GEORGY CATOIRE (1861-1926): Symphony in C Minor, Op. 7, FELIX BLUMENFELD (1863-1931): Symphony in C Minor, Op. 39 "À la memoire des chers défunts".
Catalogue Number: 01O003
Label: Dutton Epoch
Reference: CDLX 7298
Description: If you've never found Catoire's piano and chamber music to sound particularly Russian, you're going to be surprised by his only symphony (c.1889-91; orch. 1895-98): it's firmly in the Russian Nationalist tradition of Borodin, Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov and even has a few moments of the latter's patented "fairy-tale" quality which also looks forward to Gliere and early Stravinsky. This is 42 minutes of sheer pleasure! Blumenfeld's symphony (once released in the mid 1990s on Russian Disc) dates from 1905-06 and its "beloved dead" are unknown but possibly the victims of the 1905 Revolution. The composer may have had Tchaikovsky's Pathétique in mind when ending it with a slow epilogue although this one ends in a blaze of brass. Much less Russian, much more in the cosmopolitan style of the Tchaikovsky circle, this symphony nonetheless has memorable motifs in each of its movements and the emotion is palpable and heartfelt; you might feel like you're watching a grief-striken memorial service with you ears. Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Martin Yates.