Glazunov: Masquerade (Incidental Music)

Glazunov: Masquerade (Incidental Music)

by Dmitry YablonskyDmitry Yablonsky


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Alexander Glazunov's colorful incidental music for the Lermontov play Masquerade exists only in manuscript, and though it is a little difficult to piece together the 26 short selections to correspond to the dramatic action, this performance by Dmitry Yablonsky offers a version that conveys both the animated atmosphere of the play's ball scenes and a sense of its tragic and lugubrious ending. Glazunov's score shows the strong influence of Tchaikovsky and much of the dance music evokes his great ballets, though the orchestration is somewhat more reminiscent of Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov's teacher, and the brooding ending is plainly imitative of Russian Orthodox choral music. Yet Glazunov's originality can be found in his spirited choral writing in the early numbers, in the modern harmonic touches that add lushness and tartness to the music, and the curious mix of cosmopolitan dances with orientalist melodies that is quite effective in setting moods. The Gnesin Academy Chorus and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra give a committed performance, and Yablonsky holds the disparate pieces together with logic and clarity. The filler tracks, the "Two Pieces, Op. 14"; the "Pas de caractère, Op. 68"; and the "Romantic Intermezzo, Op. 69," are lightweight and go well with "Masquerade" since they were composed in the same post-Romantic vein and offer a mix of sentimentality and exoticism that nicely rounds out the program.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/28/2009
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313021178
catalogNumber: 8570211
Rank: 144363


  1. Masquerade, incidental music, Op. 102
  2. Pieces (2) for orchestra, Op. 14
  3. Pas de caractère for orchestra in G major, Op. 68 (insert for ballet "Raymonda")
  4. Romantic Intermezzo for orchestra in D major, Op. 69

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