Sergei Prokofiev: "Symphonie classique" / Mikhail Glinka: "Kamarinskaya" Fantasia, Overture from "A Life For The Czar" / Alexander Borodin: "In The Steppes Of Central Asia" - Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conducted by Ernest Ansermet
Thankfully musical genres have been spared from being described with new buzz words such as 'Kleinkunst' which could be translated as 'Small Arts'. But music in small forms – maybe set down on just a few pages of manuscript paper – certainly exists. Prokofiev’s miniature, the "Symphonie classique", combines several superlatives as regards both its musical notes and form: it is only 15 minutes long, contains a wealth of melodic ideas, and is the most performed of all Prokofiev’s symphonies.
This four-movement composition employs traditional forms such as the sonata form in the outer movements and the pre-Classical dances menuet and gavotte. The work’s carefree esprit, serenade-like humour, and courtly elegance is delightful throughout and culminates in a high-spirited 'sturm und drang' Finale.
On the B side is Glinka’s "Kamarinskaya" Fantasia, only eight minutes long but captivating with its extremely closely-knit compositional style, and his Overture to "A Life for the Tsar" – a showpiece whose leitmotifs are truly forward-looking. Alongside these classical-romantic musical gems, Borodin’s "In The Steppes of Central Asia" acts as an ideal programmatic amalgamation of the Orient and the Occident, and fits perfectly into this choice of repertoire.
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Recording: February and March 1961 at Victoria Hall, Geneva (Switzerland), by Roy Wallace
Production: Michael Bremner