Anthology of Russian and Soviet Symphonic Music: Oratorios and Cantatas, Volume 3
Melodiya, Evgeny Svetlanov, CD, Sergey Rachmaninov, Georgii Sviridov, Shostakovich, Rimsky-Korsakov
Melodiya presents the third and final set of the Anthology of Russian and Soviet Music performed by the USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by Evgeny Svetlanov. The set is dedicated to Russian vocal and choral music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Svetlanov, one of the leading symphonic conductors of the previous century, was a master of all musical genres in equal measure. The art of singing surrounded him since he was a young boy. The son of the Bolshoi soloists Fyodor Svetlanov and Tatiana Kruglikova, he started his musical journey in the Bolshoi children’s choir. Later on, the talented student of the Moscow Conservatory was noticed by the chancellor and founder of the legendary Sveshnikov State Academic Russian Choir, who recommended Svetlanov be considered as a trainee conductor with the Bolshoi Theatre. There Svetlanov later conducted the monumental operas of the Russian repertoire – The Tsar’s Bride, Sadko, Boris Godunov, Khovanshchina and others – where the choral component has a leading part. At a later stage, he conducted The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, The Golden Cockerel and The Maid of Pskov at the Bolshoi. In those years and afterwards, when Svetlanov was the chief conductor of the USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra, he kept turning to cantatas and oratorios by Russian, Soviet and foreign composers. His landmark interpretations of Beethoven’s Ninth, Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Liszt’s Christus and Mahler’s vocal and symphonic canvases are well known to many. But among the works he ever performed there was nothing as captivating as Russian music. It’s deeply symbolic that the tocsin of Rachmaninoff’s Bells was heard both at one of the maestro’s first concerts at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in 1958 and when he appeared in London in 2002 shortly before his death.?The set features the cantatas From Homer by Rimsky-Korsakov, John of Damascus and At the Reading of a Psalm by Taneyev, and Spring, The Bells and Three Russian Songs by Rachmaninoff. The Soviet classical music is represented by Alexander Nevsky and Zdravitsa by Prokofiev, Poem to the Memory of Sergei Yesenin by Sviridov and Song of the Forests and vocal cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry by Shostakovich. The legacy of Svetlanov’s teacher Yuri Shaporin, a remarkable composer of Rimsky-Korsakov’s school, is represented by the oratorio The Tale of the Battle for the Russian Land and cantata How Long Shall the Kite Fly? The set also includes Symphony No. 3 (with chorus) and the cantata Vyatka Songs by Rostislav Boiko, a pupil of Sveshnikov and Aram Khachaturian. These works were recorded with the Sveshnikov State Academic Russian Choir, the Yurlov Russian State Academic Choir and the Grand Choir of All-Union Radio.?However, two of the compositions deserve a special mention. The first is Brotherly Prayer for the Dead by Alexander Kastalsky, a prominent musical figure and composer of the turn of the century, a master of choral and church music. This grand choral fresco is dedicated to those who fell in World War I. Svetlanov conducted it in 1977. For over a hundred years since it was composed, Brotherly Prayer was never performed in its basic (orchestral) version either before or after Svetlanov. The other is a real sensation awaiting even the fans and experts of Svetlanov’s art. This is Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, a great monument of Orthodox singing culture. One of the few symphonic conductors, Svetlanov performed the Vigil with different orchestras twice. The featured live recording with the State Academic Glinka Capella from St. Petersburg, one of the best domestic choirs, made in 1991 in Moscow, is released for the first time.
Rimsky Korsakov: From Homer, Op. 60. Prelude-cantata
Rachmaninov: Spring, Op. 20
Rachmaninov: The Bells, Op. 35
Rachmaninov: Three Russian Songs, Op. 41
Kastalsky: Brotherly Prayer for the Fallen Heroes
Shostakovich: From Jewish Folk Poetry, Op. 79 / 79a
Shostakovich: The Song of the Forests, Op. 81
Boiko: Symphony No.3 in D minor
Rachmaninov: Vespers, Op. 37
Shaporin: The Tale of the Battle for the Russian Land
Shaporin: How Long Shall the Kite Fly?
Sviridov: Poem to the Memory of Sergei Yesenin
Rachmaninov: Six Choruses for women's voices, Op. 15