Gliere: Cello Concerto, Horn Concerto - Viersen, Erkalp, Soustrot
Talent Records DOM 2929 96
Classical - Orchestral
Reinhold Gliere: Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D minor Op. 81, Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in B flat major Op. 91
Quirine Viersen (cello)
Eliz Erkalp (horn)
Royal Flemish Philharmonic
Marc Soustrot (conductor)
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Review by Graham Williams - July 15, 2007
This Glière SACD from the enterprising Talent label is most welcome.
Glière was a brilliant teacher, his pupils included Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Miaskovsky, but his own considerable body of compositions, apart from his massive Third Symphony Il’ya Mourometz and music from the ballet The Red Poppy, has not been that well represented on CD. He was, by nature, a conservative composer and as a result managed to avoid clashes with the Soviet authorities throughout his long life. Though his work lacks the originality of many of his pupils it is always beautifully crafted, imaginatively scored and melodious.
In his latter years Glière wrote four concertos, two of which are presented here.
These were for Harp (opus 74, 1939), Coloratura soprano (opus 82, 1942 / 43), Cello (opus 87, 1947) and Horn (opus 91, 1951).
The Cello concerto was written for Rostropovich and dedicated to him, so it is surprising that there seems to have been no previous recording of it. Listening to this gorgeous work it is hard to believe it was written in 1944 the same year as Shostakovich completed his third quartet. The music, unashamedly romantic and full of nostalgia, sounds as if it could easily have been composed 100 years earlier. It is a substantial three-movement piece, lasting some 40 minutes in which the two lively outer movements frame a particularly memorable Andante with its echoes of Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov and even hints of Elgar. I loved every minute of it!
Quirine Viersen plays the work with the appropriate mixture of tenderness and fire, the incisive and nutty tone of her 1715 Joseph Guarnerius Filius Andreae cello being particularly well captured by the vivid recording. The soloist is centrally placed with a rock solid image and is balanced most naturally with the orchestra.
The Horn concerto, written in 1951 for the Boshoi horn player Valery Polekh, has had a number of previous recordings, but none of those I have heard is finer than this one. Eliz Erkalp is an outstanding player with a full rich tone and she dispatches the formidable virtuoso horn part with ease. The Royal Flemish Philharmonic is fortunate indeed to have such a fine young player as its principal horn.
Once again the balance between soloist and orchestra is impeccable and in both works Marc Soustrot’s alert conducting makes the most of Glière’s colourful accompaniments.
The recording (5.0 PCM 88.2KHz /24 bit) has great presence, in no small part due to the excellent acoustic of the Roma Hall, Antwerp, and is certainly the finest that I have heard from Talent.
Recommended unreservedly to all lovers of unfamiliar 20th century Russian romanticism.
Copyright © 2007 Graham Williams and HRAudio.net