with BASIL RAMSEY
In some ways the perfect musical reactionary, Grechaninov was a master
of the period from which he rarely looked back, and certainly never forward.
All he required was what he had in abundance without need of search. Yet
that situation has dangers for the creative artist, which seem never to
have concerned him.
These first two symphonies reflect the period, reflect the Russian musical
psyche, and suited a composer gifted in a procession of mannerisms that
could be weaved into patterns, colours and tempi appropriate for any situation.
It all required skill and invention. Grechaninov had smatterings of invention
and generous amounts of skill to build movements which emerged polished
and ready for the ears of those who enjoyed the music of the age [listen -- track 3, 0:00-1:02].
Composers are a diverse tribe of craftsmen who rise above that to create
inventively when other matters, not necessarily musical, are in some pattern
that triggers creativity. It is at the brilliant end miraculous, and at
the opposite and more populated end, a separate miracle of overlapping events.
Gretchaninov typifies the talent that gives life and movement to unremarkable
material, which occasionally gets snatched up into the unexpected. I don't
feel that music quite deserves compliments until that mysterious element
beyond our control has touched it.
Copyright © 15 August 2001
Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK
CD INFORMATION - NAXOS 8.555410
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
& Vision home Recent reviews
Edmund Rubbra >>
Record Box is Music & Vision's regular Wednesday series
of shorter CD reviews