GEORGI SVIRIDOV (1915-98)
Music for Chamber Orchestra (1964)
Time Forward! film score (1967)
It is snowing - choir and orchestra (1965)
The Songs of Hard Times
Choir of Moscow Children's
Musical School No. 109
Moscow New Choir
Russian Philharmonic SO/Alexander Vedernikov
rec 16 Dec 1998, Grand Hall, Moscow
BOHEME CDBMR 911108
Kursk-born Sviridov has been a peripheral figure for most even moderately
well informed listeners and collectors. His Oratorio Pathetique and Song
of the Forests have been on LP and CD but that is about it.
This disc is the first complete Sviridov collection I have stumbled across.
It is taken from a live all-Sviridov concert in Moscow. Coughs and shuffling
are to be heard without being much of a distraction.
The Music for Chamber Orchestra is bright and imaginative and if the thinnish
strings do few favours this is clearly a diverting inspiration. The prominent
role for the piano suggests a piano concerto. The medium for communication
seems to bring together such diverse voices as Shostakovich (with whom he
studied) and in the first and last of the three movements, Gerald Finzi (the
massed string writing in the clarinet concerto) and later Arthur Bliss (Music
The notes tell us nothing about the film Time Forward! The six movement suite:
a raw slow brass fanfare (Copland open-air style), a chattering Prokofiev
ditty and foxtrot with braying trombone and swooping flute solo, a minatory
march underpinned by a hollow drumbeat, a nocturne incorporating a ppp elegiac
trumpet figure of understated power and a raucous, ironmongery finale
alive with the clamour of Schedrin's Carmen ballet.
Boris Pasternak's three poems are deliciously set by Sviridov in It is
Snowing. The songbird-hearted flute lifts the mesmerising first poem
with its slowly descending flakes. The much longer Soul moves just
as slowly as the first song and its slow tolling is most affecting. A pity
that the words are not printed in English in the booklet. Night is
as forward and optimistic as a Rutter song.
The three short Blok songs (and for that matter the Pasternak settings) are
indicators of Sviridov's pursuit of the finest verse in the Russian language.
This triptych is an a cappella work unlike the other three items here.
They are most beautifully sung with successful attention to dynamics and
Make it a point to hear more Sviridov. He here proves that he is not a
dissonance-man but one much more at peace with the affecting emotional language
of the lyrical singers in Russia's artistic history.
All credit to Andrey Feofanov and all at Boheme for their courage in recording