Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Borodin: Symphonies

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For anyone looking for one and only one complete collection of Alexander Borodin's three symphonies, this two-disc set with Gennady Rozhdestvensky directing the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic shouldn't be the one and only. It's not that the Swedes don't play with tremendous power and heartmelting passion. They do: listen to the Second's closing Allegro. And it's not that Rozhdestvensky doesn't conduct with immense energy and complete understanding. He does: listen to the First's central Andante. And it's surely not that the sound recorded by Chandos in the mid-'90s and released here by Brilliant in 2007 is anything less than thrilling. It is: listen to the tympani in the Third's opening movement. It's that the conductor has slightly but noticeably retouched the scores -- mostly crossing out occasional wind or brass doublings or giving an especially lyrical line to a solo string rather than the whole section -- and while these retouchings make these performances a bit clearer and a tad more affecting, they also make them less than wholly authentic. Also, it should be added that the inclusion of excellent performances of Glazunov's orchestrations of Borodin's Petite Suite and Polovtsian Dances is entirely appropriate -- but that the inclusion of charming performances of two songs by Borodin orchestrated by Glazunov and not the usual In the Steppes of Central Asia is somewhat disappointing. In sum, anyone looking for one and only one complete recording of Borodin's symphonies is urged to check out the recording by Evgeny Svetlanov or Loris Tjeknavorian first. But if you're looking for a second or third recording, the Rozhdestvensky is well worth considering.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Symphony No. 2 in B minor
1 08:22 Amazon
2 05:53 Amazon
3 08:35 Amazon
4 06:58 Amazon
Petite Suite for orchestra (orchestrated by Glazunov)
5 04:36 Amazon
6 05:18 Amazon
7 03:39 Amazon
8 03:46 Amazon
9 03:02 Amazon
10 02:06 Amazon
11 07:32 Amazon
Prince Igor, opera (completed by Rimsky-Korsakov & Glazunov)
12 02:35 Amazon
13 02:38 Amazon
14 01:17 Amazon
15 02:21 Amazon
16 01:30 Amazon
17 01:31 Amazon
18 01:31 Amazon
19 01:40 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick