Russian Symphonies at 7 This Week on Classical 101

Yesterday evening on Symphony @ 7, we had Peter Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, the Pathetique as our main musical offering.  For the rest of the week, we continue with other great Russian symphonies.  Still to come are works by Alexander Glazunov, Dmitri Shostakovitch, Alexander Borodin and Sergei Prokofiev.

This evening, it’s the Seventh Symphony from 1902 by Alexander Glazunov, it’s his “Pastoral” symphony.  It got the nickname from the first movement, which is in the same key as Beethoven’s more famous “Pastoral” and has a distinctly rustic feeling that echoes the mood of Beethoven’s Sixth.  After that, however, the rest of the symphony is more distinctly Russian with even a hint of Borodin in the last movement.

In his earlier years, Glazunov was associated with the ideals of the Russian Nationalist school of composers and the group known as the “Mightly Handful” that included his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin.  Later, the more cosmopolitan style of Western European music came to the fore in his compositions, or actually a blending of the two impulses.  By the time Glazunov completed his Seventh Symphony he had been teaching at the St. Petersburg Conservatory for several years and would eventually become its music director.

Tomorrow evening, we’ll hear music from Glazunov’s most famous student, Dmitri Shostakovitch, but in the meantime, above is a sample of Glazunov’s Symphony No. 7 in F.

 

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