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Symphony 1 & 2


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Audio CD, September 19, 1995
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$8.79
$4.53 $3.12

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 1 in G minor: I. Allegro moderato14:18Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 1 in G minor: II. Andante commodamente 7:12$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 1 in G minor: III. Scherzo: Allegro non troppo - moderato assai 8:13Album Only
listen  4. Symphony No. 1 in G minor: IV. Finale: Allegro moderato 9:16Album Only
listen  5. Symphony No. 2 in A major: I. Moderato11:07Album Only
listen  6. Symphony No. 2 in A major: II. Andante cantabile 8:01Album Only
listen  7. Symphony No. 2 in A major: III. Allegro scherzando 9:00Album Only
listen  8. Symphony No. 2 in A major: IV. Andante cantabile - Allegro vivo11:40Album Only


Frequently Bought Together

Symphony 1 & 2 + Balakirev: Symphony, No. 1 / Islamey / Tamara + Symphony 2
Price for all three: $29.46

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00000148I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,837 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 21 customer reviews
I bought this CD on impulse and I'm so glad I did.
frothy
The first was written in 1894-95 and is by far the more popular of the two, figuring heavily in the 1940s Russian music revival.
Steve Wyzard
His melodic line, and his counterpoint underneath that line was interesting and showed him to be a first class composer.
Austin Swartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jay W. Kvale on February 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It's too bad there is such a thing as the "standard repertoire," since many splendid works never seem to make it and fall into unjust neglect. Such is the case with the two marvelous symphonies of Kalinnikov, which are rarely heard in the concert hall. They are similar in style to Tchaikovsky with repetitive themes, rich string scoring, and beautiful melodies, but they have a lyrical sweetness and life-affirming vitality of their own that are remarkable considering the chronic illness and short, tragic life of the composeer.
Kuchar's performances are a little rough-edged and the sound is a little diffuse in the climaxes, but the spirit and style come through and at the Naxos price, this CD is a wonderful bargain. For anyone who has suffered through chronic pain, illness, or tragedy, Kalinnikov's music is a wonderful reminder that joy and beauty can still be found in the valley of the shadow of death.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Kalinnikov is a novelty to me, a pleasant surprise. His music sounds very much of the late 19th-century Russian Nationalists: folk-like melodies, rich harmonic treatment, brilliant orchestrations, but perhaps with more counterpoint used to develop his thematic material than is typical of his compatriots. There is a lot of the ballet here. None of the brooding introspection and melancholy, though--surprising, especially since the impoverished composer was dying of tuberculosis when both symphonies were composed.
The orchestral playing is polished and brilliant, just as is the recording. (I haven't heard the Jarvi recording, but it's hard to imagine that it could be much better, or that his performance could be more idiomatic. Considering that the Jarvi costs nearly 3 times as much, this one's a real bargain!)
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James Schoonmaker on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's entirely possible that the Jarvi performance is better, but for the money, you can't get much better than this. The sound quality is fairly good-- perhaps what you might get if you transferred a high-quality recording onto CD. The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine certainly played well, and was probably the best choice for Kalinnikov's symphonies.
Kalinnikov's symphonies are full of Russian sounds, as much as those of any Russian composer I can think of. The scherzo in the first symphony in particular is reminiscent of a Russian peasant dance. Kalinnikov may not be the best Russian composer, but this is still a darn good CD.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steve Wyzard on August 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Here is everything you need to know about the two symphonies of the short-lived (1866-1901) Vasily Kalinnikov. The first was written in 1894-95 and is by far the more popular of the two, figuring heavily in the 1940s Russian music revival. It briefly entered the major symphonic orchestral repertoire and even appeared with musical examples in Charles O'Connell's The Victor Book of Symphonies (Simon & Schuster, 1948). The second is the longer of the two (39:32 vs. 38:36) and was written in 1895-97. Filled to the brim with just as many memorable melodies as the first, it has never been performed or programmed as often. Both are light and airy, with just enough grandeur, lyricism, and austere brass passages for a perfect balance. One is continuously reminded of the Russian ballet while listening to them, and the long-lined tunes make Tchaikovsky sound like a 12-tone seriallist in comparison.

In spite of what you may read in the otherwise-reliable Penguin Guide, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this wonderful Naxos CD. Okay, maybe the sound could be a tad more brilliant, but this is no excuse for condemning with faint praise. More than merely "agreeable" and "acceptable", this disc is an impeccable introduction to this highly-underrated music. While probably no one would list Theodore Kuchar and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine as being amongst the world's greatest, everything comes across clearly, lucidly, and devoid of any eccentricities. Thanks to Naxos, these symphonies can be enjoyed again and again at a bargain price.

Listen to the serene second movement of the first symphony, and you will be transported into another world: suddenly we're hearing an ethereal harp concerto with solo oboe.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Barbarie on November 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This disc leaves a listener with many different things to marvel at. He could marvel at the symphonic accomplishment of a man who died short of his 36th birthday. Or he could marvel at the continued disregard for, and ignorance of, that same accomplishment, given its melodic accessiblity, and its formal brilliance. He could marvel at his own good fortune in discovering such a rare bird as Kalinnikov.

A quick look at the reviews here suggests that, among the few who have even bothered with such an obscure name as Kalinnikov's, the acceptance is qualified. The reviews, though generally positive, seem to find the music too folksy and light. There are also repeated observations about the disparity in quality between the 1st and the 2nd Symphonies. That disparity is present, but it is so slight, and both works stand so far above the works of similarly obscure 19th century symphonists, that it hardly seems worth the effort to make the observation.

By way of orientation and explication, Kalinnikov's two symphonies do not merit parity with those of Tchaikovsky, Brahms or Dvorak (all of whom are slightly older to be sure, but all of whom were working in the symphonic genre contemporaneously). However, Kalinnikov's symphonies stand above those of Raff, Balakirev, Fibich, Huber, and Bruckner (Bruckner qualifies for the adjective "obscure symphonist" in these uncultured United States). The opinion that Kalinnikov's symphonies are preferable to those of Mahler would be a dangerous one. A more defensible position would be that they are certainly, if not better, more to this reviewer's taste.

To the works themselves; nowhere, in symphonic literature, are there more tuneful creations than Kalinnikov's.
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