Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 14; Symphony No. 22

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COMPOSERS: Miaskovsky
LABELS: Olympia
WORKS: Symphony No. 14; Symphony No. 22
PERFORMER: Russian Federation Academic SO/Evgeny Svetlanov
CATALOGUE NO: OCD 740 ADD/DDD Reissue (1993, 1970)
Olympia’s survey of Miaskovsky’s symphonies continues with the divertimento-like, five-movement No. 14 (a premiere recording), which has a delicious central scherzo, and the brooding, three-movement ‘Symphony-Ballad’, No. 22, the first Soviet wartime symphony, completed ahead of Shostakovich’s Leningrad. No flag-waving heroics in this dark-hued and gripping work, which ends in authentic Miaskovskian misty melancholy and to which Svetlanov brings deep understanding and utter belief.

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While the recording of No. 14 was made in the early Nineties, that of No. 22 dates from 1970 and has appeared previously on at least three labels, to my knowledge. The sound is still well up to modern standard, though. Calum MacDonald