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CHAN 10311
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CHAN 10311

Scriabin: Symphony No. 1/ Rachmaninov: Six Choruses

The Classical Shop
release date: March 2005

Originally recorded in 2004

Artists:

Russian State Symphony Orchestra

*

Valeri Polyansky


Russian State Symphonic Cappella



Venue:

Grand Hall of Moscow Conservatory



Producer:

Valeri Polyansky



Engineer:

Igor Veprintsev



Record Label
Chandos

Genre:

Orchestral & Concertos


Choir

Total Time - 62:45
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ALEXANDER SCRIABIN

(1872-1915)
Select Complete Single Disc for
 

Symphony No. 1, Op. 26*

48:35  
  For soloists, choir and orchestra  
  in E major - in E-Dur - en mi majeur  
1 I Lento 6:40
2 II Allegro dramatico 9:24
3 III Lento 9:35
4 IV Vivace 3:15
5 V Allegro 7:59
6 VI Andante† 11:43
  Larissa Kostyuk contralto  
  Oleg Dolgov tenor  
   
premiere recording
 

SERGE RACHMANINOFF

(1873-1943)
 

Six Choruses, Op. 15†

14:08  
  For women's voices and piano  
7 I Be Glorious! 1:56
8 II Night 3:12
9 III The Pine 2:30
10 IV The Waves Began to Slumber 2:06
11 V Captivity 1:56
12 VI The Angel 2:29
  Tigran Alikhanov piano  
This is an enlightening coupling of two highly contrasting works, written only six or so years apart. Rachmaninov’s evocative Six Choruses for women’s voices, with their expressive piano accompaniment, is surprisingly rare in the recorded catalogue. The extraordinarily progressive first symphony by the great visionary composer, Alexander Scriabin, is a grandiose and experimental work in six movements, each one increasing in emotional intensity, suggesting a spiritual journey.

Valeri Polyansky and his Russian forces are renowned for their special affinity with their native music, nowhere more so than in their choral works.


"Scriabin’s First Symphony was composed during the summer of 1899 and the following January he tried it out at the piano with this friend, Alexander Goldenweiser, in Moscow. In this version for two pianos the work was played to various musicians, including Lyadov, who eventually conducted the premiere of the symphony. Scriabin had prevaricated over the definitive text of the choral finale, which he himself had written, but even worse, the artistic committee which presided over the acceptance of works to be published by the publishing house (headed by no lesser figures than Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Lyadov himself) then declared: ‘the vocal part in the sixth movement of your symphony is unperformable, and in such a form this movement of the symphony cannot be published’. Despite Scriabin’s protestations, when Lyadov conducted the work’s premiere in November 1900, the finale was omitted and it was another five months before the symphony was heard in its entirety. This second performance proved Scriabin’s critics wrong.

Rachmaninov composed his Six Choruses for women’s voices between 1895 and 1896 in the period immediately following the completion of the First Symphony, at a time when his financial affairs were in a precarious state. To pay off his debts he took a post teaching music theory at the Maryinksy Ladies School in the autumn of 1894 and remained there for the next five years, taking a lively interest in the school’s activities and the successes of the pupils. The Six Choruses were written to be performed by the
school choir. Given that the choruses were composed over a period of several months, they hold together as a set remarkably well. Nonetheless, in Soviet Russia, owing to a ban on religious subjects, they were not performed as an integrated cycle until April 1973.
"

This is an enlightening coupling of two highly contrasting works, written only six or so years apart. Rachmaninov’s evocative Six Choruses for women’s voices, with their expressive piano accompaniment, is surprisingly rare in the recorded catalogue. The extraordinarily progressive first symphony by the great visionary composer, Alexander Scriabin, is a grandiose and experimental work in six movements, each one increasing in emotional intensity, suggesting a spiritual journey.

Valeri Polyansky and his Russian forces are renowned for their special affinity with their native music, nowhere more so than in their choral works.


Scriabin’s First Symphony was composed during the summer of 1899 and the following January he tried it out at the piano with this friend, Alexander Goldenweiser, in Moscow. In this version for two pianos the work was played to various musicians, including Lyadov, who eventually conducted the premiere of the symphony. Scriabin had prevaricated over the definitive text of the choral finale, which he himself had written, but even worse, the artistic committee which presided over the acceptance of works to be published by the publishing house (headed by no lesser figures than Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Lyadov himself) then declared: ‘the vocal part in the sixth movement of your symphony is unperformable, and in such a form this movement of the symphony cannot be published’. Despite Scriabin’s protestations, when Lyadov conducted the work’s premiere in November 1900, the finale was omitted and it was another five months before the symphony was heard in its entirety. This second performance proved Scriabin’s critics wrong.

Rachmaninov composed his Six Choruses for women’s voices between 1895 and 1896 in the period immediately following the completion of the First Symphony, at a time when his financial affairs were in a precarious state. To pay off his debts he took a post teaching music theory at the Maryinksy Ladies School in the autumn of 1894 and remained there for the next five years, taking a lively interest in the school’s activities and the successes of the pupils. The Six Choruses were written to be performed by the
school choir. Given that the choruses were composed over a period of several months, they hold together as a set remarkably well. Nonetheless, in Soviet Russia, owing to a ban on religious subjects, they were not performed as an integrated cycle until April 1973.


The rich tones of the Russian State Symphonic Cappella are the first I would want to hear in such a work.
Gramophone

A highly accomplished reading of Rachmaninovs glorious Symphonic Dances …
Gramophone on CHAN 9759 (Symphonic Dances)

To my ears, though, Polyansky is even better. His tempos are generally just a little faster than Muti’s, but they give the music a stronger backbone. Larissa Kostyuk, Oleg Dolgov and the Russian State Symphonic Cappella are idiomatic too. If Muti impresses, Polyansky convinces.
International Record Review

This performance captures the symphony’s swift fluctuations between fleeting thematic ideas and the yearning lyricism which, at this early stage, still had its roots firmly in the Romantic tradition. The language is unmistakably Scriabin’s own, though, and the symphony’s emotional drive and power carry all before it towards the choral climax. Rachmaninov’s Six Choruses for women’s or children’s voices, here sung by women and recorded for the first time, are charming pieces, not on a par with his greatest music, perhaps, but with many haunting touches and with his familiar sensitivity to poetic moods.
The Telegraph

…strong, atmospheric performances…
The Daily Telegraph on CHAN 10104 (The Rock etc.)

Themes are suppley shaped, with yielding accompaniments and autumnal colourations. Climaxes are lovingly moulded and the whole texture shimmers and glows.
International Record Review on CHAN 9802 (Symphony No. 3)



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