Malaysian Philharmonic, Kees Bakels – Kalinnikov: The Two Symphonies (2011) [eClassical FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Malaysian Philharmonic, Kees Bakels – Kalinnikov: The Two Symphonies (2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 77:28 minutes | 714 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Covers & Digital Booklet

These performances are at least as fine as any by Russian ensembles, and they are surely better recorded. Vassily Kalinnikov’s symphonies hover on the edge of the repertoire, but they are very beautiful works-a touch stiff formally, perhaps, but melodically extremely attractive, and very, very Russian. Kees Bakels and the orchestra, as with the Rimsky-Korsakov recordings from these forces, make a wholly positive impression. The strings sing richly in the soaring melodies in the allegros and slow movements; rhythms snap with the requisite tang in the two scherzos. Bakels pays special attention to details of color and balance: listen to how sensitively the ticking harp in the First symphony’s slow movement underpins the musical discourse. It’s truly poetic. If you want these works in modern sound, this is the disc to get.

Dying of tuberculosis just before his 35th birthday in 1901, Vassily Kalinnikov had precious few years to prove himself as a composer, but still had the time to write several songs and choral and orchestral works, among which the two symphonies are the crowning glories. Especially the first symphony enjoyed a particular success even during the composer’s lifetime, with performances in Berlin, Paris and Vienna, as well as in Moscow. It was famously recorded by Toscanini in 1943 and is still part of the repertory of many Russian orchestras. Kalinnikov’s gifts for melody, of a distinctly ‘Russian’ nature, and orchestration are frequently remarked upon, often in comparison to Tchaikovsky, who in fact supported his younger colleague. Another important figure in Russian music, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, is said to have found evidence of real talent in a manuscript of the first symphony sent to him by the composer, but was apparently less than enthusiastic regarding its technical merits.


01 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – I. Allegro moderato
02 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – II. Andante commodamente
03 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – III. Scherzo
04 – Symphony No.1 in G minor – IV. Finale. Allegro moderato
05 – Symphony No.2 in A major – I. Moderato
06 – Symphony No.2 in A major – II. Andante cantabile
07 – Symphony No.2 in A major – III. Allegro scherzando
08 – Symphony No.2 in A major – IV. Andante cantabile

Composer: Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov
Orchestra: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Kees Bakels

Recorded in December 2000 at the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS Hall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Recording producer: Robert Suff. Sound engineer: Jens Braun. Digital editing: Elisabeth Kemper.