Balakirev: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2;Tamara; In Bohemia; Islamey; Russia; Overtures

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Balakirev
LABELS: BMG Melodiya
WORKS: Symphony No. 1; Symphony No. 2;Tamara; In Bohemia; Islamey; Russia; Overtures
PERFORMER: USSR SO/Evgeny Svetlanov
CATALOGUE NO: 74321 49608 2 ADD/DDD
An invaluably useful, idiomatically authoritative conspectus of all Balakirev’s original orchestral works in their final versions, plus the Liapunov orchestration of the oriental fantasy Islamey recorded at a concert in the Moscow Conservatoire, December 1986.

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Colouristically responsive, Svetlanov keeps a tight structural rein on the symphonies, evidently enjoys Tamara and gives the orchestra its brazen, percussive Soviet head in the Overture on a Spanish March Theme – a no-holds-barred performance. Islamey, as so often, doesn’t quite gel, but it’s a small blemish. Very enjoyable. Ates Orga