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Chamber Symphony
In the hours of the New Moon

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov

Hyperion CDA 67484



This Chamber Symphony for 18 players by the nearly forgotten modernist composer Nikolai Roslavets (1881-1944) was composed c.1935 but only rediscovered and published in 2005.

An expansive major work, 56 mins long, its sound world is close to Schoenberg's in his Chamber Symphony No 1, but Roslavets' is less dense in its textures, nor as hectic and tiring to listen to.

His espousal of the Second Viennese School led to denunciation in 1929 and his forced repentance the following year. After a stroke in 1940 he was semi-invalid until his death.

In the hours of the New Moon is a daring student work for large orchestra, its influences including Scriabin; finally performed by Heinz Holliger in 1990, and well worth knowing.

This recording by the exploratory conductor Ilan Volkov (pictured) is a coup.



Violin Sonatas Nos. 1, 4 and 6
and 3 Dances

Solomia Soroka, violin & Arthur Greene, piano

Naxos 8.557903 [TT 70 mins]

Try first the forthright Mazurka (last of the 3 Dances; the first is a Waltz "if you listen closely"!) before sampling Nikolay Andreyevich Roslavets' attractively meandering sonatas. The most radical of them is the first (1913), contemporaneous with late Scriabin and having something in common with his music.

No. 6 is more like typical late 19 C sonatas, and of possibly more general appeal.

Good expositions of this neglected music which younger violinists may like to explore to very their recital programmes.

For Roslavets' cello sonatas and piano trios see the reviews in Gramophone.

Peter Grahame Woolf