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Classical - Released September 28, 2004 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released May 14, 2012 | Warner Classics International

A complete recording of Alexander Glazunov's concertos, including related works for solo instrument and orchestra, might have seemed an unpromising undertaking; except for the Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82, and the Saxophone Concerto in E flat major, Op. 109, these works are not often played, at least outside Russia. On hearing the results, you're prepared to credit the major Warner Classics & Jazz label for taking a chance on an unorthodox project. Then you learn something still more surprising: according to Uruguayan conductor José Serebrier, who contributes an elegant set of booklet notes to the CD release, he was initially approached by the label, not vice versa. He was skeptical about the whole idea but warmed to it as he reviewed Glazunov's music. Someone had very good instincts indeed: Serebrier by the time this disc was issued had recorded a good deal of Glazunov with various groups, and he seems to be in the middle of a one-man campaign to rehabilitate the composer's reputation. His booklet notes name-check Bach and Mahler as composers who took a long time to be rediscovered, and the amazing thing is that by the time you're through with this album you'll be ready to sign on to the missionary endeavor. The key here seems to be that hearing a lot of Glazunov attunes the listener to his musical language, which due to its tonal orientation and sober manner has unfairly been tagged with the C-word: conservative. All these concertos share a sectional architecture, with rapid shifts in tempo that relax into gorgeous lyrical episodes and come together into big finales. The structure can be deployed to approximate the classical three-movement concerto form, or tweaked into the variation set that makes up the second and final movement of the Piano Concerto No. 1 in F minor, Op. 82. And at the micro level, the structure is highly variable. Glazunov's rhythmic sense is as subtle as those of composers who referred to complex mathematical models, and the range of relationships between solo instrument and orchestra is vast. Serebrier, well into his eighth decade when this album was recorded in Moscow, leads a Russian National Orchestra for whom this music is bred in the bone, and he finds a quintet of young soloists, violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist Alexander Romanovsky, cellist Wen-Sinn Yang, saxophonist Marc Chisson, and French hornist Alexey Serov, who get the performance traditions involved in the msuic and deliver its ravishing melodies with enthusiasm and passion. A superb, even groundbreaking effort all around. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 1, 2012 | Reference Recordings CD

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Classical - Released March 1, 2012 | Reference Recordings CD

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Classical - Released September 28, 2004 | Warner Classics International

It is not that José Serebrier and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Glazunov's Symphony No. 5 is either a poor performance or a poor recording. The brass do tend to bray at climaxes, the strings tend to fray in long legato lines, the winds tend to squeak in solos, and the whole ensemble tends to go off the road in tempo changes. And Serebrier, as he has for decades, still tends to accelerando in crescendos, to ritardando in decrescendos, and to over-emphasize the upper end of the orchestra at climaxes. And Warner's 2004 digital sound does tend to sound a bit too withdrawn in pianissimos and a tad too shrill in climaxes. But the real problem is neither the performance nor the recording, but the competition. Glazunov's mighty and majestic Symphony No. 5 is his most popular symphony and while there is the usual mediocre recording by Neeme Järvi, there is also a muscular recording by Vladimir Fedoseyev and an altogether magnificent recording by Yevgeny Mravinsky and, despite antique stereo sound, either is preferable to Serebrier's. And to make matters worse, Serebrier and the Scottish Orchestra's recording of Glazunov's ballet The Seasons, which fills up the disc, is deeply annoying and profoundly superficial in a work that is the epitome of ephemeral evanescence. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 19, 2015 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released August 25, 2014 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 1990 | Decca (UMO)

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Classical - Released August 27, 2014 | Warner Classics

Booklet
The Warner Classics label, which has mostly focused on innovative programming concepts, deserves credit for its Dvorák series featuring Uruguyan conductor José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra: classic repertory, shaped by a great conductor, in other words old-school stuff of the best kind. The entire series has been impressive, but here Serebrier, nearing 80 when this album appeared in 2015, outdoes his previous efforts with music that's a joy from start to finish. The Legends, Op. 59, little tone poems without explicit programs, are exceptionally fluid and poetic. And the main attraction, the Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88, is really exceptional in its level of detail and overall effect. Serebrier applies tempo variations in the first two movements (sample the melody at the very beginning), giving them the episodic quality of tone poems as well. The third movement is a transcendent apotheosis of the dance. And it all leads up to the finale, where little bits of rubato set off the blaring brass fanfare in such a way that you'll be stomping your feet. The Bournemouth Symphony plays at the top of its powers, and the engineering at the Lighthouse concert hall is top-notch. Destined to be a standard recording of the Symphony No. 8, and heartily recommended to all. © TiVo
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Symphonic Music - Released August 1, 2011 | Warner Classics International

For this 2011 Warner Classics recording of Antonin Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World," the main work is framed by a couple of the ever-popular Slavonic Dances and the tuneful Czech Suite, which give the disc considerable added value, but the symphony receives the most dynamic reading and compels listening entirely by itself. José Serebrier and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra give a committed and passionate performance that holds the listener from beginning to end, and they infuse this late Romantic masterpiece with vital expressions and vibrant colors that summon up all of its nostalgia, turbulence, and grandeur. Furthermore, the clarity of the music shows Serebrier's close attention to details and the orchestra's exceptional skills, and the recording is brilliant in every timbre, texture, and phrasing. Listening to the album straight through may be difficult, because the "New World" really steals the spotlight and makes its companion pieces seem less significant in comparison, so to give the Slavonic Dances and the Czech Suite their due, listen to them on a separate occasion. They are delightfully played, and while they are considerably lighter in tone than the symphony, they deserve to be appreciated in their own right. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 1, 2006 | Warner Classics International

There are moments, even whole movements, in José Serebrier and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's 2006 recordings of Glazunov's Fourth and Seventh symphonies that almost achieve greatness. Still, one shouldn't complain too much; after all, it's always a pleasure to hear Glazunov's superbly crafted, brilliantly colorful, wonderfully tuneful, and above all profoundly optimistic symphonies, even in performances that don't quite get it. It's as if they're not able and willing. Serebrier has always been a highly skilled conductor with a commendable interest in Russian repertoire and the Scottish National Orchestra has delivered many bright and exciting recordings under Neeme Järvi. But as in the two previous Glazunov recordings, Serebrier doesn't seem to grasp the sweetly lyrical quality of the themes, doesn't appear to comprehend the strong character of the structures, and doesn't even come close to articulating the individuality of the inspiration. In response, the Scottish Orchestra plays professionally but without the kind of dedicated enthusiasm that makes a performance persuasive. The dedicated Glazunov fan will once again have to fall back on the classic Gennady Rozhdestvensky stereo recordings of the works with the ideally named USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra to hear what great Glazunov really sounds like: grandly heroic, supremely tender, and overwhelmingly affirmative. Warner Classics' digital recording is a tad too hard, a bit too gaudy, and a little too close. © TiVo
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Classical - Released August 1, 2008 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released July 1, 2013 | Alba

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Symphonic Music - Released September 1, 2012 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released July 1, 2005 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released September 1, 2013 | Chandos

Booklet
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Classical - Released November 2, 1990 | Phoenix USA

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Classical - Released May 27, 1997 | Phoenix USA

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Classical - Released June 28, 2000 | Phoenix USA

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Classical - Released May 1, 1988 | Phoenix USA