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Grechaninov: Piano Trios Nos. 1 And 2

Grechaninov: Piano Trios Nos. 1 And 2

2 Sep 1992

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 Dec 1993
  • Label: Marco-Polo
  • Copyright: (C) 1992 Naxos Rights International
  • Total Length: 52:31
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LYGXK0

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Written in the 20th Century for the 19th (and give Grechaninov his due....) 19 Oct 2009
By Neal Schultz - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I read Mr. Morrison's review of this CD and was curious to see what he really meant by "timid" and "old-fashioned". Let's first cast off the (relatively minor) issues I had with the recordings. The sonics here are a little harsh and perhaps the playing is not as "vigorous" as it could be. However, my point is that one man's "timid(ity)" and "old-fashioned[ness]" could be someone else's traditional/idiomatic/original intent.

Let's be clear, Grechaninov is part of the large very healthy tier of relatively unexplored tier of Russian composers that are ignored by history and critic's circles. This music evokes a time of music composed for pure pleasure and emotional expression. And yes, it does wax and wane periodically in its level of originality, constancy of expressiveness. I guess...Mr. Morrison is definitely correct here...but I what? I thoroughly enjoyed this CD for what it is. So I decided to tick-upward my ranking of this recording to a FOUR instead of Mr. Morrison's THREE.

I wish we could avoid that need to "reinvent" a composer's intent through "re-imagination". I frankly am not so interested in seeing another production of Cosi Fan Tutte presented in a Manhattan apartment as a deconstructionist vehicle for feminist critique of MODERN society. Grechaninov (in all of his canon) was never modern looking any more than Glazounov was (another relatively unknown/unperformed composer outside of Russia). And there is no composer in all of Russia's bevy of composers who compares (except following closely behind as Scriabin or Rimsky-Korsakov) with Glazounov in creating unending strands and flecks of gorgeous melody and emotion. This is Glazounov; and this the intent that Grechaninov strives to emulate with some success. But then that is precisely why we cast off Grechaninov and the Glazounov(s) --because we downgrade them due to their lack (and our prejudicial preference) toward music that is purposive and somehow makes some aesthetic point. Let Brahms be Brahms (the purpose organic composer) and Liszt (expressive and emotionally searching composer) be Liszt. Apples and oranges I say but they're all fruit.

And yet there is a gorgeousness and expressiveness to this music if you can close your eyes (and ears) to what came later. If you, as a listener and connoisseur of fine music who ignores WHEN it was composed but WHAT the music evokes then Grechaninov and this recording will please. In fairness, I can't speak to the quality of the newer recordings of these Piano Trios [which I presume have better sonics and more urgent playign) but I was happy and glad that I own this one.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Timid, Old-Fashioned Piano Trios Adequately Played 15 Jun 2009
By J Scott Morrison - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Alexander Grechaninov (1864-1956) was a pupil of Rimsky-Korsakoff whose two piano trios, although written in the 20th century (1906 and 1931), could have been written a good forty years earlier. They are neatly constructed, melodically undistinguished, and truthfully rather boring and complacent. These performances by violinist Viktor Simcisko, cellist Juraj Alexander and pianist Daniela Ruso, recorded in 1993, are adequate but don't make the case for these works that the later recording by the Bekova Sister does Grechaninov: Piano Trios Nos. 1 & 2.
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