Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited by Fred Flaxman
©2008 by Fred Flaxman


Program 139
"Glitzy Glazunov"


MUSIC:
Glazunov: opening of Autumn: Bacchanale and Appearance of the Seasons from The Seasons performed by the CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) conducted by Ondrej Lenard [Marco Polo 8.223136, track 14] [under the following]

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman, and for the next hour we’re going to explore some of the very best music by the Russian composer, Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov, who lived from 1865 until 1936. I’m calling this hour “Glitzy Glazunov.”

MUSIC: fades out

First we’ll listen to Glazunov’s most famous work, The Seasons. That ballet will take up most of the next 40 minutes. Then we’ll hear his Concert Waltz No. 1, and finally his Chant du ménestrel / Minstrel’s Song, Op. 71. I’ll be saving the composer’s beautiful Violin Concerto and his Five Novelettes for string quintet for a second hour of “More Glitzy Glazunov.”

The Seasons was written for the Russian Imperial Ballet and first produced in St. Petersburg in 1900. There is no story to the ballet, which consists of a series of tableaux, one for each of the four seasons. The music continues the tradition established by Tchaikovsky’s three ballets.

The ballet starts with “Winter,” which itself begins with an introduction and four variations before you hear separate dances for Frost, Ice, Hail and Snow, followed by a coda.

“Spring” is the shortest section, followed by “Summer” with its “Waltz of the Cornflowers & Poppies, Barcarolle, variation and coda. “Autumn” brings the Bacchanale we just previewed to open this hour, followed by the “Appearance of the Seasons,” and concluding materials.

We’ll be listening to the CSR Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava conducted by Ondrej Lenard on a 1988 Marco Polo release.

MUSIC: Glazunov: The Seasons performed by the CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) conducted by Ondrej Lenard [Marco Polo 8.223136]

The Seasons by Alexander Glazunov. The CSR Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava was conducted by Ondrej Lenard.

You are listening to “Glitzy Glazunov” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one minute break not included in total timing]


Glazunov wrote two Concert Waltzes: the first in 1893, the second a year later. Both demonstrate the composer’s extraordinary technical skill and command of orchestral color. We’ll listen to the first one now as performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovschin on a Naxos compact disc recording.

MUSIC: Glazunov: Concert Waltz No. 1, Op. 47, performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovschin [Naxos 8.556687, track 15] [9:08]

The Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovschin performed Alexander Glazunov’s Concert Waltz No. 1, Op. 47.

Glazunov was born in Saint Petersburg in 1866. He was the son of a wealthy publisher. In fact it was his father who published Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. Glazunov began studying piano at the age of nine and began composing at 13. Mili Balakirev recognized Glazunov’s talent and brought his work to the attention of Rimsky-Korsakov, who took him on as a private student. Rimsky-Korsakov later said of Glazunov that “his musical development progressed not by the day, but literally by the hour.”

Glazunov’s Chant du ménestrel / Minstrel’s Song, Op. 71, for cello and orchestra was written in 1900. We hear it now as performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovschin on a Naxos CD which doesn’t mention the name of the cello soloist.

MUSIC: Glazunov: Chant du ménestrel / Minstrel’s Song, Op. 71, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovschin [Naxos 8.55668, track 10] [4:00]

Alexander Glazunov’s Chant du ménestrel / Minstrel’s Song, Op. 71, for cello and orchestra, performed by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by Igor Golovschin.

That brings this hour of “Glitzy Glazunov” on Compact Discoveries to a close. I hope you have enjoyed this music and you’ll want to hear “More Glitzy Glazunov” when we return with his beautiful Violin Concerto and his little-known but lovely Five Novelettes for string quintet. This is Fred Flaxman thanking you for listening.

MUSIC: Glazunov: ending of The Seasons performed by the CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) conducted by Ondrej Lenard [Marco Polo 8.223136, track 14] 

ANNOUNCER (Steve Jencks): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by Story Book Publishers and their latest offering, a tongue-in-cheek memoir by Compact Discoveries host Fred Flaxman called “Sixty Slices of Life ... on Wry: The Private Life of a Public Broadcaster.”  Information and ordering at sixtyslices.com.

Program Ends at 57:00


 
  ©2008 Compact Discoveries