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E.F. (Miami, Florida)

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Glazunov: Symphony No.5 & The Seasons
Glazunov: Symphony No.5 & The Seasons
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.27

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGNIFICENT NEW GLAZUNOV RECORDING, 1 Oct 2004
I was never attracted to the music of this still rather neglected Russian master. The bits and pieces one hears
sounded like watered-down Tchaikovsky. I was not aware
of the great impact this music could make under the
right hands. What a wonderful surprise! The magnificent
performances that conductor Jose Serebrier emanates
from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra are a
revelation. The music suddenly comes alive, from the
first note.
The 5th symphony by Glazunov, in this performance, is
revealed as a great neglected masterpice, which should
have its place among the concert favorites of works by
Dvorak and Tchaikovsky. This music has everything: drama,
beautiful melodies, originality.
The famous ballet music for The Seasons is a complete joy.
Jose Serebrier lets the music flow and breathe, and the
orchestra comes across as one of the very best European
ensembles. I have the previous version of this work,
recorded years ago by the same orchestra on Chandos, with
Neeme Jarvi, and it doesn't sound at all like the same
orchestra. The old recording is serviceable at best, but
uninspired. Serebrier's new version reveals the great
beauty of the music and it is performed to perfection.
I highly recommend this recording, one of the best releases of the year.
R.A.


On a Night Like This: Love Songs
On a Night Like This: Love Songs
Price: £15.14

5.0 out of 5 stars MAGNIFICENT NEW RECORDING OF FORGOTTEN LECUONA LOVE SONGS, 15 Sep 2004
Having read some of the fantastic reviewss this new CD has been receiving in the international record magazines (Gramophone, International Record Review and others) I wanted to hear for myself, as I have long loved the music of Lecuona. The big and wonderful surprise was to confirm these great reviews, that this is nindeed the best Lecuona CD I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. First of all, the songs are exquisite. The poems for most of them are simplistic (except for the final song of the CD), and all deal with the same love theme.Unlike tango lyrics, these ballads have no complicated affairs or tragedies to report, mostly feelings of love. But there are many subtleties, in bothe the music and the lyrics, and thanks to these great performances, each hearing brings something new to the listener.
Carole Farley is one of the top opera soingers in the opeta stages of the world, so to have her do these songs is real luxury. Her sweet, beautiful soprano voice, is perfect for Lecuona. No trace here of her operatic background. She has managed to down-size her voice to fit each song. The pianist is exemplary. He has captured the improvisatory quality of Lecuona, and provides just the right kind of support. A great, memorable recording in every respect. The poems apper translated in several languages, and the liner notes are quite helpful in understanding the composer's career and process.


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