Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Vyacheslav GROKHOVSKY (b.1945)
Russian Caprice for piano and orchestra [11.29]
The Enchanted Wanderer - symphonic poem [18.32]
Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales - suite for piano and orchestra [23.51]
Gypsy Rhapsody for violin and orchestra [8.42]
Valery Grokhovsky (piano)
Vladimir Ivanov (violin)
Moscow Radio SO/Vyacheslav Grokhovsky
rec Moscow Radio Recording Studios, 1996 DDD
CAMPION CAMEO 2016 [62.41]
Error processing SSI file


Crotchet  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Khatchaturian pupil Grokhovsky is a latter-day perpetuator of a Russian musical "bloodline" that runs through the (lighter) works of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev and even Shostakovich. This is undemanding but entertaining music that makes no pretence to greatness but is often finely wrought and highly accomplished within the boundaries it sets itself. The pieces I enjoyed least on the disc were the tone poem and the violin rhapsody, the former being rather overblown and overlong for its subject matter, the latter a bit too "salon" for my particular tastes (the booklet compares it, not inaccurately, with Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen).

The Russian Caprice is a more felicitous composition, revealing a delicacy and lightness of touch absent from the aforementioned two pieces. Like the author of the booklet notes, I identified an American influence here, so if, in the "open air" sound, you think you hear Copland, Gershwin or Barber (or the wonderful Carter Pann, know him?) then you are not alone.

Many composers have, in this listener's opinion, reserved some of their best inspirations for the pieces they, ostensibly at least, composed with children in mind. If I think of Britten, Debussy, Tchaikovsky etc., music of innocence but with greatly enduring qualities invariably springs to mind. Here, Grokhovsky very much follows the received (Russian) tradition with his Hans Andersen suite but the music is lovingly constructed, and beautifully and idiomatically played with the composer on the rostrum and his brother at the keyboard. No-one is going to pretend that any of this music is profound but it is focussed and expertly crafted and deserves to gain a wider audience. Any of it would go down a treat in a mixed programme concert, particularly one with a Russian/East European orientation.

At mid-price, this disc is well worth exploring, particularly by those keen on Russian music generally or unpretentious, "easy to listen to" fare in general. It is not "great" but is pretty good and may be just the thing to lift the winter blues and rouse the spirits.

Neil Horner

See also Review by Rob Barnett

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.