Evgeny Svetlanov

The Anthology of Russian Symphony Music: Glazunov

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Only the most dedicated fans of Russian fin de siècle composer Alexander Glazunov may be interested in this six-disc set of his miscellaneous orchestral works with Evgeny Svetlanov. But for those fans, this set will be compulsory listening. Glazunov doesn't have the international reputation of composers such as Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and what reputation he has is founded less on his miscellaneous orchestral works than his symphonies and concertos. But Glazunov's orchestral works are consistently better written than Tchaikovsky's and more optimistic than Rachmaninov's, and in the hands of a true believer like Svetlanov, they sound better than they do in nearly any other recorded performances. The Oriental Rhapsody is sinuous, Stenka Razin has a patriotic heroism, and From Darkness to Light is a characteristic glimpse of Glazunov's orchestral brilliance. Typically for this series, the notes do not list recording locations or dates. In addition, the notes also don't list the name or names of the orchestras Svetlanov leads. The playing is more serviceable and enthusiastic than it is polished, and the sound brings out more detail than usual for recordings of this era and circumstance.

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