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CD Review

Warner Svetlanov Edition

Warner 69890-3
Volume 27

Serge Taneyev

  • Symphony #4
  • The Temple of Apollo at Delphi *
USSR Symphony Orchestra/Evgeni Svetlanov
Warner Classics 2564-69890-3 47m *ADD
Warner 69899-5
Volume 29

Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka

  • Overture in D Major
  • Overture in G minor
  • Andante Cantabile & Rondo in D minor
  • Patriotic Song
  • Symphony on Two Russian Themes
  • Suite "Prince Kholmsky"
  • Suite "A Life for the Tsar"
  • Suite "Ruslan & Ludmila"
  • Spanish Overture #1 "Jóta Aragonesa" (Capriccio brillante)
  • Spanish Overture #2 "Summer Night in Madrid"
  • Fantasy on Two Russian Chansons "Kamarinskaya"
  • Nocturne "Memory of Friendship" in F Major
  • Prieré (Prayer)
USSR Symphony Orchestra/Evgeni Svetlanov
Warner Classics 2564-69899-5 198m 3CDs ADD

The Svetlanov revival continues apace with another two issues, the classic recording of Taneyev's Fourth Symphony and a three CD box set of the bulk of Glinka's orchestral works.

Collectors of scrawny, red-labeled Melodiya LP's will recall the Glinka items with fondness, the 'Memory of Friendship' was the coupling to Grechaninov's Fourth Symphony (an LP still in my possession) whilst the pace energy and virility in the four overtures, especially the "Jota Aragonesa" has never been surpassed. Other interesting items include the full length suites from Glinka's three operas; the one from 'A Life for the Tsar' is particularly exciting especially in the central parts. The other works such as "Prieré" and the "Kamarinskaya" Waltz fantasy also receive splendidly uplifting performances. There isn't really much to say except to recommend the listener to sit down and take in the music as it is truly enjoyable from first note to last.

The Taneyev symphony receives a big-boned classical reading of the old school and is hugely superior to its only current rival, Vassily Sinaisky on Chandos who sounds too polished for the music's good.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech