“[Symphony No. 2] is an attractive piece – I am inclined to think the Svetlanov account is finer (than) Rozhdestvensky. … Svetlanov plays with great élan, driving the Cossack scherzo on, and drawing almost risky sweetness from the orchestra in the Andante. … [T]he USSR orchestra has much to recommend it: their strings certainly have greater sonority and weight though the brass and wind are not always to Western tastes… some of the material of the scherzo was actually intended for the First Symphony. Yet the ideas are very engaging… [In some ways the most striking is the Overture [on Three Russian Songs]… beautifully orchestrated, with a lucidity which owes much to Glinka and even outdoes him. It should be better known to us”
Nearly two decades after his death, Evgeny Svetlanov is still arguably the most popular and acclaimed conductor of Russian symphonic repertoire. Alto is pleased to return to general availability Svetlanov’s recordingd of Mily Balakirev’s Second Symphony and Suite on Pieces by Chopin.