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BALAKIREV, M.: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 / Grande Fantaisie on Russian Folksongs (Seifetdinova, Russian Philharmonic, Yablonsky)

Composer(s):Balakirev, Mily Alexeyevich
Artist(s) Yablonsky, Dmitry, Conductor • Russian Philharmonic OrchestraSeifetdinova, Anastasia, piano
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.570396
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Album Price
USD 6.99


Leader of the ‘Mighty Handful’ of Russian composers, Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev was praised by Rimsky-Korsakov as “an excellent pianist … endowed by nature with a sense of correct harmony and part-writing”, qualities abundantly evident in his two piano concertos, the second of which was completed by Sergey Lyapunov. Brimming with Romantic bravura, rich orchestrations and solo writing that, while distinctive, can often stand comparison with Tchaikovsky, these are highly appealing works. With his Grande Fantasie on Russian Folksongs, Balakirev made an important contribution to Russian nationalist music.


Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,February 2009

Back in the early days of LP, recordings of this kind of musical fare was very much in fashion, and a safe buy: even if the music was unknown, the composers were established ones who could be ‘trusted’. The Op. 1 Concerto—in spite of its brevity (just over 14 minutes)—does not disappoint, while the second (in E Flat, Op.4), apparently left unfinished and completed by Sergei Lyapunov, is equally pleasing if somewhat over-long at nearly 37 minutes. One would have expected some lively and familiar folk music from the ‘Grand Fantaisie on Russian Folksongs’, but that turns out to be a slow-moving disappointment. The playing by both soloist and orchestra are beyond cavil.

Review By David Denton, Naxos,February 2009

The name of Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev is now only in the concert repertoire by virtue of his virtuoso piano showpiece, Islamey, and the occasional performance of the orchestral tone-poem, Tamara. Yet he was the linchpin that influenced so much in the development of Russian nationalism that emanated from his contemporaries, Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. Yet so preoccupied in his work as a teacher—he was co-founder of the Free School of Music—it was only in his latter years that he concentrated on composition. That came, with considerable irony, at a time when the style of composing had been radically changed by those he had nurtured, and he was looked upon as outdated. Even his supporters would have to confess that



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