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Myaskovsky: Complete Symphonic Works, Vol.11 / Symphonies Nos. 15 & 27

Nikolay Myaskovsky , Evgeni Svetlanov , Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
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Myaskovsky: Complete Symphonic Works, Vol.11 / Symphonies Nos. 15 & 27 + Symphonies Nos. 16 And 19
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Evgeni Svetlanov
  • Composer: Nikolay Myaskovsky
  • Audio CD (9 Oct 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alto
  • ASIN: B000TLWGK2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 15 In D Minor, Op.38 - I - Andante-allegro Appassionato11:27Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 15 In D Minor, Op.38 - Ii - Moderato Assai 9:12Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 15 In D Minor, Op.38 - Iii - Allegro Molto, Ma Con Garbo 6:550.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Symphony No. 15 In D Minor, Op.38 - Iv - Poco Pesante - Allegro Ma Non Troppo 9:39Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 27 In C Minor, Op.85 - I - Adagio - Allegro Animato13:01Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 27 In C Minor, Op.85 - Ii - Adagio14:34Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 27 In C Minor, Op.85 - Iii - Presto Ma Non Troppo - Marciale - Tempo I 7:59Album Only

Product Description

Available at last! By special arrangement with Olympia Records, Alto is pleased to announce the resumption of one of the most sought-sfter CD series in recent years: the complete orchestral music of the prolific Nikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky. Myaskovsky occupies a unique position in recent music history: his orchestral output is one of the largest since Mozart and Haydn. He wrote 27 symphonies, composed over a period of more than 40 years - an output which he continued to produce even when, like many of his Soviet colleagues, he was severely criticized by the Communist Party despite his prominence and popularity. His music was never avant-garde in the Western sense of the term, but did, however, combine the Russian traditions with harmonic and formal characteristics of a newer era, achieving an outstanding artistic quality in terms both of its epic proportions and its fine detailing. Apart from the symphonies, Myaskovsky wrote a dozen or so symphonic works in other genres as well as solo concertos, chamber music (13 string quartets), more than 100 piano works and about 100 songs, music for military band and several cantatas: all in all, a catalogue of works that is as colourful as it is extensive. After the collapse of the Soviet union, the multitalented Russian maestro Yevgeny Svetlanov (b. 1930) undertook a formidable project: recording the complete orchestral music with the orchestra he had led for nearly three decades, the Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra (previously known as the USSR State Symphony Orchestra). The recordings were made in the early 1990s in a partnership between Svetlanov and the UK's Olympia Records, and the first tem volumes have been hailed as an extraordinary addition to the discography, introducing this enormously interesting and accessible music to a worldwide audience.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific and great value! 4 Aug 2007
By Jeffrey Davis VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
All credit to Alto for issuing the remaining Myaskovsky symphonies, left stranded when Olympia sadly ceased to trade. Now, following a deal with Olympia, Myaskovsky fanatics like myself can finish collecting Svetlanov's great cycle at bargain price.

The 15th and valedictory 27th symphonies are amongst the composer's finest. The 15th sounds folk inspired but features only original material, it was completed in 1932 and first performed in 1935. it is full of memorable material with a deeply moving slow movement (often the best movements in Myaskovsky symphonies)

The 27th, from the very end of Myaskovsky's life is, if anything, even more moving. At the time of its composition, Myaskovsky was seriously ill with cancer and under critical disapproval following the notorious Zhdanov purge of composers in 1948. Nevertheless, these tragic circumstances inspired Myaskovsky to produce a symphony of utmost beauty; an inspiriting hymn to life as Myaskovsky's own life was nearing its end. The slow movement is perhaps the most touching in all 27 symphonies.

The detailed and highly informative notes are by the excellent Per Skans.

This is a great issue which will hopefully win many more friends for the composer, especially as it is released at super-budget price.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A belated yet a nice continuation in the survey of Myaskovsky's vast musical journey. 6 Nov 2007
By David Anthony Hollingsworth - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After Olympia Compact Discs Ltd went defunct some years ago (around 2004 I believe), there was wonder what would happen to the Myaskovsky ongoing symphony cycle the company was engaged upon. While the defunct was a sad occurrence (and Olympia did a wonderful service in rescuing obscure works from the cold), it is indeed a welcoming news that Alto is taking the Myaskovsky project forward, with the release of the great composer's 15th & 27th symphonies. Many thanks to the website dedicated to the composer ( for that encouraging development.

The pairing per se could not have been more apt and appealing than it is here. The Fifteenth Symphony was composed in 1935 shortly before the Sixteenth (his masterpiece), and it is generally the sunniest of his symphonies. Not entirely devoid of the Tchaikovskian seriousness and drama (the busy yet melodious first movement in particular), it is a work with plenty of warmth and individuality. The waltz-like third movement, which he borrowed from his earlier piano work Epilogue of 1908 (and which he re-used again in the Sinfonietta no. II for strings in 1946), is especially stylish and graceful. And my oh my how much I love that brassy peroration of the finale and the way it builds up to this exhilarating coda that just simply shines. Nope, no cheap music here, although as the policies of Socialist Realism was heightening up by the mid-1930s, Myaskovsky was somehow admonished by the officials soon after the symphony had its 1935 premiere. Go figure!

Yet that inner strength, defiance, and resolve never abandoned this ever so honest yet self-effacing composer & pedagogue even in his final days, and his Twenty-Seventh Symphony and his Thirteenth String Quartet (1949-1950) show just how much he adhered to the true principles of musical art (and how much he adhered to his true self dare I say). Posthumously awarded the Stalin Prize in 1950, this symphony serves as a pinnacle of all that went on before in his life, musically & otherwise. To deem this work a masterpiece (as it is so generally considered after Gauk premiered it in December of 1950) is an understatement. There's something true, defiant, yet sublime in the work that I've grown to love and admire over the years, and the true value of it never waned. He came up with this work just under two years after the infamous yet abhorrent Zhdanov affair of 1948 and its quiet sense of protest is all the more compelling (by quiet, I mean it does not have the bombast of a Shostakovich, but its profound dignity & solidity would've done Tchaikovsky proud). I'm thinking of not just the slow movement (arguably the best he has ever written), but also the tenacity of the symphony's beginning and the ensuing development; that bittersweet melancholy mixed in with the angst that never runs that risk of shallowness and lip-servicing. It's only in the finale where the material sounds a bit 'forced' and conformed. But this work overall will continue to garner admiration as it has over the years.

Yevgeny Svetlanov shows apparent feel and sympathy for the work and his structural approach to it is immaculate & ideal (taking from where Gauk leaves off, but with more of a poetic appeal). And his ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation plays with admiring relishment and artistry. They definitely outshine the otherwise good performance by Polyansky et al on Chandos. Problems, however, do arise in their rendition of the Fifteenth, where the orchestra, especially the strings, found themselves rather off-guard in places throughout (and not helped by a rather congested recording). Only Kondrashin, in a more dated though a more acceptable recording, has a better feel and pacing of the score (and with a more alert USSR Radio & Television Large Symphony at his disposal). That original Melodiya recording is now reissued by AudioPhile Classic (APL 101.503). But with that said, Svetlanov's otherwise read-through performance shows commitment and overall, the release of this album is a welcome in more ways than one.

And with such glowing warmth & enthusiasm I can't help possessing.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare recordings resurrected 25 Nov 2007
By Dennis F. Siebert - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Admirers of Myaskovsky should be grateful to Alto for bringing back these earlier Olympia recordings. Olympia, a defunct label, recorded all of the Myaskovsky symphonies in a series no longer available. Apparently, Alto plans to release additional Olympia recordings in the months ahead. Myaskovsky deserves a wider listening audience, and any effort to promote that aim needs to be congratulated.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two superb works in very compelling performances 24 July 2011
By G.D. - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Alto has taken up where Olympia left off in their series of Myaskovsky symphonies conducted by Evgeny Svetlanov. At a total number of 27, Myaskovsky's cycle of symphonies is probably the largest cycle of symphonies that consistently holds very high quality (partially, perhaps, because Myaskovsky, despite the number of symphonies (+ 3 Sinfoniettas), 13 string quartet and 9 piano sonatas, weren't really an excessively prolific composer - there is no music for the stage, for instance, and indeed relatively little music outside of these three cycles). It would be appropriate if someone dared launch a competing complete cycle as well - not that Svetlanov's is anything but thoroughly satisfying, but this is music of (for a large part) such high quality that it would very much sustain alternative approaches.

The fifteenth symphony, in d minor, was composed in 1934 and is not among his best-known, but it is a thoroughly characteristic work of high quality and a sustained high level of inspiration. Cast in four movements, the tonal language is darkly and deeply nostalgic - and to a larger extent than in many of his works directly inspired by folk-music - in a manner anyone familiar with his music would recognize. The opening movement contrasts said nostalgia - and moments of glittering beauty - with outbursts of tremendous, aggressive power (yet it is, in the end, a finely shaped convincingly argued movement). The second movement is bleak and almost frightening, like a desolate, post-apocalyptic image; the third is an energetic waltz and the final movement a blazing tour de force developing from a pastoral opening. The tonal language is clearly indebted to Tchaikovsky but can hardly be called derivative. The symphony also packs a real punch, and even though only a few of the themes are perhaps really memorable, the impact of the work as a whole is less easily forgotten. The performance is colorful, poignant and powerful, and only a little rough around the edges.

Competition is fiercer in the valedictory, autumnal 27th symphony from 1948 - deservedly so, for this is something of a masterpiece. Svetlanov surely brings out the lyrical, reflective properties of the score, and adds a fiery undercurrent that is missing from some competitors (yet there is a strong case to be made for Polyansky's mellower version for Chandos). The first movement is darkly colored but manages to exude flashes of brilliance (like the radiance of the sun during an eclipse, if I were to go poetic) before ending in a whitehot frenzy. The Adagio is sad and rainy from the beginning - beautifully poignant, in fact - snf turns into an agile march before returning to reflective quietude. The finale is fierce (after a slower opening with undercurrents of urgency), full of momentum, bashful but full of gorgeous colors nonetheless.

The sound quality is just a little sharp, but generally detailed and well-balanced. This is, in short, an excellent disc - essential for those who are already collecting the series, of course, but a fine entryway to Myaskovsky's music for those who are yet unfamiliar with it. Do hear it in any case.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Performances 11 Nov 2010
By David A. Wend - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nicolai Myaskovsky's Symphony No. 15 was composed in 1934 during the time when Soviet artists were to strive for "Soviet Realism" in their art. The symphony is in the standard four movements and shows the influence of folk melodies. The first movement is somber and reflective and is followed by a lyrical scherzo. The slow movement begins with a dance-like melody and becomes more reflective before returning to the opening tempo. The final is more pastoral, slowly developing in intensity to a rousing conclusion.

Symphony No. 27 was Myaskovsky's last symphony, composed following the infamous Zhandov decree. The music was composed in 1949, the same year that the composer underwent a serious operation. Myaskovsky died before the premiere of the symphony. The symphony begins with a somber Adagio that quickly becomes animated by the woodwinds. The strings and woodwinds settle down to a reflective melody with the brass adding a dramatic touch and ends with a triumphant flourish. The middle movement begins with a somber chorale for brass that is picked up and developed by the woodwinds. The strings join and the tempo slowly picks up with an animated, march-like theme, the music settling into a mood of contemplation. A passionate theme is introduced (with a nice horn solo) bringing the music to a climax. The music settles into somber contemplation and concludes quietly. The final movement begins with a somber chorale for brass that is picked up and developed by the strings. The final movement begins quietly and quickly develops into a brisk melody for woodwinds and strings. A grand march melody is introduced by the brass and is developed by the full orchestra, and comes to a rousing conclusion.

The performances by the Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra under Evgeny Svetlanov are superb and beautifully conceived. Svetlanov was a life-long admirer of Myaskovsky's music and his dedication shines out in these performances. The sound balance may not be the best (Symphony 27 sounds as if recorded in a cavern) but is clear.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great news for Russian music lovers 5 Nov 2007
By Patrice Chevy - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nobody thought this would happen, after Olympia had to stop the fantastic Svetlanov / Myaskovsky cycle. And yet, they are back ! ALTO fulfills the dream of so many Myaskovsky lovers, in this first volume, with the rare and great N 15, and the testimony of N 27. 3 other volumes are announced to complete the cycle, and will in particular bring to light the rarest of all, N 16 and 23, never released on CD as far as I know !
And Svetlanov in his garden, probably especially close to this injustly underrated composer !
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