Popov: the unknown giant
Robert Sutton | Woodland, CA USA | 07/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gavriil Popov was an incredible composer who for variety of reasons, including personality, politics and vodka, did not have the staying power of his close contemporary Shostakovich even though, in my opinion, Popov's compositional talents were superior and were greatly admired by Shostakovich.
By the time Popov was writing his 6th Symphony he was well past his prime and nearing the end of his life but clearly he was not winding down his career as a composer. This symphony shows him in full creative flight as he created a finely crafted and orchestrated symphony that is both witty and exciting as well as a very pleasant listening experience.
The Chamber Symphony is a charming litttle work that gives the listener an inkling of the craftsman that Popov was when he was just beginning his career. Every note counts, nothing is out of place, and despite every effort you may put up you cannot escape being drawn into the piece as it is played. The piece may be only an opus 2 but it is a fully mature work.
The performances are masterful but the recording enginneer should have been sent to the gulag. It's clear that even into the 1980s Soviet recording engineers could not make a recording that was not so dynamically unbalaced that it makes your speakers rattle whenever the brass starts to get a bit loud. Get this CD if you can find a copy and enjoy Popov."