Person
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17575 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ernö von Dohnányi,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Performer:  Béla Bartók,  Vilma Medgyaszay,  Ferenc Szekeres,  Zoltán Székely  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Collingwood,  Paul Hindemith,  Aram Khachaturian,  Arthur Honegger  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Percurama Percussion Ensemble
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  • 11.
    Glazunov: Seasons, Concert Waltzes; Glinka / Ansermet, Suisse Romande
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800038 Release Date: 08/25/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Robert Schumann,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Glazounov: The Seasons Suite;  Rimsky-korsakov / Désormičre
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66829 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Roger Desormičre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Glazunov, Scarlatti, Bach / Irving, Concert Arts Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65911 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Vincenzo Tommasini,  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Robert Irving
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Arts Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Glazunov: The Seasons, Concert Waltzes 1 & 2 / Ansermet
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430348 Release Date: 08/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker;  Glazunov: The Seasons / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433000 Release Date: 04/18/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Rimsky-Korsakov, Arensky, Glazunov / Barbirolli, Svetlanov
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 964835 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Anton Arensky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Glazunov: Symphony 5, The Seasons / Serebrier, Royal Scottish NO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 61434 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Glazunov: Violin Concerto, Meditation, Etc / Rosand, Et Al
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 7907 Release Date: 02/19/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Aaron Rosand
    Conductor:  Kees Bakels
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    A Classic Christmas For Your Family
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555291 Release Date: 10/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  James Pierpont,  Georges Bizet,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hayman,  Anthony Bramall,  Peter Breiner,  Alfred Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonic Choir,  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    Glazunov: The Seasons, Violin Concerto
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554049 Release Date: 10/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Ilya Kaler
    Conductor:  Camilla Kolchinsky,  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony
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  • 21.
    The Best Of Alexander Glazunov - Finnish Sketches, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556687 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov,  Igor Golovchin,  Camilla Kolchinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Khachaturian: Spartacus; Glazunov / Khachaturian
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 460315 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Aram Khachaturian
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Aram Khachaturian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Prokofiev: Cinderella;  Glazunov: The Seasons / Ashkenazy
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455349 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Glazunov: Orchestral Works Vol 8 - The Seasons / Anissimov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553915 Release Date: 07/28/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Alexander Anissimov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Glazunov: Seasons / Edo De Waart, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80347 Release Date: 08/24/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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