This is the most peculiar disc so far in the Naxos survey of the orchestral music of Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936); but it is by no means without interest. It contains the two concerted works that the composer wrote for piano and orchestra as well as a curiosity (for orchestra alone) in which he had a hand. Let's start with the curiosity, the "Variations on a Russian Theme" (1901), in which no less than six composers took part, each contributing his own variation on the titular theme. Only two other names apart from Glazunov's mean anything to Western listeners: Rimsky-Korsakov's and Lyadov's (although I vaguely recall having heard of Jāzeps Vītols). The theme is pleasant - so Russian indeed as to verge on parody - and the variations all manage to be lyrically genial and brilliantly orchestrated. (I especially dig the echo-effects in Vītols' variation, the second one after the presentation of the theme.) Glazunov's variation forms the Finale. In his concertos, oddly, Glazunov never achieved the spontaneity that he did in his ballets or symphonies. I might exempt from this judgment only the Concerto-Ballata for Cello and Orchestra and the very late Concerto for Saxophone and Strings. The two piano concertos illustrate the point. The Concerto No. 1 in F Minor (1910) has two movements, the last considerably longer than the first (13.25 as against 20.57). The First Movement, a sonata, unfolds in moderate tempi. The long Second Movement consists of eight variations, most of them fairly leisurely, on a theme that could be stronger (hence more memorable) in its outline. In a concert hall, people would start to shift in their seats. The advantage of having the work on CD is that you can halt the play-through where you want, run your errands, and take up listening again when you've come home with the groceries. The Concerto No. 2 in E Major (1917) conforms more to 19th century conventions, the model being the Lisztian type of one-movement solo-with-orchestra work. Oxana Yablonskaya plays the keyboard parts as though they were as serious as Rachmaninov. That's the spirit! Dmitry Yablonsky (Oxana's son) leads the Moscow Symphony with the same Moxy. Don't mind my reservations. It'll grow on you.