Reinhold Glière

Symphony No. 3 in B minor ("Il'ya Muromets"), Op. 42

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    Glière, a Russian composer of French ancestry, was one of the more conservative figures of the twentieth century. His most famous large-scale work is this program symphony telling the tale of the legendary twelfth century figure Il'ya Murometz. He is selected by a mighty "bogatyr," a Russian type of knight, to be his successor. Il'ya captures an outlaw named Solovei (which ironically means "nightingale"), and takes him to the castle of Vladimir, the Sun. Using Solovei's mighty voice as a weapon (before decapitating him) Murometz overcomes the defenses of the castle, and is welcomed inside by Vladimir. Finally, he is conquered when he and his forces are turned to stone. The idiom of the symphony is the rich romanticism of Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky, with richer, more Wagnerian harmonies. It is also distinguished as one of the longest symphonies in the entire repertoire. Buyers of recordings of it should be aware of whether the version they are considering is complete or cut.

    Parts/Movements

    1. Wandering Pilgrims: Il'ya Murometz and Svyatogor
    2. Il'ya Murometz and Solovei the Brigand
    3. At the Court of Vladimir the Mighty Sun
    4. The Heroic Deeds and Petrification of Il'ya Murometz

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Naxos 8503293
    2017 Urania WS 121168
    2015 Naxos 8503280
    2014 Naxos 8573161
    2014 Naxos NBD 0041
    2014 Deutsche Grammophon
    2012 Alto 2019
    2011 Chandos CHAN106795 X
    2009 Denon Records 00795041965028
    2003 Telarc Distribution 80609
    2003 Telarc Distribution 60609
    2002 Andante 4978
    1998 EMI Music Distribution 66886
    1997 Biddulph Recordings 005
    1996 Russian Disc 15025
    1995 Russian Disc 11358
    1994 Naxos 550858
    1992 Marco Polo 223358
    1992 Chandos 9041
    1989 Unicorn-Kanchana 2014/5
    Pro-Arte Records 589
    Musical Heritage Society 514454
    EMI Classics 698555