Shebalin

COMPOSERS: Shebalin
LABELS: Olympia
WORKS: Symphony No. 1 in F minor; Symphony No. 3 in C
PERFORMER: USSR RSO/Mark Ermler, Valery Gergiev
CATALOGUE NO: OCD 577 ADD
Vissarion Shebalin (1902-63) got savaged by Zhdanov’s 1948 cultural onslaught, even though he, like Shostakovich, made nods to Big Brother. He’s no mere Russian-School clone: No. 1 is strongly chromatic, post-Scriabin, but with its own contrapuntal voice. Gergiev, despite suspect cellos, offers a tauter opening and better-focused strings in No. 3, but the experimentation of No. 1 (1925), under Ermler, is more instructive. Serviceable ex-Melodiya recording, and generous in length. Roderic Dunnett

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