I am a
fan of Regis and if you haven't yet discovered the label
you should be too. They have made a speciality of reissuing
deleted material and constantly prove that they have all
the right connections. Look at this collection: almost eighty
minutes of Russian-sourced dance music by Glinka and all
in vivacious, colourful and spatially well-upholstered recordings.
great operas are represented: Ivan Susanin (aka A
Life for the Tsar) and Ruslan and Ludmila. The
Tchaikovsky ballet recordings conducted by Mark Ermler (1932-2002)
are already well known. Here we are treated to the pointedly
delicate, airily danceable and charming music from Ruslan.
Ermler is a natural as we hear in those squeezed squeaky
notes and fermata in and around 7:32 in the dance sequence
at Naina's Castle. The Eastern Dances pick
up on the oriental element in Slav music. Then comes the
Paganini-style slyness, bel canto and chuckle of the Dance for
violin and orchestra. Also unusual is the Dance for
oboe and cello with orchestra. Demchenko is a gracious conductor
creating space for these Bellinian confections drizzled over
with a Russian accent. He is again the conductor for the Andante
Cantabile and Rondo. Again if you like those romantic
era concertante pieces by Bellini and Weber you will lap
these up. They show where Rimsky drew his grateful inspiration
for his works for woodwind and wind orchestra.
these recordings have come from 1992-94. The last from this
era is the Ilmar Lapins-conducted Majestic Polonaise complete
with its satisfyingly squally and brazen brass.
seven to the end the recordings are from 1982-84. Leningrad-born
Fedoseyev (b. 1932) has as good a feeling for the dance as
Ermler. His Susanin Valse, Krakowiak and Mazurka are
spirited and eager and are not lacking spit, starch and polish.
item here is from 1982. Konstantin Ivanov (1907-1984) recorded
Miaskovsky's Fifth Symphony which for me remains the first
recommendation despite its now raw sound. He recorded extensively
and his Glazunov is well worth tracking down for reissue
- his The Seasons is grand and sensitive - even better
than Svetlanov. This Kamarinskaya, written in Warsaw
in 1848, is influenced somewhat by Berlioz whom he had met
in 1844. This version was recorded two years before Ivanov's
death and is full of life although the sound quality is the
least vivacious of the lot.
pairs well with Regis's other Glinka collection on RRC1142,
conducted by Svetlanov (see review). You'll find the two
famous opera overtures there not here.
as well. What more can you ask?
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Seen & Heard
Editor in Chief