Orchestra of Headquarters of Leningrad Military District

Russian Marches and Waltzes

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There is a problem with identification of the group on this Russian-made Boheme release. This is not by the "Orchestra of Headquarters of Leningrad Military District" but by the Headquarters of Leningrad Military District Band; while the "orchestra" is more or less the same group, the orchestra has strings instead of saxophones, and here the saxophones are evident.

There are a number of interesting regimental marches here -- the Anonymous March of the Preobrazhensky Regiment certainly is lively stuff -- Modest Mussorgsky must have loved it -- and Efanov's march The Battle Near LiaoLiaon is at times violently exciting and involving; perhaps it refers to The Battle of Liao Yang of 1904, a crushing defeat for the Tsarist forces. However, in this collection of Russian Marches and Waltzes several of the waltzes figure as the most interesting selections, particularly as these begin in a minor key -- a reasonably common device used by Russian composers, but almost never in the waltzes by their Viennese counterparts. Among them are Blanter's In the Municipal Garden and Kyuss' Amur's waves, which, like The Battle Near LiaoLiaon, also originates with the Russo-Japanese War. The playing is sometimes rather loose and a little sloppy, but it's so earnest and enthusiastic you easily forgive them -- Russian Marches and Waltzes actually gets a little better as it goes along, suggesting that the original recording was made in exactly this sequence. The sound is also a little distant and thinly recorded, but the performances are essentially intact, and by alternating the more martial music with waltzes, the program never gets bogged down or boring.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:57
2
2:26
3
4:05
4
3:02
5
4:54
6
2:29
7
3:08
8
3:08
9
5:03
10
2:41
11
3:53
12
5:14
13
2:17
14
3:18
15
3:02
16
3:07
17
4:10
18
1:48
blue highlight denotes track pick