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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Andrei PETROV (born 1930)
Suite from the Ballet The Shore of Hope (1959)

St Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/Eduard Serov
Symphonic Cycle The Songs of our Days (1964)

St Petersburg Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra/Arvid Jansons
Suite no 3 from the Ballet Creation of the World (1975)

Leningrad Orchestra of Early and Modern Music/Eduard Serov
All recorded in the St Petersburg Recording Studio: the dating is unclear.
BOHEME MUSIC CDBMR 012198 [63:53]

Boheme Music

 

Petrov is yet another composer new to me. I have to say at once that I was bowled over by his music. In his accompanying note our esteemed editor, in an understatement of majestic proportions, observes that ‘the palate (sic – oops!) of his influences is wide’. Never before have I heard such a deliciously eclectic voice: Shostakovich looms largest of all, but there are also the unmistakable fingerprints of Prokofiev, Franz Waxman, Satie and even Bernstein (listen to The Devil and She Devil in Creation of the World), and no doubt many others. The very first piece in this collection (The Sea from The Shore of Hope) instantly recalls Debussy’s La Mer – only to make way for Dawn from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe. Stylistic elements range from pseudo-baroque to big-band and, in the Nocturne from The Songs of Our Days, a splendidly bluesy saxophone solo against a James Last-style orchestration. And, incredibly kitsch though it may be, I loved the finale from the Creation of the World.

In short, Petrov is a composer of amazing fluency. Derivative, of course, but his successful absorption of other composers and other styles is remarkable. I can only echo Rob Barnett’s plea that we can get to hear Petrov’s larger-scale works.

These performances are vividly performed in clear and well-balanced recordings.

Not recommended to those who worship at the shrine of the avant-garde, but for middle-of-the-road music-lovers this disc will be a delight.

Adrian Smith


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