Anatoly LYADOV (1855-1914)
Symphonic Works

From the Apocalypse symphonic picture, Op. 66 [8:47]
About Olden Times -
Ballade, Op. 21b [5:30]
Baba-Yaga
Russian fairy tale, Op. 56 [3:26]
The Enchanted Lake
fairy tale picture, Op. 62 [7:11]
Kikimora
folk tale Op. 63 [7:59]
Russian Folksongs
(8), Op. 58 [14:28]
USSR State Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov
rec. 1970, Moscow, ADD
MELODIYA MEL CD10 01873 [47:27]
 
Lyadov was born in 1855 and taught in the St. Petersburg Conservatory, as well as being a conductor and composer. He was very interested in folklore. Most of his works are on a small scale. He taught at the Moscow Conservatory where his numerous pupils included Nikolai Myaskovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Boris Asafiev, Maria Gnessina and Viktor Belyayev. He had a great empathy for fairy tales and poetry. Some of his works resemble those of Glinka and Rimsky-Korsakov - especially the latter.
 
Two dominant themes are reflected in this rather short-playing collection. The folk aspect can be heard in the Eight Russian Folk Songs op. 58. The fantastic vein of Russian folk myths, reflected in Arthur Ransome's Old Peter's Russian Tales, can be heard in the brilliant miniatures that are to be found on the first five tracks here. Baba Yaga, Enchanted Lake and Kikimora embody supernatural entities and tales. A visionary voice comes to the fore in From the Apocalypse and About Olden Times.
 
Svetlanov lights up all these works. From the Apocalypse positively seethes, shouts and glows. The blaring Old Testament brass (3:03) adds immeasurably to the Mussorgskian grandeur. About Olden Times has a bardic potency redolent of Borodin and Kalinnikov. The harp and reedy strings lend the lovely thematic invention a grainy pleasure. Baba Yaga, the witch, really leaps into life - groaning, cranky, steely, threatening and remorseless. The playing is immensely impressive - an elite orchestra in full cry. The Enchanted Lake takes us into the gleaming and glimmering Rimsky-Korsakov territory - those Edmund Dulac and Kay Nielsen Russian fable illustrations reach out off the printed page. Kikimora is another witch subject with plenty of tension, Borodin-style woodwind (1:10), sinister bass rumbling, Firebird fluttering and lurid grotesquerie. The Eight Russian Folk Songs are even briefer vignettes: playful, vital and poetically dreamy. Village Dance Song is a riot of pizzicato and balalaika evocation. The final Round Dance Song recalls Mussorgsky and Glinka (Ruslan and Ludmilla and A Life for the Tsar). The playing ripples with virtuoso energy. Get your aural sunglasses out for a dazzling sunburst of sound and fantasy.
 
The liner-notes are perfunctory.

These interpretations are in the expert hands of Yevgeny Svetlanov and a young well, mid-40s - Svetlanov at that.

Rob Barnett
 
Get your aural sunglasses out for a dazzling sunburst of sound and fantasy.
 
Reviews of alternative Lyadov collections
Shpiller - Brilliant 94077:
Svetlanov - SVET 10145
Gunzenhauser - Naxos 8.555242