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Svetlanov: Symphony No. 1 / Poem for Violin and Orchestra (in memory of David Oistrakh)
Svetlanov, Oistrakh, State Symphony Orchestra
Svetlanov: Symphony No. 1 / Poem for Violin and Orchestra (in memory of David Oistrakh)
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1


      

CD Details

 

CD Reviews

A little-known gem
lieblich | Arlington, VA | 06/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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 Russian orchestral works ought to grab a copy before it vanishes from the marketplace.

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. 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. The Poem is a more routine confection for violin and orchestra; you won't forget Chausson, but neither will you be seriously disappointed.

It's tempting to call the performance, conducted by the composer with his "home" orchestra, definitive. I'm not sure I'd go quite that far, but it's much better than just okay. The recording antedates digital, and like most pre-digital Melodiya it's just a wee bit foggy. But it's quite satisfactory unless you're a Golden Ear. And if you're a Golden Ear, Svetlanov isn't what you should be listening to.

Five stars for the work, four for the performance, three for the audio. It works out to four. If you're trying to collect a broad and representative repertoire that includes great but obscure music, grab this before I decide I want a second copy."