» » » Reinhold Moritsevich Gliere - Symphony No. 3 ‘Il’ya Muromets’ - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]
Reinhold Moritsevich Gliere - Symphony No. 3 ‘Il’ya Muromets’ - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]
Reinhold Moritsevich Gliere - Symphony No. 3 ‘Il’ya Muromets’ - Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]


Сomposer: Reinhold Moritsevich Glière (1875-1956)
Artist: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta
Title: Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 42, “Il’ya Muromets”
Genre: Classical
Label: © Naxos
Release Date: 2014
Recorded: Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, New York, USA, from 3rd to 5th May, 2013
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Length: 01:11:38
Video: MPEG-2 4742 kbps / 1080i / 29,970 fps / 16:9
Audio: Russian DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 5709 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: Russian LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Size: 8.09 GB

“The Glière Symphony No. 3 has always been a piece that shimmered on my horizon—a cult piece, in a way, renowned as the composer’s towering masterpiece but rarely played in concert. As long as a Mahler symphony and enormous in its instrumental requirements, it was a work that people spoke about reverently but almost never heard live. The recording was an adventure that changed our orchestra, strengthened us, and became an artistic benchmark for our musicians. We revelled in the gorgeous landscape of the Symphony—from mysterious bass murmurings to crushing walls of brass fortissimo to breathtaking impressionistic renderings of forests and birds. We performed and recorded this massive work uncut to preserve Glière’s extraordinary architecture. This work is a cathedral in sound that unfolds in breathtaking swashes of colour, poetry and monumental climaxes.” – JoAnn Falletta

This may not be the greatest composition in the world, but it is a thrilling audiophile-oriented set of four wild tone poems describing elements from the legend of a mythical Russian folk hero of the 12th century. Leopold Stokowski was one of the first to record this monumental symphony, in the late ‘50s, and he did it again later on a short-lived EMI Matrix CD. He probably gets the most adventurous sounds out of the music – highlighting the tales of what one reviewer calls a masculine Scheherezade. However, both of his recordings cut out almost half of the symphony and Hermann Scherchen was the first to record the entire lengthy work on two LPs. I question JoAnn Falletta’s statement that this is an uncut version of the massive work, when Harold Farberman’s version with the Royal Philharmonic takes two CDs; if it were only 71 minutes it could have easily fit on a single CD. [All the other recordings spell it Ilya Murometz, but Naxos calls it Il’ya Muromets.]While we’re comparing other versions, the only other hi-res surround recording of the symphony—Leon Botstein and the London Symphony on a Telarc SACD—should be mentioned. There seems to be a good deal of disagreement online about whether this 2003 effort is worth considering. My main criticism would be the extremely fast tempi which Botstein uses, almost like the conductors that speeded up works to fit on one side of a 78 rpm disc. Falletta has very similar movement timings but doesn’t sound so rushed somehow. And since we’re mentioning sonics, I should point out that while the Naxos Blu-ray is terrific fidelity, the surround channels are way too low in level and need to be brought up considerably to achieve a reasonable surround field—as true of many multichannel recordings. The extraordinary architecture of this work demands multichannel sound and a high volume level.
Falletta’s notes about how the rehearsing for the performance and recording of this work changed the orchestra are quite interesting. It became an artistic benchmark for their musicians. She calls it “a cathedral in sound.”
The tales of this legendary Middle Ages warrior call for a Wagnerian-type orchestra: including eight horns, two harps, celeste and much percussion. The symphony is dedicated to Glazunov, and definitely shows the influence of Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss and even Stravinsky of the Firebird period.
The first movement describes how Il’ya Muromets gets his powers and pledges to use them to serve Mother Russia. The second deals with Solovey the Brigand, who can fell his enemies with a ferocious whistle. The third shorter movement is a sort of scherzo depicting a feast at the castle of Prince Vladimir, at which Murometz beheads Solovey. The finale concerns the heroism and petrification of Muromets. He first defeats the dreaded Tartars, but then he becomes overly sure of his powers and does battle with the Celestial Army, which is a mistake because he and all his cohorts are all turned into stone. —John Sunier, Audiophile Audition

Tracklist:
Reinhold Moritsevich Glière (1875-1956)
Symphony No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 42, “Il’ya Muromets”
1. I. Wandering Pilgrims (Il’ya Muromets and Svyatogor): Andante sostenuto 21:24
2. II. Solovey, the Brigand: Andante 20:03
3. III. At the Court of Vladimir, the Mighty Sun: Allegro 07:11
4. IV. The Heroism and Petrification of Il’ya Muromets: Allegro tumultuoso 23:00

Personnel:
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta, conductor





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