Glinka: Chamber Music

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Composer: Michael Glinka
Artists: Bolshoi Theatre Soloists, Alexander Lazarev (conductor)

The first Russian composer to gain real national recognition within his own country, and often regarded as ‘the father of Russian music’, Mikhail Glinka is best known for his rousing operas A Life for the Tsar and Ruslan and Ludmila. Growing up amid a family of landed gentry, however – a setting in which domestic music-making was a much-respected occupation – much of his early work was of a very different nature, namely chamber music intended for performance in more modest settings. It is this lesser-known and equally compelling part of the composer’s output that is explored here.

Nevertheless, the pieces in this collection span a considerable stretch of Glinka’s life. They range from the Variations on a Theme by Mozart, written when the composer was just eighteen and already demonstrating the skill with which he would repeatedly and creatively re-work the musical motifs of others’ works; via the Viola Sonata, an unfinished and yet unintentionally rich contribution to the scant repertory of a beautiful instrument, later completed by violist Vadim Borisovsky; to the Serenade on Themes from Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, an intriguing and unusual arrangement for a selection of deep-timbred instruments that nonetheless succeeds in bringing out the individual melodic voice of each one.

Tracklist:
00:00:00 Divertimento On Themes From Bellini’s La Sonnambula
00:13:16 Variations On A Theme By Mozart for Harp
00:18:04 Nocturne In E-Flat Major for Harp
00:22:10 Viola Sonata: I. Allegro moderato
00:31:36 Viola Sonata: II. Larghetto ma non troppo
00:39:13 Serenade On Themes From Donizetti’s Anna Bolena

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