is one of those companies you have to watch carefully and
especially if you are an enthusiast of Russian and Scandinavian
music. They move with some agility among the ‘feeding stations’ offered
by the licensing wings of the larger companies such as
EMI, Chandos and BIS. In this case they reached agreement
this set offers us the three Borodin symphonies plus
in superlative sound. The performances are engaging if
lacking the unbridled abandon we find with Svetlanov. I
say Symphonies plus
. The other elements are the Polovtsian
minus chorus, the Petite Suite
couple of rare songs with orchestra.
is in his element in the flittering Scherzo of No. 1 but
the tragic intensity could have been stronger in the finale.
The Third Symphony is often denigrated by those ‘in the
know’ but I have always regarded it with great affection.
There is no disfavour flowing from the fact that its two
movements were completed by Glazunov. Its playful cornemuse
only accentuates the work’s charm and lightness of spirit.
is convincingly done by Wallström with
something of a heroic ring. Larissa Dyadkova muses and
flames pleasingly in the lilting At the Homes of Other
. The Second Symphony is one of those emblems of
the Russian romantic-nationalist movement. I have heard
it in more impassioned performances than this but Rozhdestvensky
lets it make its effect without inflaming the emotions.
His example can be heard in the satisfying yet careful Scherzo
Poetry appears to be the first concern.
The Glazunov-orchestrated Petite
is light and feathery. It is rather akin to
undemanding balletic Tchaikovsky and is not even as stirring
as Glazunov's From the Middle Ages
shorn of chorus Rozhdestvensky does the Polovtsian Dances
a winning smile and no little fervour. I am not sure that
I have heard the famous romance done with such rapture
(tr. 13, CD 2)
have expected to find the Prince Igor
but no sign of it. It could have rounded out the loosely
packed first disc.
for this set follows that of Brilliant's similarly Chandos-sourced
3CD set of the Rachmaninov songs. This entails a three
section fold-in hard-card case with one section for each
of the CDs and the booklet. It is neat and tidy and reduces
use of the world's plastics.
is a characterful conductor with an affectionate persona.
He has a glint in his eye but in this project chose to
distance himself from the wilder accelerants and ignition
offered by other of his countrymen.
If I was
going for the symphonies alone and wanted a higher temperature
and more volatility I would opt for Svetlanov
the superb Tjeknavorian
If I wanted the Second Symphony with some of the Igor
I would go, without hesitation, to Ole Schmidt's RPO Regis
pages of English-only notes do the essential business.
words are not provided nor are the translations. You could
try tracking them down via the download section of the
Chandos website where you should find the notes under the
original discs: CHAN 9199 (1 and 3) and CHAN 9386 (2).
poetically-accented music-making at bargain price and in
enjoyably superb recording quality.