Serebrier 9th Symphony

Decent Essays
A bit close to a decade ago, I confessed to a friend and fellow reviewer, Julian Grant, who graced these Amazon pages with his own informative and thought-provoking reviews I took the pleasure in reading, of how dissatisfied I was in music programmes particularly in America's concert halls. I was ranting about how too little we were exposed to the great composers like Glazunov, Atterberg, Nielsen, Popov, Myaskovsky, and others and the need to rectify that in part by not overplaying the familiar Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Beethoven, et al. in these halls. But Julian Grant put the matter into perspective in reminding me that repeated listening is a complex ingredient in music appreciation. It is indeed amazing, now that I am thinking about it, of how…show more content…
It is indeed a despondent, anguish work, written (in 1910 originally for piano) at the time in Russian history where violence and uncertainties abounded. Its bleak language is very much akin to that of his Two Prelude-Improvisations (1918) for pianoforte where conditions were even more precarious. Truth to tell, I cannot think of a more striking, penetrating orchestral realization of the work's profound sense of melancholy and dreariness than Gavriil Yudin's. And Serebrier brings these attributes movingly, with the menacing flutes, prominent in the middle allegro moderato section, that are perfectly caught. Come to think of it, it would've been interesting if Glazunov's dramatic overture "The Song of Destiny" is included here, for it too shows the composer's changing musical persona under the conditions he was in.

But be that as it may, this album, extremely well recorded and reverberant, caps what is now the most absorbing, revelatory, thought-provoking, satisfyingly searching Glazunov symphony cycle to date (and imagine that admirable sense of preparation and knowledge of these symphonies in the performances of them that took place in just four days - June 2-5, 2009). And while some will take issue with Serebrier's essay where he uses the Bernstein/Mahler series as an example of how much of a revelation a series like this is (or how much it can be), I for one will not pose an
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