Glazunov's two piano concertos in revitalised recordings
XR remasterings bring his adopted daughter's 1956 performances alive
Elena Glazunov, piano
Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra
conductor Alois Melichar
Notes on the transfers:
The notes which accompanied this Telefunken LP, issued in the UK in conjunction with Decca, refer to the pianist Elena Glazunov as the composer's daughter. Elsewhere she is referred to as his step-daughter. Certainly there is room for confusion! In fact Glazunov got to know Elena as a pianist in the 1920s and subsequently married her mother, thus making the pianist his step-daughter. That he then formally adopted her technically makes both statements correct, though to imply any kind of blood relationship is to perhaps confuse the reader and blur the truth.
The fact that Glazunov asked Elena to give the Paris première of his second concerto is perhaps more pertinent - he clearly held her pianistic abilities in great store, and one would assume that composer and player/daughter collaborated toa significant degree in preparing for that performance. How much Elena kept to the composer's intentions some thirty years later when making the present recording is of course impossible to know, but this is a rare opportunity to hear the interpretations of a composer's ideas by someone not only of great ability but also with a particular and unusual insight into the mind of the man.
The recording here was generally well-made, if a little acoustically dead, and transferred from an excellent near-mint British Decca pressing from the early 1960s. It responded very well to XR remastering, which has lifted something of a dim veil from the original and brought it greatly to life.