RUSSIAN IMAGES 2.
Works by: Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Tanayev,
Medtner, Rachmaninov and Mosolov.
Vassily Savenko: bass-baritone,
Alexander Blok: Piano.
Hyperion CDA67205 71m
Hyperion follow up on their first survey of Russian songs with a second disc
that is indeed self-recommending. The layout is chronological beginning with
Glinka and ending with Mosolov. Glinka's 'Travel Song' is very characterful
as is Tchaikovsky's, 'frenzied Nights', given an inspiring performance by
Vassily Saveno. Arensky is perhaps more remembered for his symphonic works
but 'A Dream' and 'I have seen death' are perefect examples of his excellent
songwriting. We move on to the versatile Sergei Tanayev whose 'Winter Journey'
and 'Dense Forests' bring out the mysterious side of Savenko that is endearing
to observe. Medtner is enjoying something of a revival recently and the two
short songs that are presented here are delightful gems. Rachmaninov's repertoire
is also well represented with a delightful rendering of 'The Muse'. Finally
there are three songs by the nationalistic Alexander Mosolov which although
not memorable, are important as a survey nonetheless. Recording and presentation
are as always with Hyperion, impeccable. Lovers of this genre should not
need any further prompting from me.