We may know Alexander Glazunov from his numerous symphonies and orchestral works but it is quite a shame that his chamber music has been somewhat overlooked. The ever enterprising and excellent German label MD&G now seeks to redress this issue with a promised issue of the composer's complete String Quartets and this second volume follows on from the equally excellent first disc that paired the Third and Fifth quartets.
The Utrecht String Quartet has chosen the Second and Fourth for this volume together with the solemn Elegy for strings, Op. 105, a late and rather brooding work. Both quartets are rousing affairs that are typical Glazunov and this indicates long breathed and varied melodic movements and somber slow movements. The 2nd is in F Major and moves along quite merrily with a fine Finale that is reminiscent of the First Symphony. The Fourth is slightly more effervescent and grander in scale and scope with a symphonic structure making the basis of the composition.
I haven't heard other Russian interpreters of these works but the Utrecht players are a distinguished group and they play with passion and verve for the composer. MD&G's recording is also very finely balanced with each instrument clearly delineated. I have nothing but praise for this fine venture and eagerly await further issues in this excellent series.
Copyright © 2005, Gerald Fenech