Svetlanov - Symphony no.1, The Red Guelder-Rose (FLAC)
Svetlanov – Symphony no.1, The Red Guelder-Rose (FLAC)

Composer: Evgeny Svetlanov
Orchestra: USSR State Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Warner
Size: 323 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

Symphonie n°1 en si mineur, op. 13
01. Allegro moderato
02. Allegro vivace
03. Largo
04. Andante mesto

05. Le Sorbier rouge, Poème symphonique

A great neglected symphony

I reviewed the symphony in a previous recorded incarnation, and I’ve pasted that review below with a few changes. The prior version had a different coupling, and I don’t know the second work on this disc, so this deals only with the symphony. Here goes:

If you’ve gotten this far, you almost certainly know Svetlanov as conductor, but his parallel activities as composer are almost unknown in the West. The principal work on this CD, his only symphony, has been recorded only this once — by Svetlanov himself, of course — and anyone interested in twentieth century Soviet orchestral works ought to grab a copy.

The symphony is a weird but effective admixture of Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. Sounds like oil and water, I realize, but somehow it works. A motto theme runs through all four movements, much as in the Tchaik 5. There’s a bit of bombast in the two outer movements, but that’s to be expected in this genre, and it’s pretty good bombast. Shostakovich would have been proud to claim authorship of the scherzo, and the slow movement is eloquent. I play this CD perhaps as much as any I own, and I’m still not tired of it.


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