C1494. NIKOLAI MALKO Cond. Danish National S.O.: 'New World' Symphony #9 in e (Dvorák); Galdreslätten (Saeverud); Fest-Polonaise (Svendsen); Two Interviews (in Danish) with Malko, 1947 & 1952. (Canada) St Laurent Studio YSL 78-400, Recorded 1948-51. [Svendsen's 'Fest-Polonaise' alone is worth the price of the CD!] Transfers by Yves St Laurent.
“Svendsen experienced a defining moment in his career in Bayreuth in 1872, when he played in the first violin section of Richard Wagner’s own orchestra. He and Wagner met and struck up a close friendship.
The ‘Fest-Polonaise’ was composed in honour of the Coronation of the Swedish-Norwegian King Oscar II and Queen Sophie, and brims with a sense of pomp and ceremony suitable for the grand occasion. It became one of the composer’s great successes. This festive work shows the influence of Berlioz in its colourful orchestration and clear contrasts. Humour, joy, and breathtaking virtuosity are contrasted with moments of pure romance and lyrical beauty.
Malko completed his studies in history and philology at Saint Petersburg University in 1906. In 1909 he graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, where he had included Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Lyadov among his teachers. He published articles on music criticism in the Russian press and performed as a pianist and later as a conductor. In 1909 he became a conductor at the Mariinsky Theatre and, six years later, the head conductor there. From 1909 he studied conducting in Munich under Felix Mottl. In 1918 he became the director of the conservatory in Vitebsk and from 1921 taught at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1921 to 1924 he shuttled between Vitebsk, Moscow, Kiev and Kharkiv, conducting in each of these cities. In 1925 he became a professor of the Leningrad Conservatory. He became conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in 1926 and conducted the world première of the Symphony #1 by his pupil Dmitri Shostakovich that same year, and the premiere of Shostakovitch's Symphony #2, dedicated to him, in 1927. Malko also conducted the premiere of Nikolai Myaskovsky's 5th Symphony. Myaskovsky's 9th Symphony was dedicated to Nikolai Malko. He was succeeded as director of the Leningrad Philharmonic by his pupil Yevgeny Mravinsky in 1938, and continued to teach at the Conservatory. With the outbreak of World War II in 1940, Malko settled in the United States, where he also taught conducting. His thoughts on conducting technique were gathered together and published in a volume entitled, THE CONDUCTOR AND HIS BATON (1950).
Malko recorded extensively for EMI in Copenhagen and then with the Philharmonia, in London. In 1951 he premiered Vagn Holmboe's 7th Symphony with the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1954 he came to Britain as principal conductor of the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. In 1956 he moved to Australia, becoming chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra following the hurried departure of Sir Eugene Goossens. In 1960, the Danish King Frederick IX named Malko a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog. Malko continued in his position as Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra until his death in Sydney in 1961.”
- Ned Ludd
“Each of these disks, from Canadian engineer Yves St Laurent… [feature] St Laurent's natural transfer – made without filtering, like all his dubbings – it is easy to listen to, despite the surface noise.”
- Tully Potter, CLASSICAL RECORD QUARTERLY, Summer, 2011