Author Topic: Glazunov's glass of vodka  (Read 33750 times)

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eyeresist

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2009, 06:07:17 PM »
Of the symphonies, I have the Svetlanov set on Venezia, plus 5 & 7 by Polyansky, and 3? and 9 on Naxos.
My overall impression of these works is that they are pleasant but forgettable, and often much too long.

I enjoy "Spring" from The Seasons, having frequently heard it at the end of my Khatchaturian/CfP disc. I was also pleasantly surprised by tone poem The Sea, in the Svetlanov set, though I've only heard it once. I think I'm afraid of hearing it again for fear of being disappointed.

So my current judgement regarding Glazunov's orchestral work is that the symphonies should not be given the highest priority.
 

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2009, 06:22:09 PM »
Of the symphonies, I have the Svetlanov set on Venezia, plus 5 & 7 by Polyansky, and 3? and 9 on Naxos.
My overall impression of these works is that they are pleasant but forgettable, and often much too long.............

Eyeresist - thanks for the comments above; these symphonic works seem to have received 'mixed' reviews as to their quality and also their varied performances by different conductors & bands - but I must say that those 'piano discs' that I posted are absolutely enjoyable - maybe I should explore Glazunov's chamber works next?  But will await other comments - please all continue - thanks!   :D

karlhenning

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2009, 05:01:32 AM »
Glazunov's glass of vodka . . . naughty allusion, Jeffrey!  You're making Rakhmaninov weep all over again  ;)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2009, 05:23:37 AM »
Glazunov's glass of vodka . . . naughty allusion, Jeffrey!  You're making Rakhmaninov weep all over again  ;)

But Mussorgsky would have understood Karl! >:D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

karlhenning

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2009, 06:06:19 AM »
Repin certainly did not go out of way to flatter the subject there, Jeffrey.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2009, 03:16:59 PM »
Repin certainly did not go out of way to flatter the subject there, Jeffrey.

True Karl, but it is such a great painting - painted shortly before Mussorgsky drank himself to death.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

karlhenning

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2009, 02:33:36 AM »
True Karl, but it is such a great painting - painted shortly before Mussorgsky drank himself to death.

Oh, it is indeed a great painting for that fact;  there was something of a warts-&-all Zeitgeist (anything that seems new today, is really just recapitulation of the past).  The composer died very shortly after, IIRC . . . surely the hospital didn't allow him to drink any more?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2009, 06:31:59 AM »
Oh, it is indeed a great painting for that fact;  there was something of a warts-&-all Zeitgeist (anything that seems new today, is really just recapitulation of the past).  The composer died very shortly after, IIRC . . . surely the hospital didn't allow him to drink any more?

I think that someone misguidedly gave Mussorgsky some drink or he smuggled it in to the hospital (in much the same way as I smuggle the CDs past my wife ;D) and he died after a final drinking binge.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2010, 06:29:08 PM »
Born in 1865 in St. Petersburg, Glazunov was a leading Russian composer of the generation after Tchaikovsky. Doubtless owing to his exceptional mastery of and attentiveness to form, exemplified by his exceptional grasp of counterpoint, he has been described as a Romantic Classicist and therefore compared to Brahms. Furthermore, since he remained faithful to a traditional nineteenth century musical idiom, while some of his contemporaries pursued varieties of Modernism, critics have described Glazunov's music as academic and formal. But Glazunov's oeuvre, which includes a wide range of genres, cannot be easily reduced to mere critical formulas. At heart, Glazunov was a Romantic composer, and the spirit of his music comes to the fore in his Violin Concerto in A Minor, a richly melodic work, in which the expressive potential of the violin is fully realized.

Displaying an immense musical talent as a child, Glazunov started studying with Rimsky-Korsakov at the age of 15. Glazunov's progress was indeed astonishing, for he completed his Symphony No. 1 at 16. In fact, his symphony, premiered by Balakirev in 1882, established, practically overnight, Glazunov's reputation as a great Russian composer. In 1884, the rich merchant and publisher Belyayev took Glazunov to Weimar, where the young composer met Liszt. Although absorbing many musical influences, particularly those of Liszt and Wagner, Glazunov eventually crafted an individual style, composing symphonies, ballets, and concertos for various instruments. Owing to his growing international fame as a symphonist, Glazunov was invited to conduct his works in Paris in 1889; an invitation from London came in 1896. During the 1890s, Glazunov composed some of his most successful works, including the fourth, fifth, and sixth symphonies, and the ballet Raymonda.

In 1899, Glazunov became an instructor in composition and orchestration at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He resigned his post in the politically turbulent year of 1905, incensed by the government's politically motivated dismissal of Rimsky-Korsakov from his teaching position. However, when things returned to a semblance of normalcy, Glazunov was named head of the Conservatory. While his output may have diminished in terms of sheer quantity after 1905, Glazunov continued composing until the end of his life. After the Revolution of 1917, Glazunov, as director of a major national music school, worked hard, and with varying success, to protect his students from interference by a government which viewed music as an instrument of political propaganda. In addition, he felt isolated in a culture which rejected established musical traditions, and a general feeling of alienation finally prompted him to leave the Soviet Union in 1928.

Glazunov's life in exile, which included an unsuccessful tour of the United States, was difficult but did not suppress his creative energy. He traveled around the world for several years, eventually settling in Paris. Music composed during this period includes the Concerto-Ballata for Cello and Orchestra and the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Strings, a standard work of the saxophone repertoire. Passionately interested in the distinctive characteristics of the instruments he composed for, Glazunov learned to play a variety of instruments, including, in addition to the obligatory piano, violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, French horn, clarinet, as well as several percussion instruments. Consequently, each of his concertos reflects a deep understanding of the instrument's nature and technical capabilities. Critics have reproached Glazunov for being too Western and insufficiently Russian. True, there are few traces in his music of Russian folk influences. However, while Glazunov's music certainly fits into the cosmopolitan culture of his time, it also embodies the unmistakable emotional and spiritual qualities which the attentive listener will recognize as Russian.

[Article taken from All Music Guide]
 
 
I'm surprised to find that there are no threads about this composer. I love Glazunov and I know a lot of people who loathe him. My opinion is he wrote very lyrically moving music that despite it's conservatism is very beautiful.
 
What do you guys think about this composer? Any works you were especially moved by? Please share your comments.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 05:47:53 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline springrite

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2010, 06:33:05 PM »
I have never liked Glazulov's symphonies and other orchestral works. But I love his piano works, especially the solo works. The Hyperion set is wonderful.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2010, 06:41:11 PM »
I have never liked Glazulov's symphonies and other orchestral works. But I love his piano works, especially the solo works. The Hyperion set is wonderful.

I would be interested to know what you have heard of his orchestral music. I'm not a big fan of his symphonies either, but then again they're better than many other composer's symphonies. His ballets "Raymonda" and "The Seasons" are very beautiful. He was also a great orchestrator, but then again he learned from one of the best: Rimsky-Korsakov.
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Offline springrite

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2010, 07:07:52 PM »
I would be interested to know what you have heard of his orchestral music. I'm not a big fan of his symphonies either, but then again they're better than many other composer's symphonies. His ballets "Raymonda" and "The Seasons" are very beautiful. He was also a great orchestrator, but then again he learned from one of the best: Rimsky-Korsakov.

I have heard all the symphonies, the ballets you mentioned, the concerti (which are very good) and a few other odd ones. Actually I have many most of these works in my collection. But I guess orchestral works between Beethoven and Mahler (save some Berlioz, Franck...) are not my favorite to begin with. So I guess Galzunov's music stylistically falls into that catergory. You are right, they are well crafted.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2010, 07:16:15 PM »
I have heard all the symphonies, the ballets you mentioned, the concerti (which are very good) and a few other odd ones. Actually I have many most of these works in my collection. But I guess orchestral works between Beethoven and Mahler (save some Berlioz, Franck...) are not my favorite to begin with. So I guess Galzunov's music stylistically falls into that catergory. You are right, they are well crafted.

Yes, they are very well-crafted, but this doesn't mean that much if you think about it. Orchestration is just apart of the composition's presentation. The meat of a compostion are always the melodies, harmonies, rhythms, etc. The most remarkable work I've heard by Glazunov is an orchestral work called "From the Middle Ages." My favorite recording of this work is with Neeme Jarvi and the Scottish National Orch. on Chandos. This recording is out-of-print unfortunately and I'm sure if it's available as a download anywhere, but if you ever have a chance to hear this recording (it's coupled with "Scenes de Ballet" another great work), then don't hesitate to listen to it.
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Offline springrite

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2010, 07:31:28 PM »
Yes, they are very well-crafted, but this doesn't mean that much if you think about it. Orchestration is just apart of the composition's presentation. The meat of a compostion are always the melodies, harmonies, rhythms, etc. The most remarkable work I've heard by Glazunov is an orchestral work called "From the Middle Ages." My favorite recording of this work is with Neeme Jarvi and the Scottish National Orch. on Chandos. This recording is out-of-print unfortunately and I'm sure if it's available as a download anywhere, but if you ever have a chance to hear this recording (it's coupled with "Scenes de Ballet" another great work), then don't hesitate to listen to it.
I do have that work on an LP, which I last listened to in the late 80's! I still have that LP but alas no turntable! I remember liking it quite a bit.
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2010, 10:11:59 PM »
I like this rather endearing composer - especially symphonies 2, 7, 8 and the fragment of the melancholy No 9, which I'm sorry he never completed. The Seasons is a most inspiriting work, which I was fortunate enough to hear at The Proms about 25  years ago - also the last ditch Saxophone Concerto. IMHO he is a more interesting composer than often given credit for, and evidently a decent and honourable man.
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Offline listener

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2010, 10:26:57 PM »
Don't overlook the Violin Concerto which used to be in the basic repertoire of most soloists.
From the Middle Ages can be found on CD on Naxos 553537 with The Kremlin op.30, Poème lyrique op.12, Poème épique op. posth. -  Moscow S.O.,  Krimets, cond.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2010, 05:04:06 AM »
Don't overlook the Violin Concerto which used to be in the basic repertoire of most soloists.
From the Middle Ages can be found on CD on Naxos 553537 with The Kremlin op.30, Poème lyrique op.12, Poème épique op. posth. -  Moscow S.O.,  Krimets, cond.

That Naxos CD is the best in their Glazunov series I think.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2010, 11:57:19 AM »
That Naxos CD is the best in their Glazunov series I think.

I really enjoyed the one that "Oriental Rhapsody" as well. That was a fine disc.
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Brahmsian

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2011, 07:41:31 AM »
OK - Is there a reason why Glazunov's string quartets aren't recorded, or rarely?  I heard snippets of the #4, Op.64 quartet (Utrecht String Quartet) and thought it was very nice!

Offline Taneyev

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2011, 08:01:27 AM »
I've the 7 quartets plus quintet plus suite plus elegy for SQ. All on Olympia by the Shostakovich SQ. But probably OOP. (recordings are from the 70s)