performed by the USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra under Evgeny Svetlanov or the same conductor with the Orchestre National de France in a studio recording here So this must be by far the most obscure work in everything that we’ve talked … Continue reading Sergei Lyapunov: Symphony no. 2
performed live by (again) the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra under Gennady Rozhdestvensky, or in a very nice performance below by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra (perhaps before they were ‘Royal’?) under Vladimir Ashkenazy This, this other terrible first. The … Continue reading Rachmaninoff Symphony no. 1 in D minor, op. 13
as performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Jascha Horenstein; Earl Wild, piano Wait, what? A piano concerto? Yes. So it just now occurred to me that this is the composer’s opus no. 1. And that is only another supporting reason for … Continue reading Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 1 in F#m, op. 1
While I felt Arensky’s symphony last week had its shining moments (particularly the fourth movement) and Glazunov’s seemed a very ambitious young work, the far-less-known (in the West) Vasily Kalinnikov brings us a symphony number one that is tightly constructed, … Continue reading Vasily Kalinnikov: Symphony no. 1 in G minor
performed by the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra under Gennady Rozhdestvensky “[Tchaikovsky] also knew my Third Symphony, which is dedicated to him. Much in it found his approval and, at his request, I often played the scherzo of the … Continue reading Alexander Glazunov: Symphony no. 3 in D, op. 33
performed by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra under Stanislav Vavrinek or here by the people sourced for this video (USSR Radio & TV something?) “In his youth Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later the influence came from … Continue reading Arensky Symphony No. 1 in B minor, op. 4
performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Gennady Rozhdestvensky (or in the other recording below by Concertgebouw under Karel Mark Chichon) Heaven forbid! Do not touch it; alter nothing. Your modulations are neither extravagant nor faulty. Your artistic instinct … Continue reading Borodin Symphony no. 2 in B minor
performed (again) by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra under Igor Golovschin I have to say with this symphony that, while I don’t care much for the man who wrote it (after preparing this week’s article on him), of the first … Continue reading Mily Balakirev: Symphony no. 1 in C major,
The younger, less round Balakirev In talking about Russian music, even people who don’t listen to classical music might be able to name Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, even Prokofiev or Shostakovich, and we will surely get to them all. But this week, … Continue reading Influential People: Mily Balakirev
The Russian Symphony Part 1
So I started writing about the piece we will talk about today, and then I realized I’d listened to and wrote about the wrong symphony.
The second symphony from this Russian composer doesn’t feel terribly Russian or Symphonic. Perhaps in a world before Debussy’s La Mer, this piece would feel less like a large-scale tone poem, something it seemed to lean toward as the composer worked on the piece later.
Despite Liszt’s lack of willingness to give aid to the young, poor Rubinstein, the symphony bears a dedication to Liszt. Its first performance was on March 6, 1852, and the American Symphony program notes state:
… it won the favor of audiences with its magnificent trumpet calls, swirling melodies, and solid structure. The ocean, according to Rubinstein, is depicted in the contrasts between the agitated and peaceful passages, the deep lyricism of the second movement, and the heroic chorale at the end of the fourth movement, when man’s spirit gains domination over the power of the ocean.
I started including this information in tomorrow’s music post, but it got a little long, so I decided I’d make it a separate thing ahead of the discussion of the first work in our Russian symphony series.
|Rubinstein on the podium as portrayed by Ilya Repin.|
The Russian Coat of Arms from around the time of the earliest of the symphonies we’ll be talking about We’ve been doing lots of German stuff this year. Lots. If you think of music like you think of language families … Continue reading The Russian Symphony: A Series