VVCD - 00035
Mikhail Glinka
Orchestral works

Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Vladimir Ziva

DDD 62.50


Mikhail Glinka (1804 - 1857) is most famous for his two excellent operas. But he also laid down the cornerstone of the Russian symphonic music and wrote a number of superb works for the symphony orchestra.
Overture to the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila represents a dazzling introduction to a fairy tale opera on the theme of an early poem by Pushkin. It is not just a good curtain-raiser but a full-scale composition full of life-asserting energy.
Chernomor's March from the same opera is an effective symphonic miniature that skillfully utilizes an oriental colour. Listz greatly admired this piece. He made a piano transcription of it and often played it in his recitals.
Jota Aragonesa was the first of Glinka's Spanish overtures. Spain played a special role in his life. He spent almost three years in the country busily travelling and studying history, culture, language but above all the music of its people. A dance tune that the composer wrote down in a small Spanish town was laid down as the basis of the overture. While preserving the sparkling rhythms of the Spanish music Glinka brings into it the spirit and power of a profound symphonic composition.
Glinka wrote Souvenir of a Night in Madrid several years later when he had already returned from Spain. This overture turned out to be the composer's last big symphonic work and is based on four Spanish folk tunes that illustrate a walk over night in Madrid.
Dances from the opera A Life for the Czar, Cracovienne,Valse and Mazurka, reveal Glinka'a orchestral mastery in its true brilliance. Specific devices and intonations of the Polish music are used in every piece. In opera itself the scene of the ball and dance episodes became an efficient way to describe the Poles.
The illustrious Kamarinskaya constitutes a symphony poem based on two Russian folk songs, one slow and the other lively. The later is actually a dance tune and is repeated about 30 times throughout the work as was the habit at folk festivities.. Here the composer works out marvellous orchestral accompaniment. Harmonic and contrapuntal combinations Glinka first elaborated in the piece later became a source of inspiration and a trade mark of the Russian music which gave Tchaikovsky a chance to say that the Russian symphonic school is all in Kamarinskaya just as the whole oak is in the acorn.
Valse-Fantasie is one of the finest Glinka's compositions. It's an exquisite lyric piece with original melodies and a wonderful orchestration of instruments. Like the whole composer's music it marks a line of maturity of the professional Russian music and, speaking a modern language, its harmonic integration with the European music.


Moscow Symphony Orchestra is the first privately owned orchestra in modern Russia. It was founded in 1990. The orchestra performed in the best concert halls in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and appeared in many countries in Europe, Asia and America. It recorded many compact discs including all 17 symphonies by Malipiero, all symphonies by Turnemir.

Vladimir Ziva graduated from two oldest Russian conservatoires, in Petersburg (then Lenigrad) and Moscow. He worked with the Moscow Philharmonic orchestra and the Nyzhny Novgorod Philharmonic orchestra. He also was the chief conductor of the Mousorgsky Opera and Ballet Theatre in St.Petersburg. Since 1997 he is the chief conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. He gave over 800 concerts including 250 in foreign countries. Ziva played with outstanding musicians including Rostropovich, Gutman, Maysky, Kremer, Tretyakov, Bashmet and many others.

Total time 62.50

Recorded by Vista Vera in 2002

Cover: St.Petersburg.Engraving by I.Cheskov. 1817.
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