Dmytro Popov – Rachmaninoff – The Bells, Op. 35 – Taneyev – John of Damasacus, Op. 1 (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:04:38 minutes | 623 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Oehms Classics
Inspired by the American poet Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), the symphonic poem The Bells was written in 1913. Its four parts describe different features of bell ringing: children’s sleigh bells in the first section, the wedding bells of a young couple in the second, alarm bells for a misfortune in the third, and mourning bells in the fourth. Rachmaninov uses the text version by Konstantin Balmont (1867–1943), who freely rewrote Edgar Allan Poe’s original. Rachmaninov adeptly avoided the direct emulation of bell sounds through carillons and similar percussion instruments.
Having learned the appropriate compositional techniques from the polyphony of Bach and Handel, Taneyev pursued the idea of combining counterpoint and Russian folk music. The cantata Ioann Damaskin (Johannes Damascenus), written in 1883-84, refers to a longer poem by Aleksei K. Tolstoy (1817-1875). It deals with the retreat of John of Damascus (c.676-c.754) from worldly crowds to a spiritual retreat. From this very long poem, however, Taneyev selected merely 16 lines on which to base his church cantata, without reference to any biographical background. It is simply about man’s path through life in darkness and fear, followed by redemption at The Last Judgement. The work’s Baroque-style counterpoint occupies a special position in Russian late Romanticism.
1. Dmytro Popov – I. Allegro ma non tanto
2. Anna Samuil – II. Lento
3. Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno – III. Presto
4. Vladislav Sulimsky – IV. Lento lugubre
5. Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno – I. Adagio non troppo
6. Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno – II. Andante sostenuto
7. Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno – III. Fugue. Allegro