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Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Glazunov Piano Concertos


Glazunov Piano Concertos Nos 1 and 2 (c) 2000 HNH International Ltd

It all started when Glazounov's two Piano Concertos were recorded by his adopted daughter Elena for Telefunken back in the 1950s. The performances sounded under-rehearsed and poorly recorded. Since then, the composer - who was disliked for his imperious attitude to students, and stubborn and narrow-minded ideals following Rimsky-Korsakov - has acquired a wide circle of interest for his melodious content and superbly-crafted orchestration.

The symphonies and ballet music reign supreme, and the Violin Concerto is well-loved by performers and public alike, but for some reason the two for piano have suffered neglect. The first from 1910 was started after Glazounov abandoned work on his last, unfinished Ninth Symphony; 'A difficult task in composition' he told Igumnov, although Godowsky welcomed the work: the second dates from seven years later. At 21 minutes it is just eight minutes longer than No 1, and plays in three sections as one single entity.

Those who admire the lyrical composer at his best will relish Oxana Yablonskaya's performances. She came to my notice with her stunning display with Khatchaturian's Sonata on Melodiya, whilst Dmitri Yablonsky and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra are perfect partners [listen -- track 10, 19:59-20:56].

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Copyright © 15 November 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK







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