C0750. ALEXANDER GAUK Cond. Moscow Radio S.O.: Fantasia on Russian folk themes; Sinfonietta for string orchestra; Capriccio on English themes; SAMUIL SAMOSUD Cond. Moscow Phil.: Slavonic rhapsody (all Boris Tchaikovsky). (Russia) Northern Flowers 9957, recorded 1952-57.
“Alexander Gauk….a revered teacher whose pupils included Mravinsky, Melik-Pashaev and Svetlanov, is a warmly sensitive accompanist, seeming to make his orchestra breathe with the singers who never need to force their tone to get the text across.”
- Christopher Webber, OPERA, May, 2012
“Samuil Abramovich Samosud was the Principal Conductor of the Maly Opera Theatre from 1919 to 1936. He conducted three world premičres here: Shostakovich’s THE NOSE (1930) and LADY MACBETH OF THE MTSENSK DISTRICT (1935) - both interpretations were acknowledged as exemplary by the composer - and Prokofiev’s WAR AND PEACE (1946, 1955). Samosud also collaborated with director Vsevolod Meyerhold on a new version of Tchaikovsky’s opera THE QUEEN OF SPADES (1935).
Samosud was also not afraid to tackle works by contemporary Western composers. He conducted the Russian premičres of the operas DER SPRUNG ÜBER DEN SCHATTEN (1927) and JONNY SPIELT AUF by Austrian composer Ernst Krenek. ‘It would be worth travelling from Germany for DER SPRUNG ÜBER DEN SCHATTEN alone. It is an astounding, stunning production’, enthused composer Paul Hindemith. Ernest Ansermet, at that time Principal Conductor of the Geneva Symphony Orchestra, was fully in agreement: ‘I would be so bold as to say that the former Mikhailovsky Theatre is the best opera house in Russia; only La Scala in Milan can compete with it as regards performance. The production is simply brilliant. Samosud has no rivals in the West’. Thanks to Samuil Samosud, the mastery of the Maly Opera Theatre’s opera company and orchestra reached such a high level that almost every premičre was a sensation, attracting the cream of the country’s creative intelligentsia. The Mikhailovsky Theatre continues to follow the artistic principles laid down by Samuil Samosud: attention to and interest in the classics, coupled with experimentation and a search for new stars.”
- Mikhailovsky Theatre