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CD Review

Alexander Glazunov


  • Symphony #1 "Slavyanskaya" in E Major, Op. 5
  • Symphony #2 in F Sharp minor, Op. 16
  • Symphony #3 in D Major, Op. 33
  • Symphony #9 in D minor [Unfinished]
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/José Serebrier
Warner Classics 2564-68904-2 136m DDD
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With this sublime collection of four symphonies, conductor José Serebrier finally completes his much awaited Glazunov cycle which is surely one of the most important events of recent times in the musical world. And when compared to other cycles on Naxos and Chandos or the ill-fated Butt on the now defunct AS&V label

As expected, Serebrier adopts a pretty fast tempo in the outer movements especially in the Second Symphony which is one of my favourites for its sense of mystery and elation. The same could be said for the Third "Slavic" Symphony which comes across very nicely indeed and is vastly superior to Polyansky's rather cumbersome effort on Chandos. The Ninth symphony is an unfinished work which was completed by the conductor Vladimir Yudin and although it is a short ten minute piece, Serebrier treats it with the dignity and élan which one would expect for a more substantial work.

The recordings are very clear and there is a sense of hallowed beauty in proceedings as Serebrier coaxes his players into action. If you have been one of those who has been waiting for a long time for the completion of this cycle then it is obvious that you will want this fine collection without delay.

Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech