A Tribute to Evgeny Svetlanov

Author: 
Mark Pullinger
BAC107. A Tribute to Evgeny SvetlanovA Tribute to Evgeny Svetlanov

A Tribute to Evgeny Svetlanov

  • (The) Bells
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 3
  • (2) Choruses
  • They are seven

Evgeny Svetlanov was a giant among Soviet conductors. Formerly at the Bolshoi Theatre, from 1965 he was Principal Conductor of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, which was later renamed the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia. He was fired in 2000 (ostensibly for spending too much time conducting abroad). The orchestra now carries Svetlanov’s name (he died in 2002) and this concert was held in the Great Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory on what would have been his 85th birthday. None of this detail is to be found in the DVD booklet, because there is none. The only information we get in BelAir’s shoddy presentation comes via a brief interview with Vladimir Jurowski, Chief Conductor since 2011, exclusively about Rachmaninov’s The Bells.

The Bells was a Svetlanov speciality – he conducted it just a fortnight before his death. Jurowski also gets under its skin, drawing an intense, brooding performance. Jurowski is swifter than Svetlanov’s recordings, his precise conducting – and mouthing all the words – earning a disciplined response from the Yurlov State Academic Chorus. The soloists are very fine. Vsevolod Grivnov’s bright timbre is miles away from a reedy Russian tenor and Tatiana Pavlovskaya’s ripe soprano is perfectly poised in the ‘Golden Bells’ movement. Best of all is Sergei Leiferkus, whose flinty baritone is still in remarkable shape in the concluding ‘Iron Bell’ section.

The concert has a curious running order. Following the Rachmaninov, we cut very suddenly to a burly performance of Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto by Yefim Bronfman before ending with a pair of Prokofiev curiosities. The early Two Poems for female chorus and orchestra and the brief, punchy cantata Seven, They Are Seven are well performed, if unmemorable.

Gramophone Subscriptions

From£64/year

Gramophone Print

Gramophone Print

no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Reviews

Gramophone Reviews

no Print Edition
no Digital Edition
no Digital Archive
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe
From£64/year

Gramophone Digital Edition

Gramophone Digital Edition

no Print Edition
no Reviews Database
no Events & Offers
From£64/year
Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.

© MA Business and Leisure Ltd. 2017