<< -- 2 -- Robert Anderson THE ESSENTIAL ACORN
The rest of the music on the disc stems from the period after the comparative
failure of Ruslan and Lyudmila. Glinka continues in the Russian vein
for his arrangement of a Valse-Fantaisie piano piece. It starts melancholic
and in typical Russian dumps [listen -- track 7, 0:00-0:50].
Kamarinskaya dovetails and plays resourceful variations on a couple
of folk tunes that were to become ubiquitous in Russian music. Tchaikovsky
considered the piece the essential acorn to the wide-branching oak of Russian
musical achievement [listen -- track 8, 0:33-1:30].
Glinka's stay in Spain produced two overtures, the first exploiting
in fascinating sonorities the jota aragonesa [listen
-- track 9, 2:30-3:30]. The second was originally called 'Reminiscenses
of Castille', but was then localised to 'Memory of a summer night
in Madrid'. It is rather more sectional than the first, and less successful
despite its zest [listen track 10, 2:28-3:20].
The Armenian orchestra under Tjeknavorian gives a competent performance
throughout but lacks the sheer dash and verve to bring the music fully to
life. As an introduction to some of Glinka's best pieces, some unfamiliar,
the disc does well: but somewhere round the corner should be a performance
that for brilliance and bravura would sweep us off our feet. Glinka deserves
Copyright © 17 February 2001
Robert Anderson, London, UK
CD INFORMATION - ASV CD DCA 1075
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