£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


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    


BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Alexander Konstantinovich GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
Triumphal March, Op. 40 (1892) [9’46]. Serenades - No. 1 in A, Op. 7 (1883) [4’02]; No. 2 in F, Op. 11 (1884) [3’48]. Overtures on Greek Themes (1881-84) – No. 1 in G minor, Op. 3 [14’46]; No. 2 in D, Op. 6 [18’48].
Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Ziva.
Rec. Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia, in February 2000. DDD
Orchestral Works: Volume 17.
NAXOS 8.555048 [70’33]

 

In typical fashion, here is Naxos doggedly working its way through a composer’s entire output come what may. In some ways it made me feel nostalgic, as one of my first ever MusicWeb reviews was of one of this series, and included the Sixth Symphony (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/june00/glazunov6.htm). No symphony here to give this issue substance, just a selection of eminently approachable and sometimes downright fun pieces.

The principal material of the Triumphal March of 1892 will, I almost guarantee, be instantly recognisable, for here is ‘John Brown’s Body’. This tune makes an appearance because the work was intended for the Chicago Exhibition with a full title of, ‘Triumphal March on the Occasion of the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago 1893’. Under Ziva’s baton the strings sound richly emotional. A pity the brass can sound a bit brass-band-ish, but the glittering scoring of much of the work more than compensates for this. The idea of book-ending this release with two engaging pieces of froth is most appealing.

The disc ends, then, with Chopiniana of 1892, a set of orchestrations of some of Chopin’s piano pieces. One of the most famous, the A major Polonaise, opens the set. Articulation here is crisp (but the tenuto at the beginning of the second bar sounds strangely unnatural). The second movement (F major Nocturne from Chopin’s Op. 12) really does sound like something Besses-o’-the-Barn might revel in, although the turbulent middle section is well realised. Actually, the highlight is the third movement (Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 50 No. 3), suave and seductive. The achievement of the final movement (Tarantella in A flat, Op. 43) is to make Chopin sound intensely Russian through and through. Well worth hearing for the curiosity value (this suite later formed the basis of Les Sylphides).

The pieces in between deserve the occasional airing, and it is nice that they make daylight here. The Serenade No. 1, Op. 7 is very jolly, with decidedly Spanish influences and even some passages which could easily have escaped from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The second Serenade contains much delicacy and lyricism. The two Overtures on Greek Themes (three themes each) again offer rewards in their own way. The first seems once more influenced by Rimsky-Korsakov (this performance is in danger of grinding to a halt at one point, though); the second, dedicated to Balakirev, has a more concentrated atmosphere. This performance of the latter exudes a certain belief in this music, and in this case it needs it, for the ‘march’ around eleven minutes in is, how can I put it, low on inspiration. The delightful, flute-dominated scoring about three minutes later more than makes up for it, however.

Dips in creative inspiration apart, this is a very enjoyable disc. Completists will not be disappointed, and neither will anyone wanting the evergreen Chopin orchestrations.

Colin Clarke

see also review by Michael Cookson

 



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable Arcodiva
British Music Soc.
CDAccord
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter


Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

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.