Friday, January 7, 2011

Great conductors of the 20TH century EMI VOL.8 - Golovanov


Glazunov: Symphony No.6

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream: Overture & Scherzo
Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow; 1952

Tchaikovsky: '1812' Overture

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow (Live); 1948

Liszt: Orpheus

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow; 1952

CD2 [68:57]

Liszt: Héroïde funèbre

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow; 1953

Liszt: Mazeppa
Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow; 1952

Liszt: Festklänge
Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow; 1953

Liszt: Prometheus

Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra; Moscow; 1952


Nikolai Semyonovich Golovanov was born on 21 January 1891 in Moscow and died there on 28 August 1953. As a young man, he qualified as a singing teacher and studied composition at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1915 he conducted his first symphonic concerts at the Bolshoi Theatre, where he become assistant choral conductor the same year, then held the post of principal Bolshoi conductor between 1919 and 1928 and again between 1948 and 1953. In 1937 he was appointed musical and artistic director of the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 1925 until 1929 he taught opera and orchestral conducting at the Moscow Conservatory and was artistic director of the Moscow Philharmonic. In 1929 Golovanov was appointed director of broadcasting at Moscow Radio and, more specifically, head of opera broadcasts. He married the fêted soprano Antonina Nezhdanova (1873-1950) in the early 1920s and in 1938 was named director of the Stanislavsky Opera Theatre. He was also a noted pianist and teacher, and also a prolific composer.
Golovanov's recorded output is exceptionally difficult to get hold of. Though CDs of his Liszt, Tchaikovsky and Scriabin have been issued before they have generally been in very poor and distorted sound. The tapes used in this new compilation have come direct from MK's studios in Moscow. Golovanov was a specialist in the music of Glazunov and Liszt, the latter suiting particularly his extremely powerful and idiosyncratic style of conducting. These recordings, made in the early 1950s, include an extremely exciting, if quirky, '1812' Overture, with a choir to sing the Russian National Anthem, and performances of Mendelssohn's Overture and Scherzo from the incidental music for A Midsummer Night's Dream that show Golovanov to be a highly imaginative and musically refined interpreter.


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