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Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Glazunov

(1865 - 1936)

Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov (August 10, 1865 - March 21, 1936) was a Russian composer of the late Russian Romantic period, music teacher and conductor. He served as director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory between 1905 and 1928 and was also instrumental in the reorganization of the institute into the Petrograd Conservatory, then the Leningrad Conservatory, following the Bolshevik Revolution. He continued heading the Conservatory until 1930, though he had left the Soviet Union in 1928 and did not return. The best known student under his tenure during the early Soviet years was Dmitri Shostakovich.

Glazunov was significant in that he successfully reconciled nationalism and cosmopolitanism in Russian music. While he was the direct successor to Balakirev's nationalism, he tended more towards Borodin's epic grandeur while absorbing a number of other influences. These included Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral virtuosity, Tchaikovsky's lyricism and Taneyev's contrapuntal skill. His weaknesses were a streak of academicism which sometimes overpowered his inspiration and an eclecticism which could sap the ultimate stamp of originality from his music. Younger composers such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich eventually considered his music old-fashioned while also admitting he remained a composer with an imposing reputation and a stabilizing influence in a time of transition and turmoil.

Recommended Recordings

String Quartets (2, 4, 7)

Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6031237-2
String Quartet #2 Op. 10 and String Quartet #4, Op. 64; Elegy Op. 105/Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6031237-2
Utrecht String Quartet
String Quartet #5, Op. 70; Novelettes Op. 15/Delos DE3262
St. Petersburg String Quartet
String Quartet #2 Op. 10 and String Quartet #4, Op. 64/Melodiya MCD173
Shostakovich Quartet
String Quartet #7, Op. 107; String Quintet Op. 39/Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs MFCD875
Shostakovich Quartet

String Quintet

Naxos 8.570256
String Quintet, Op. 39; Suite Op. 35/Dabringhaus & Grimm MDG6031238-6
Michael Stirling (cello), Utrecht String Quartet


String Quintet, Op. 39; Novelettes Op. 15/Naxos 8.570256
Nathaniel Rosen (cello), Fine Arts String Quartet


String Quintet, Op. 39; String Quartet #7/Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs MFCD875
Shostakovich Quartet

Raymonda (ballet)

Chandos CHAN8447
Ballet Music "Raymonda", Op. 57/Chandos CHAN8447
Neeme Järvi/Scottish National Orchestra
Ballet Music "Raymonda", Op. 57 (complete)/Naxos 8.553503-4
Alexander Anissimov/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Ballet "Raymonda", Op. 57/Arthaus Musik DVD 100719
Natalya Bessmertnova, Yuri Vasyuchenko, Gedminas Taranda, Algis Zhuraitis/Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
Ballet "Raymonda", Op. 57/Kultur Video DVD 1170
Ludmila Semenyaka, Irek Mukhamedov, Gedminas Taranda, Algis Zhuraitis/Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra

The Seasons (ballet)

Chandos CHAN8596
Ballet Music "The Seasons", Op. 67; Violin Concerto Op. 82/Chandos CHAN8596
Neeme Järvi/Scottish National Orchestra


Ballet Music "The Seasons", Op. 67; Scènes de Ballet Op. 52/Marco Polo 8.223136
Ondrej Lenard/Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava


Ballet Music "The Seasons", Op. 67; Scènes de Ballet Op. 52/Telarc CD-80347
Ondrej Lenard/Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bratislava


Core Repertoire - Start Here! Symphonies (Core Repertoire - Start Here! 4, Core Repertoire - Start Here!5, 7)

Orfeo C193101A
Symphony #1, Op. 48 and Symphony #5 "Heroic", Op. 55/Orfeo C093101A
Neeme Järvi/Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Symphony #2, Op. 16; Concert Waltz #1 Op. 47/Orfeo C148101A
Neeme Järvi/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Symphony #3, Op. 33Concert Waltz #2 Op. 51/Orfeo C157101A
Neeme Järvi/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Symphony #4, Op. 48 and Symphony #5 "Heroic", Op. 55/Olympia OCD101
Gennadi Rozhdestvensky/USSR Ministry Of Culture Symphony Orchestra
Warner Classics 63236
Symphony #4, Op. 48 and Symphony #7 "Pastorale", Op. 77/Warner Classics 63236-2
Josť Serebrier/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Symphony #4, Op. 48 and Symphony #7 "Pastorale", Op. 77/Orfeo C148201A
Neeme Järvi/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Symphony #5 "Heroic", Op. 55; Ballet Music "The Seasons" Op. 67/Warner Classics 61434-2
Josť Serebrier/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Symphony #6, Op. 58; Poème lyrique Op. 12/Orfeo C157201A
Neeme Järvi/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
Symphony #7 "Pastorale", Op. 77; Karelian Legend Op. 99/Melodiya SUCD10-00028
Evgeni Svetlanov/USSR Symphony Orchestra
Symphony #8, Op. 83; Ouverture solenelle Op.13; Wedding March Op. 21/Orfeo C093201A
Neeme Järvi/Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Trumpet