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The great Russian conductor Evgeny Svetlanov (1928-2002) was born in Moscow. He became Chief Conductor of the Bolshoi Ballet (1963-1965) and the USSR Symphony Orchestra (1965-2000) and in later years held positions with the Swedish Radio Symphony
Orchestra and Het Residentie in the Netherlands. He was appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the LSO in 1979. He was awarded the Lenin Prize in 1975.
These live recordings are issued for the first time on CD.
The performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.1 in April 2002 with the BBCSO was the last concert he gave in London before his death two months later. Svetlanov’s studio-made Tchaikovsky recordings with the USSR Symphony Orchestra for Melodiya in the 1960s were the cornerstones of the catalogue at the time and he brings an unqualified authority to the Barbican concert recorded here.
Stravinsky’s Firebird ballet (1945) was a comparative rarity for Svetlanov but given his earlier position with the Bolshoi, he had a unique understanding of ballet conducting. It is a superbly detailed and imaginative account with the Philharmonia on tremendous form.
The digital sound recorded in the Barbican for both performances is totally natural and warm.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13, "Winter Daydreams"
I. Allegro tranquillo (Dreams of a Winter Journey)
II. Adagio cantabile ma non tanto (Land of Desolation, Land of Mists)
III. Scherzo: Allegro scherzando giocoso
IV. Finale: Andante lugubre - Allegro maestoso
Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird Suite (1945 version)