GENNADY ROZHDESTVENSKY CONDUCTS BRITTEN AND HOLST - BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Rozhdestvensky's affinity with British music is evident in this marvellously airy, epic Planets and sprightly Variations. Plain broadcast recording sound, but too enjoyable to be merely historic.
Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Conducts Britten and Holst
Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34
Holst: The Planets, Op. 32
Ladies of the BBC SO Chorus & BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (b.1931) is the last living survivor of a great Russian quartet of conductors consisting of Mravinsky, Kondrashin and Svetlanov.
He was the highly distinguished principal conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1978 to 1981, an exciting period in the orchestra’s history faithfully captured here.
During this period, he conducted many British composers, a favourite being Britten (the Russian premiere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Vaughan Williams (a complete cycle on Melodiya), Walton, Elgar, Maxwell Davies (the premiere of Symphony No.2) and John Tavener.
These recordings of Holst’s Planets and Britten’s Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Purcell have never been issued before on CD.
The Planets is new to Rozhdestvensky’s extensive discography. Rozhdestvensky’s 1980 Royal Festival Hall performance is a freshly conceived interpretation of The Planets which is both exciting and superbly played, and the stereo recording has a spectacular dynamic range.
The performance of Britten’s Variations & Fugue on a Theme of Purcell was given on a Far East tour in Osaka, Japan in 1981.