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CD Review

Nicolai Malko

Recordings with the Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra 1947-50

  • Alexander Glazunov: Raymonda - Grande Valse, Op. 57 * (1896-97)
  • Anatol Liadov: Baba-Yaga, Op. 56 * (1891/1904)
  • Antonín Dvořák: Symphony #9 "From the New World" in E minor, Op. 95 (1893)
  • Aram Khatchaturian: Gayaneh, excerpts * (1942/57)
  • Carl Nielsen: Maskarade - Overture, FS39 (1906)
  • Igor Stravinsky: Suite II (1921)
  • Johan Svendsen:
  • Carnival in Paris, Op. 9 (1872)
  • Festival polonaise, Op. 12 (1873)
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Egmont-ouverture, Op. 84 (1810)
  • Modest Mussorgsky: The Fair at Sorochintsi - Gopak *
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakoff:
  • The Tale of Tsar Saltan - Flight of the bumble-bee *
  • Capriccio espagñol, Op. 34 (1887)
  • Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky:
  • Cappricio Italien, Op. 45 (1880)
  • Mazeppa - Gopak *
  • The Nutcracker - Waltz of the Flowers, Op. 71 * (1892)
  • The Sleeping Beauty - Lilac Fairy, Op. 66 (1890)
  • Serenade in C for Strings, Op. 48 (1880)
Danish State Broadcasting Orchestra/Nicolai Malko
* Philharmonia Orchestra/Nicolai Malko
Danacord DACOCD 549-550 147m ADD Recorded: 1947-51

Nicolai Malko is one of the conductors who slipped into relative oblivion after his death and has only recently been receiving a reappraisal. This collection of recordings shows him at his best in the late 40's and early 50's when his services were much in demand in Denmark and London.

A fiery 'Egmont' Overture preludes the collection followed by a rather unremarkable 'New World' which includes a wonderful Largo however.

Tchaikovsky's 'Capriccio Italien' bounces along with vigour and life whilst Svendsen's rarely heard 'Festival Polonaise' and 'Carnival in Paris' receive splendidly buoyant readings rather in the mould of Karsten Andersen and the Bergen Symphony Orchestra almost thirty years later (NKF).

The 'Maskarade' overture and Stravinsky's Suite have just been issued on the double CD set devoted to the DRSO issued on Dutton, an unfortunate case of overlapping!

The Danish recordings conclude with a spirited Capriccio espagñol and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty and the String Serenade, both show Malko's penchant for Rusian symphonic music. The Philharmonia items are recorded in what is rather dull sound but all blaze away with vigour. Most of the items have already been issued on a Testament disc some years back but it is good to have them grouped here. Khachaturian's 'Gayaneh' suite is bubbly and dashing whilst the dances from Mussorgsky's 'Sorochinsky Fair', and Tchaikovsky's 'Mazeppa' have the orchestra in fine fettle. Liadov's 'Baba Yaga' and Glazunov's 'Raymounda' waltz are also quite ravishingly done.

Many collectors will be enthused by this double CD which features rare recordings but there is also a fair amount of duplication, so sample before you buy.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech