After their highly praised Glinka disc, the BBC Philharmonic and Vassily Sinaisky release a collection of Lyadov's work, in what is hopefully a whole series dedicated to Russian miniaturists. My selected comparison was an old Melodiya LP with Svetlanov and the USSR Symphony Orchestra but this glitzy production wins hands down on all counts. 'Baba Yaga' is informed with a certain rhythmic energy that is infectious whilst the titanic 'From the Apocalypse' benefits from the superb sound. I greatly enjoyed the two Polonaises in memory of Rubinstein and Pushkin respectively; both have a certain swagger and are quite noble. Nothing beats 'The Enchanted Lake' for palpable mystery whilst the Mazurka entitled 'Village Scene by the Inn' receives ist first modern recording. 'Kikimora' compares well with Igor Markevitch's classic 1952 Philharmonia account whilst the Eight Russian Folksongs are full of wistful nostalgia, it's a pity Liadov was too lazy to set a few more! The short Scherzo shows that had he wanted to the composer could have written a symphony. This collection is a must have for fans of the miniature style; certainly Lyadov was one of the finest exponents of the genre.
Copyright © 2001, Gerald Fenech