Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

More superb Russian music from Seattle

From November 10, 2011:


Gerard Schwarz and his Seattle players have excelled in Russian repertoire, with a really excellent Rimsky-Korsakov series on Naxos. Their mastery extends to the music of Alexander Borodin, the professional chemist who excelled at his avocation of composing. The great, nationalist 2nd Symphony is presented to excellent effect by the Seattle Symphony, playing as well as I've heard (and they have recorded a very large amount of interesting repertoire over the years). In the First Symphony Borodin is learning to write orchestral music. He succeeds brilliantly, especially in the long first movement. Schwarz makes the best possible case for this work.

The Third Symphony is such an interesting work, a reconstruction by Glazunov of sketches of two movements left unfinished by Borodin at his death. A spare and wistful work, it's an impressive achievement in its own right, but also sadly points to what might have been if the composer hadn't died so young.

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