VLADIMIR SHCHERBACHOV (1889-1952): Symphony No. 5, Suite from the Musical Comedy The Tobacco Captain.
Catalogue Number: 07L009
Label: Northern Flowers
Reference: NF/PMA 9970
Description: Not literally a "war symphony" since it took him ten years to finally complete, this 42-minute piece was begun in 1940 and Shcherbachov considered it as his "Russian Symphony". From the short, slow first-movement which is rooted in znamennïy rospev chant and folk music, through the "heroic" second, tragic third (which can stand alongside the slow movement of Shostakovich's Fifth and Prokofiev's "Field of the Dead" in Alexander Nevsky to the rejoicing finale, the music is treated in the manner of Borodin and Mussorgsky with touches of Tchaikovsky and, in the final movement, the Stravinsky of Petrushka. A monumental work which, although only finished in 1950, deserves to be in this new series. The Tobacco Captain's music really is "war music" since it was composed in 1942 and was performed by an evacuated Moscow theatre group in Siberia the same year. If Russians wrote "light music", it would sound delightfully like this! St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Titov.