Evgeny Svetlanov has a formidable reputation as a conductor particularly in the Russian repertoire. Older and more seasoned collectors will fondly remember the period when his name used to crop up in almost every LP from the EMI/Melodiya stable that included complete sets of the Glazunov and Scriabin symphonies.
In fact when listening to this well filled three-disc set, Glazunov readily comes to mind in some of the works especially the structurally sound First Symphony. The set is made up of various shorter works amongst which one finds such exotically titled works as "Le sorbier rouge" and the Latvian-inspired "Daugava". But there are other more classically-inspired works such as the Piano Concerto (with Svetlanov himself as soloist) and the Poème for Violin and Orchestra dedicated to David Oistrakh.
Sound quality is variable but generally is full of the nasal Russian brass which was so characteristic of Soviet style orchestras of those times but which suits the music just fine. This is my first encounter with Svetlanov's music which certainly couldn't be played any better and which deserves a serious recommendation.
Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech