Artziboutchev : Sérénade - Sokolov : Polka - Mazurka - Osten-Sacken : Berceuse - Liadov : Mazurka - Sarabande - Blumenfeld : Sarabande - Rimski-Korsakov : Allegro - Borodine : Scherzo - Kopilov : Polka - Glazounov : 5 Novelettes, op.15 / Vertavo String Quartet
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Note, however, that this is only a selection of the Vendredis Collection (a more complete set has been released performed by the Quatuor Alcan). Instead Simax and the Vertavo quartet have decided to fill out the disc with Glazunov's delightful Novelettes. The reason is obvious. With the major exception of Borodin's magnificent Scherzo, which made it (in orchestration by Glazunov) into his unfinished third symphony (the orchestrated version is far more interesting, however), the music here is so much pap. Indeed, it is hard to find any redeeming qualities in any of it, even the contributions by Rimsky and Liadov (well, perhaps Liadov's Mazurka is worth hearing; the Sarabande really isn't).
So that leaves us with the Novelettes, and it is indeed a superb collection of music, full of memorable tunes, aching melancholy, atmosphere and exuberance - the five movements are supposed to be in various national styles, by which we get a wide variety of colorful solutions that all sound distinctly Russian (and distinctly Glazunov). The Vertavo Quartet plays it all with plenty of spirit and verve, but cannot do much for the smaller works. Their performance of Glazunov is as good as any in the catalogue and struggles to guarantee an unconditional recommendation for the disc as a whole only because the other available performances have far superior couplings (the St. Petersburg Quartet being perhaps the first choice). The sound is good, and as a whole the disc must receive a recommendation - but that is for the Novelettes and perhaps the Borodin; forget the rest.