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Customer Review

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all lovers of late romantic classical music, 13 May 2008
This review is from: Bortkiewicz: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 (Audio CD)
I was instantly smitten by these two symphonies when I bought this CD a couple of years ago and have listened to them repeatedly. I was therefore surprised to note that no one had bothered to review this particular release.
Bortkiewicz composed in a late romantic idiom and if you listened to these symphonies with no background knowledge you'd be amazed to discover that they date from the 1930s. They seem to belong to a musical world long past and, given the yearning nostalgia of some of the movements, to the world of the elderly composer's youthful past. I don't wish to imply that the music is simply derivative and old-fashioned. The orchestration is tremendously assured, each movement is fresh, vital and memorable and the vein of nostalgia that permeates the works leaves an indelible impression. These symphonies barely saw the light of day before the flames of war almost condemned them to total oblivion. The scores survived by the skin of their teeth, and thank goodness they did.
If you enjoy the symphonies of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Glazunov, Borodin or Gliere, you'll enjoy Bortkiewicz. He has his own unique voice but he is perhaps the last standard bearer of a great tradition.
Both performances and recording are excellent although I'd love one day to hear these works performed by one of those orchestras which produce a rich, well-upholstered sound like the BPO.
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Initial post: 21 May 2009 02:48:13 BDT
How about the warmer RSNO? Great review, Thank you. Tom.
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Location: Maidenhead, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,229