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Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, February 2015

Golovchin and his Russian players make committed advocates for this substantial work (Second Symphony) which I see as the interaction between the human spirit and the character of the all-powerful sea. Adopting an unyielding structural control Golovchin brings impressive warmth and intensity without ever letting the flow wilt or labour.

Golovchin has the full measure of these works and the orchestra plays as if its life depended on it. These Rubinstein works should fit the bill for those interested in good quality romantic repertoire slightly off the beaten track. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Lee Passarella
Audiophile Audition, August 2012

Here we have the original, very substantial first version of Anton Rubinstein’s Second Symphony, a work whose programmatic intent is to convey the triumph of the human spirit over the raw, nearly unconquerable energy of the sea. That energy is portrayed in the seething, darkly dramatic first movement, where the sea seems to have the upper hand.

The second movement, a contemplative Adagio non tanto, bears an epigraph from Rubinstein: “deep is the sea, deep is the human soul, with feelings like waves.” It introduces the human element for the first time and seems to represent the inner life of humankind placed against the constant, impersonal momentum of ocean waves.

The performances by the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia under Igor Golovchin aren’t the last word in refinement, but there’s a special energy to the playing (including a healthy Russian blare to the contributions from the brass) that commend this CD over rival versions…if you’re not familiar with Rubinstein’s music, here is an excellent place to start an acquaintanceship. © 2012 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Film Music: The Neglected Art, April 2012

The first movement [of Anton Rubinstein's Ocean] sets the mood as the sea is depicted with its power, calm, and beauty. It begins with tremolo from the strings as the flutes offer a theme which sets the mood for this major passage. The entire orchestra comes to a rousing crescendo with majestic fanfare from the horns. A second romantic melody is offered by the strings with harmony from the rest of the string section and while this is an upbeat section of the movement one can hear the impending conflict brewing in the background depicting the turbulence of the sea. The adagio second movement offers a yearning melody with excellent counterpoint from the orchestra.. The third movement, an allegro, is quite proud and majestic with horns complementing the string work.

“Dance of the Bayaderes” begins the suite with a nice melody filled with gaiety, well developed as the composer returns to the melody for the entire dance. “Dance of the Bayaderes II is one that begins with a sense of urgency evolving into something quite lively and frantic. “Wedding Procession,” the final selection is a march filled with splendor and grandeur offering a happy ending.

The digital recording is a nice clean transfer with nice balance between the treble, bass, and individual clarity of the solo instruments when called for…this CD will give you the opportunity to listen to some interesting melodic material from a composer that many of you are not familiar with. Recommended! © 2012 Read complete review

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