Malcolm Glass | Tennessee | 07/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered Alla Pavlova on Radioio. If you don't know this web station, you must check it out. I make discoveries of little known serious music daily on Radioio. And Pavlova is the most exciting find yet. Her music is gorgeous, heartfelt, accessible. She is a true Russian (Ukrainian, to be exact) in the sense that her works are full of emotion, passion, melancholy. She is clearly in the Rachmaninoff tradition. That is a compliment; to my mind Rachmaninoff is the epitome of Russian orchestral music. What better tradition could there be for her? But I say she is "in the tradition," for she is by no means an imitator of anyone that I can discern. She is very much her own woman. She is innovative and daring, complex and subtle, without ever using any of the current cliches and mannerisms of the famous in-their-heads prize-winners, like Corigliano and Tower. Pavlova is in a class, indeed, it would seem, a world, of her own. Yet it is the world we all truly inhabit, the world of the physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies, as well as the mental.
As far as I know, her Symphony No. 4, on this disc, is the only true organ symphony in the literature. (I could be wrong, so let me know if I am.)
Sure, there's Saint-Saens and the exuberant finale to the 3rd, but Pavlova
begins her symphony with the organ, and the instrument is integral to the work start to finish. This is a unique contribution to classical music, as far as I know. I ordered this CD because it has the lovely 2nd Symphony I heard on Radioio. What a powerful piece it is. And straightaway I came back to Amazon and ordered all of Pavlova's recordings. Thanks, Naxos!