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GLIÈRE, R.: Symphony No. 3, "Il'ya Muromets" (Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta)


Naxos 8.573161

   La Libre Belgique, January 2015
   MusicWeb International, December 2014
   Fanfare, November 2014
   Classical Net, October 2014
   American Record Guide, September 2014
   Fanfare, July 2014
   Fanfare, July 2014
   Classicalsource.com, July 2014
   Gramophone, June 2014
   Classical Music Sentinel, May 2014
   Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, April 2014
   Pizzicato, April 2014
   Cinemusical, April 2014
   International Record Review, April 2014
   BBC Music Magazine, April 2014
   ClassicsToday.com, March 2014
   MusicWeb International, March 2014
   AllMusic.com, March 2014
   The Buffalo News, March 2014
   Infodad.com, March 2014
   ResMusica.com, February 2014
   Classical CD Reviews, February 2014
   David's Review Corner, February 2014

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La Libre Belgique, January 2015

…beautiful recording of the Buffalo Philharmonic conducted by its director JoAnn Falletta… Mahlerian in its proportions and instrumentation, almost Brucknerian or even Wagnerian in certain passages and in its cathedral-like architecture, but sometimes reminiscent of music for film, this piece deserves to be discovered. © 2015 La Libre Belgique




Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, December 2014

We are no longer as short of full-length recordings of Glière’s orchestral warhorse as we used to be, but JoAnn Falletta’s new CD is very welcome for the evident care and affection that she and her skilled Buffalo Philharmonic players lavish on the score. Naxos’ superb engineering does both the performers and this fascinating work itself proud. © 2014 MusicWeb International




Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, November 2014

Pride of place this year goes to JoAnn Falletta’s magisterial new recording of Glière’s Il’ya Muromets. This is not quite unknown territory, but the work—especially in its uncut form—is rarely performed and rarely recorded, not only because of the large forces involved, but even more because, in lesser hands, it can so easily sound over-extended. No one has a better sense of its overall dramatic structure than Falletta—and no one has a cannier sense of the flavor of its special sound world. A classic. © 2014 Fanfare



Brian Wigman
Classical Net, October 2014

…this is an excellent recording of a work ill-served on disc.

This offers a definitive guideline. Excellent sound completes an outstanding project, one which shows Glière in the best possible light. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review




Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, September 2014

…this interpretation is the real thing; the energy, enthusiasm, and grandeur of Falletta’s reading are graphic evidence of her love of this music. It sounds exactly like long pent-up admiration finally released. Her interpretation is a few minutes faster than most, but her control over the work’s proportions is so sure that nothing sounds rushed or skimped. From the bravado of I, through the exotic lushness of the forest music in II to the ghostly tread introducing IV, she doesn’t miss a detail or nuance. The Buffalo orchestra valiantly responds to her leadership all the way. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, July 2014

…the performance…is a splendid one, full of color and energy. I can’t imagine that any other conductor today could make a better case for this music than Falletta does. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, July 2014

…the best way to appreciate the stellar quality of this release is to listen to it. The sound on the CD is good…One way or another, this belongs on your shelf. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review



Colin Anderson
Classicalsource.com, July 2014

…you just have to give in and succumb to music that is scenic, thrilling and creates a vast storyboard.

And that is certainly the case with this impressive ‘labour of love’ performance, capable of blowing your socks off, and which says much about the Buffalo/Falletta partnership. It has been handsomely captured by Tim Handley’s excellent engineering and production. © 2014 Classicalsource.com Read complete review



John Warrack
Gramophone, June 2014

JoAnn Falletta is a keen admirer and has an excellent ear not merely for clarifying and controlling the orchestral sumptuousness but for articulating the events dramatically. Her forces cast themselves into the fray with enthusiasm and virtuosity, and the recording engineers rise to some quite demanding occasions. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Jean-Yves Duperron
Classical Music Sentinel, May 2014

…the technical aspects of this new Naxos recording deserve an “A+” and the same goes for JoAnn Falletta’s musical direction. I think it’s safe to say that Naxos have surpassed themselves for sonic impact on this one. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra sound more like Chicago or New York in this recording. The woodwind section players for example, deserve an award all their own for the way they project that “aviary” of bird calls in the second movement. And the levels of power and ferocity the orchestra reaches at certain points is impressive.

If you already know and love this work, then you need to get this CD. If you don’t, there’s plenty about this recording that might impress you enough to like it… © 2014 Classical Music Sentinel Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, April 2014

There is more than price that makes this a worthy release…JoAnn Falletta is a first-rank conductor for romantic and late-romantic fare and she has been doing some wonderful things up in Buffalo, many on Naxos. We’ve covered more than a few on these pages.

And surely she captures the epic breadth and spirit of Glière’s symphonic masterpiece. Sprawling a work it is, but filled with passion and excitement. And originality. There may be times where you might hear the influences of Scriabin, Rimsky-Korsakov and the late romantics that came before. The perception quickly disperses, though, in the next contrasting section, so by and large we have a tabula rasa Russian work of excellence.

Suffice to say that Ms. Falletta does indeed triumph here. The performance is nothing short of marvelous. Grab this one. © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, April 2014

JoAnn Falletta and her brilliantly playing orchestra succeed in giving Glière’s sumptuous Third Symphony a highly dramatic and extremely colorful character, so that the 70 minutes are never too long. A top recommendation! © 2014 Pizzicato




Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, April 2014

The number of great releases coming from the [Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra] has been phenomenal and this latest release may just be one of their finest yet. The detail in this recording allows the great variety of solos and sections to really shine through and the audio is simply perfect. Falletta’s notes share how once approached to consider recording the work, one she always had her eye on, she determined to make it the centerpiece of the orchestra’s season. How fortunate Buffalo audiences were to be able to hear this greatest of Gliere’s works live in concert! Now they have a historical document to remind them how significant this event was and with stellar performances that should make all involved in this project quite proud. There are so many amazing details brought to life that the work has an amazing freshness here that should convert even the most hesitant to the music’s worth. Falletta has also restored the work to its original construction removing commonly taken cuts to allow the music’s overall structure to be experienced. The result is simply amazing to hear and continuously engaging! © 2014 Cinemusical Read complete review



Mark Pullinger
International Record Review, April 2014

Glière’s Symphony No. 3, subtitled ‘Il’ya Muromets’, was one of the last hurrahs of Russian romanticism, dedicated to Glazunov and first performed in Moscow in 1912. The ever-adventurous Naxos takes the plunge here in a gripping recording featuring the Buffalo Philharmonic under its Music Director, JoAnn Falletta.

…Falletta’s…account is…spectacularly recorded and presents a fine case for a neglected symphony. © 2014 International Record Review




Erik Levi
BBC Music Magazine, April 2014

…Falletta and her excellent orchestra give a visceral account of the score projecting its wide range of moods, from mystery and enchantment to violence and tragic intensity, with far greater immediacy than the refined if comparatively staid interpretation from Edward Downes and the BBC Philharmonic on Chandos. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, March 2014

This is an important recording for several reasons. First, it contains the finest version yet recorded of Glière’s epic Third Symphony, “Il’ya Muromets.” Second, it defines once and for all how the piece is supposed to go.

Now I am not going to suggest that the symphony is concise or pithily argued, but this interpretation makes better sense of it than any previous version, and it’s also engineered with the vividness and impact necessary to do the playing full justice. The myth of the music’s awkward gigantism and formal diffuseness has been debunked, with the perhaps paradoxical result that the symphony’s true stature has grown proportionately. © 2014 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Rob Maynard
MusicWeb International, March 2014

Ms Falletta—aided by some fine engineering work—…proves adept at keeping orchestral textures clear so that all sorts of sometimes overlooked detail are revealed.

What we have here…is an excellent performance that is enhanced by its superb—and superbly balanced—sound-picture. Even without the attractive Naxos price, it would be among the best recommendations for a listener coming new to Gliere’s mammoth score. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, March 2014

Falletta and her orchestra performed the symphony in 2013, live and without cuts, so the work’s rich expressions and epic scope are conveyed with…impressive effect…While this recording must compete with several other complete versions, it should be counted among the best, and it is recommended for any newcomers to this fascinating symphony. © 2014 Allmusic.com Read complete review




Jeff Simon
The Buffalo News, March 2014

Listen to this magnificent disc and you will never again be moved to argue…that the Buffalo Philharmonic is a world-class orchestra. What you have on this disc, giving a magnificent performance of one of the great and massive repertory rarities, is the work of a truly great world-class orchestra. © 2014 The Buffalo News Read complete review



Infodad.com, March 2014

The Glière work requires a very large orchestra that includes eight horns, two harps and a celesta, and it needs a conductor who can sustain the scene-setting as well as the dramatic elements without allowing the 70-minute work to flag…JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic acquit themselves splendidly in their recording for Naxos, with the orchestra rising to the occasion with warmth and grandeur of sound and Falletta doing a first-rate job of contrasting Glière’s instances of extreme quiet with those of overwhelming massed sonority. Glière’s grand-scale music is evocative and highly expressive, very much in the Romantic mode. Falletta’s accomplished conducting brings it to vivid life and should lead to a reconsideration of Glière’s music in general… © 2014 Infodad.com Read complete review




Pierre-Jean Tribor
ResMusica.com, February 2014

The conductor JoAnn Falletta is following a discographic journey almost without a misstep through symphonic scores that are virtuosic but forgotten. After beautiful albums of Erno Dohnanyi, Gustav Holst or Josef Suk, she tackles the formidable Symphony No. 3 of Gliere.

JoAnn Falletta brilliantly rises to the challenge; her baton matches the melodic sense while paying attention to the luxurious orchestration. The Buffalo Philharmonic displays an impressive presence with its cohesive ensemble and the precision of its players, especially the brass section in the difficult challenges posed by Gliere.

Well recorded, this CD has become the only reference of this score that one would love to hear one day in concert. © 2014 ResMusica.com



Gavin Dixon
Classical CD Reviews, February 2014

Listening to Glière’s Third Symphony, especially in this excellent new recording from JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic, it is difficult to understand why the piece doesn’t have a place at the very centre of the orchestral repertoire. The music is in a Russian Romantic vein, by turns lyrical and dramatic, and filled with memorable tunes, intense dramatic episodes and dazzling orchestral effects.

This recording is the result of a major project focussing on the symphony…The intensive rehearsal has clearly paid off, because the orchestra is on top form. Ensemble throughout is very precise, particularly so within sections. Yet there is never any feeling that they are playing it safe. The orchestra really brings out the myriad colours and exotic textures, which the sound engineering captures spectacularly well. There is plenty of weight from the brass, but they never overpower at the climaxes, and always retain their tonal control.

Naxos is rightly marketing this recording as the rediscovery of a little-known masterpiece.

A top recommendation, then, for this new Il’ya Muromets. It’s a symphony that should really be known much better than it is, so let’s hope that this excellent new recording puts it one step further in that direction. © 2014 Classical CD Reviews Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2014

It was the advent of ‘sound spectaculars’ in the LP era that rescued Gliere’s Third Symphony from oblivion and introduced the first disc in the digital recording era. For those ‘knob-twiddling’ sound engineers it had everything, from the low quiet rumblings of the opening, to the massive brass outburst that ends the first movement, orientated conclusion. Then to the charm of sounds from nature with bird song in the second movement and the shimmering light that comes from the French Impressionist era. A brief respite from intensity with a lightweight scherzo in a style derived from Borodin, before the battle commences in a final movement lasting not far short of half an hour, the uneasy drum beats threatening the warrior, Ill’ya Muromets. The percussion and heavy brass have a feast of activity, the story ending in sadness as ll’ya and his warriors are turned to stone. The brass are stunning with a fabulous principal trumpet and sonorous horns, while the many woodwind solos are excellently played. The bottom line is a very strong recommendation, the performance and sound quality being in the premiere league… © 2014 David’s Review Corner





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