Author Topic: Glazunov's glass of vodka  (Read 43603 times)

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Offline Brian

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #280 on: June 16, 2021, 11:51:41 AM »
And a thank you Brian for giving me that push to finally give this work a listen. It seems our tastes are more similar than I initially thought.
;)

Listened to the Utrecht Quartet version today. It is somewhat faster and maybe attempts to be more dramatic and more formal (i.e. Brahmsian/Germanic). I like both versions, but maybe prefer the more luxurious romantic way. The Suite is also a very nice piece with a couple really interesting central movements and some very good tunes (one of which gets a set of variations), although the final waltz is a bit of a letdown.

The MDG booklet says that another composer (I would have to look again, but I think it was Tchaikovsky) disparaged Glazunov as a guy who was always writing themes and variations rather than true development sections. I don't know if that's true, but it is always funny to hear composers attack each other.  ;D

EDIT: "He was not - as Tchaikovsky stated - in a position 'to develop his themes, but merely repeated them in a thousand different variations.'"
« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 11:56:25 AM by Brian »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #281 on: June 16, 2021, 11:58:14 AM »
;)

Listened to the Utrecht Quartet version today. It is somewhat faster and maybe attempts to be more dramatic and more formal (i.e. Brahmsian/Germanic). I like both versions, but maybe prefer the more luxurious romantic way. The Suite is also a very nice piece with a couple really interesting central movements and some very good tunes (one of which gets a set of variations), although the final waltz is a bit of a letdown.

The MDG booklet says that another composer (I would have to look again, but I think it was Tchaikovsky) disparaged Glazunov as a guy who was always writing themes and variations rather than true development sections. I don't know if that's true, but it is always funny to hear composers attack each other.  ;D

Very nice. So are you saying you prefer the BIS recording with the Gringolts Quartet and Poltera? I’ll have to check out the Suite. Yeah, composers were always taking jabs at each other back in those days and I particularly love the storied exchange of insults between Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Brahms also had some funny exchanges with Wagner, Liszt and Bruckner.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #282 on: July 13, 2021, 07:57:03 AM »
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread:

NP:

Glazunov
Symphony No. 2 in F♯ minor, Op. 16
USSR State SO
Svetlanov




A little review I wrote on this set -

it seems that Glazunov is sometimes unfairly treated like some kind of red-headed stepchild of the Russian Romantic Era. For me, I find him to be of equal to or even preferable in many ways to his teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov. He’s clearly in the Late-Romantic tradition, but what I think makes Glazunov an attractive composer is his attention to the form and how he develops his ideas. There’s a description of his style on Wikipedia where it was written that he had “Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral virtuosity, Tchaikovsky's lyricism and Taneyev's contrapuntal skill.” I this description is certainly true, but a deeper look into the composer reveals a unique voice separate to those composers. Glazunov was a composer that took me awhile to understand, because I didn’t quite know where he was coming from stylistically. I believe the work that hooked me into his music was his 7th symphony (subtitled “Pastorale”). The slow movement, “Andante”, is where I suddenly realized what he was all about from an emotional standpoint. I heard a yearning quality in this particular movement that actually finds it’s way into many of his works. It’s almost as if he let his guard down long enough to see who behind all of this orchestral technique --- there was a beating heart behind the music after all. This is all it took and now he’s a favorite of mine and I have since enjoyed so many of his works from orchestral suites to concerti to ballets to chamber music, etc.

This set of symphonies recorded by Evgeny Svetlanov and the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, or is it the Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra or is it the....anyway, you get the idea --- this orchestra changes its name each time a board member sneezes, is, for this listener, the finest set available. Svetlanov brings a deeper sense of wonderment and passion to Glazunov that is severely lacking in say Serebrier or Järvi. Not that these two conductors are ‘bad’, they are far from it, but I don’t think they got inside the music like Svetlanov seems to have done. The way he develops and embellishes the musical lines --- one after another are, without a doubt, in a class of their own. The USSR State SO perform admirably well as Svetlanov seemed to have always had “play as if your lives depended on it” mantra happening each time stepped up to the podium. The fidelity of these recordings are quite good and I’d imagine only the most nit-picky audiophile would have something negative to say about it.

If you’re looking for a set of Glazunov symphonies, then look no further than this Svetlanov set. As a supplementary set, I’d recommend Rozhdestvensky, but it seems his cycle is difficult to obtain these days. But, as always, let your ears be the judge and try out Serebrier and Järvi. I might actually revisit both of their sets and give them a fresh listen. Minds can change if one is open enough. Anyway, check out this set! Highly recommended!
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #283 on: July 13, 2021, 09:11:43 PM »
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread:
I liked your analysis very much John, both of the music itself and the merits of the Svetlanov set, which I also think is the best. Do you know the set by Fedoseyev which I also think highly of.
"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 #284 on: July 14, 2021, 08:18:08 AM »
I liked your analysis very much John, both of the music itself and the merits of the Svetlanov set, which I also think is the best. Do you know the set by Fedoseyev which I also think highly of.

Thanks, Jeffrey. Yep, I’ve got the Fedoseyev, but I haven’t listened to it in quite some time. I should revisit it.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #285 on: July 15, 2021, 01:14:09 AM »
I liked your analysis very much John, both of the music itself and the merits of the Svetlanov set, which I also think is the best. Do you know the set by Fedoseyev which I also think highly of.

Aren't there 2 Fedoseyev sets?  I remember the old EMI/Melodiya LP's which were my introdtuction to several of these works but then there's also the more recent CD set;



or



I picked up what I assume are the earlier analogue versions in a fairly ropey (but very cheap!) low-bit-rate download



Currently the best value in terms of cost/recordings/performances/repertoire included has to be Serebrier surely - 8 discs for just £17.00 on Amazon is very good sound

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #286 on: July 15, 2021, 01:23:25 AM »
^It appears the Brilliant set is a reissue of the previous Melodiya recordings.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #287 on: July 15, 2021, 01:43:43 AM »
^It appears the Brilliant set is a reissue of the previous Melodiya recordings.

except that the Brilliant set says "recorded live" whereas the old EMI/Melodiya's were studio recordings?

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #288 on: July 15, 2021, 02:00:31 AM »
Aren't there 2 Fedoseyev sets?  I remember the old EMI/Melodiya LP's which were my introdtuction to several of these works but then there's also the more recent CD set;



or



I picked up what I assume are the earlier analogue versions in a fairly ropey (but very cheap!) low-bit-rate download



Currently the best value in terms of cost/recordings/performances/repertoire included has to be Serebrier surely - 8 discs for just £17.00 on Amazon is very good sound
That Taneyev/Glazunov LP is a great nostalgia trip! I have the Brilliant set and the excellent Vox double CD set - all most enjoyable. I agree aboult the great value of the Serebrier set, even though I tend to prefer the Russian recordings, especially Svetlanov.
"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 #289 on: July 15, 2021, 05:38:49 AM »
Aren't there 2 Fedoseyev sets?  I remember the old EMI/Melodiya LP's which were my introdtuction to several of these works but then there's also the more recent CD set;



or



I picked up what I assume are the earlier analogue versions in a fairly ropey (but very cheap!) low-bit-rate download



Currently the best value in terms of cost/recordings/performances/repertoire included has to be Serebrier surely - 8 discs for just £17.00 on Amazon is very good sound

There’s also this iteration on the Relief label of that live cycle that was reissued on Brilliant Classics:



As for Serebrier, yes, having all the symphonies, concerti and some other orchestral works in the same box is value added, but I just wish I was more enthusiastic about the actual performances. Like Jeffrey, I prefer the Russian performances, especially Svetlanov and Rozhdestvensky.
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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #290 on: July 15, 2021, 05:53:18 AM »
I liked your analysis very much John, both of the music itself and the merits of the Svetlanov set, which I also think is the best. Do you know the set by Fedoseyev which I also think highly of.

I like the Fedoseyev (as well as Ivanov and Svetlanov) set too. It was dismissed by a well-known critic recently. The Serebrier is fine. It is just different.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 06:07:58 AM by Dry Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #291 on: July 15, 2021, 06:29:29 AM »
Hurwitz just released a video on the BEST and WORST Glazunov symphony cycles: https://youtu.be/IJa_0EyNcmA

Unlike I imagine some members here will, I generally agree with him in preferring the more recent cycles by non-Russian conductors (Järvi, Serebrier) to the older ones by Soviet-era conductors.

Just to put in a good word for Jose Serebrier - this is the box that I own and have enjoyed - 8 discs that include Piano, Violin, & Saxophone Concertos, et al, and priced at $28 USD on Amazon USA - attached are plenty of positive reviews for those trying to make a decision.  The Russian conductors have recently received the predominant attention lately in this thread, but there are some non-Russians at the baton who have performed well - for a take from David Hurwitz, take a look at the link in the quote above; many don't like and/or disagree w/ Hurwitz but he does offer some insights into ten or so sets of these symphonies.  Dave :)

 

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #292 on: July 15, 2021, 06:41:15 AM »
Just to put in a good word for Jose Serebrier - this is the box that I own and have enjoyed - 8 discs that include Piano, Violin, & Saxophone Concertos, et al, and priced at $28 USD on Amazon USA - attached are plenty of positive reviews for those trying to make a decision.  The Russian conductors have recently received the predominant attention lately in this thread, but there are some non-Russians at the baton who have performed well - for a take from David Hurwitz, take a look at the link in the quote above; many don't like and/or disagree w/ Hurwitz but he does offer some insights into ten or so sets of these symphonies.  Dave :)

 

I have the Serebrier set as well and do enjoy it, although I think I have the earlier iteration of that Warner set.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #293 on: July 15, 2021, 06:56:13 AM »
Just to put in a good word for Jose Serebrier - this is the box that I own and have enjoyed - 8 discs that include Piano, Violin, & Saxophone Concertos, et al, and priced at $28 USD on Amazon USA - attached are plenty of positive reviews for those trying to make a decision.  The Russian conductors have recently received the predominant attention lately in this thread, but there are some non-Russians at the baton who have performed well - for a take from David Hurwitz, take a look at the link in the quote above; many don't like and/or disagree w/ Hurwitz but he does offer some insights into ten or so sets of these symphonies.  Dave :)

 

FWIW, I actually watched that Hurwitz video and find myself in stark disagreement with him. I also dislike his attitude about the composer lacking emotional gravitas and depth. It just felt like such a skewed view on the composer that it makes it difficult to view the composer in any other light. Disagreements on performances is one thing, but I think too often Hurwitz takes a bridge too far and, while he may like the music, he has a strange way of showing it.

P.S. Dave, if you haven’t heard the Svetlanov symphony performances, then do pick them up. I think his set is still available. If you can find the Rozhdestvensky, then that would be a fine choice, too. Hell, buy them both! ;)
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #294 on: July 15, 2021, 07:05:21 AM »
I like the Serebrier as well and having good modern sound does not hurt although I could not get very excited about the concertos Hurwitz mentioned as a particular bonus compared to other sets. (The music's fault not the interpretation's.) I have three discs of the Rozhdestvensky on ancient Melodiya discs that are a bit rough in sound.
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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #295 on: July 15, 2021, 12:11:36 PM »
FWIW, I actually watched that Hurwitz video and find myself in stark disagreement with him. I also dislike his attitude about the composer lacking emotional gravitas and depth. It just felt like such a skewed view on the composer that it makes it difficult to view the composer in any other light. Disagreements on performances is one thing, but I think too often Hurwitz takes a bridge too far and, while he may like the music, he has a strange way of showing it.

P.S. Dave, if you haven’t heard the Svetlanov symphony performances, then do pick them up. I think his set is still available. If you can find the Rozhdestvensky, then that would be a fine choice, too. Hell, buy them both! ;)

Hi John & Others - thanks for your comments of Serebrier - when 'symphony sets' are an option I have multiple sets for just a handful of composers (Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and a few more); for Russians, just Tchaikovsky - just my MO, I guess - one set of Glazunov is enough for me, plus Svetlanov is $40 USD on Amazon (below) - I'll take a look on Spotify to see if streaming is an option.  Dave :)


Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #296 on: July 15, 2021, 02:05:31 PM »
except that the Brilliant set says "recorded live" whereas the old EMI/Melodiya's were studio recordings?

This can be well-explained by Erwin Schrodinger.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Glazunov's glass of vodka
« Reply #297 on: July 15, 2021, 06:10:50 PM »
I like the Serebrier as well and having good modern sound does not hurt although I could not get very excited about the concertos Hurwitz mentioned as a particular bonus compared to other sets. (The music's fault not the interpretation's.) I have three discs of the Rozhdestvensky on ancient Melodiya discs that are a bit rough in sound.

I’m really a big fan of Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2. Such gossamer-like works that definitely reward repeat listening. I think they’re gorgeous works and are hugely enjoyable. The Violin Concerto can be a bit tougher to get into, but I like the Milstein/Steinberg performance of the all the ones I’ve heard. I do like the Saxophone Concerto quite a bit, too.
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