Konstantin Krimets

Russian Futurism, Vol. 2

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This Arte Nova disc, Russian Futurism, Vol. 2 -- Goedicke: Orchestral Works featuring Konstantin Krimets and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra was originally released as a two-disc set in 1996. The inclusion of Alexander Goedicke anywhere within the context of the "Russian Futurist" canon, then as now, makes no sense whatsoever -- Goedicke was a student of Taneyev and devoted lifelong to the more conservative side of Russian nationalism, that exemplified by Alexander Glazunov. Even on the original set, Goedicke's works were partnered by composers who had no contact with the futurists -- Gregor Kirkor, Julian Krein, and Michael Gniessen. Of these figures, Goedicke more so than the others was in direct opposition to the Russian futurist school, and the idea of slimming down the two-disc set to the works representing Goedicke alone, yet retaining the "Russian Futurism" tag is downright misleading.

Under the circumstances, reviewing an album with such a glaring defect is difficult, but apart from the misleading tag, it isn't bad. Goedicke's Trumpet Concerto was the only work that had been recorded elsewhere when this was initially made; it and the Horn Concerto, Op. 40, are serviceable, if not brilliant, performances of works that may well be of interest to brass players. The "improvisations" for orchestra At War (From the Diary of a Dead Soldier), Op. 26, is a direct response to World War I that contains some very exciting orchestral scoring and is generally well-performed here; listeners will find it cinematic in tone, yet containing very little that is, in the end, memorable in itself. The early Overture dramatiques, Op. 7, sounds like second rate Rimsky-Korsakov.

If one is interested in Goedicke, then Russian Futurism Vol. 2 -- Goedicke: Orchestral Works will be a useful and adequate introduction to his music. If you are interested in Russian Futurism, however, bear in mind that this Arte Nova disc simply is not what it says it is.

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