Nicolai Golovanov. 78rpm recordings


I’m in the midst of a trip to the mid-Atlantic, which means I have some new items from the vast collection of Ward Marston, more of which I’ll be posting very soon. Meanwhile, here’s some more of the always galvanic Golovanov, leading some lesser known items, taken from 78 rpm pressings. The transfers themselves are a collaboration: Ward made the raw dubs (and how he manages to make these records sound this good is beyond my understanding!), then I worked on the side joins. This way we were able to keep on dubbing instead of spending time connecting things. The Gliere Concerto had some difficult side joins, so thank goodness there is this site where one may download the score. Oddly, the sequencing of the original 78 set places the second part of the work first, on sides one and two. If anyone could explain a reason for this I’d love to know about it. I have followed the score’s sequencing here. I don’t know the arranger for the Bach Air, but it’s a very ripe arrangement, and Golovanov plays it to the hilt and then some! What an object lesson in control of timing, phrasing and color this is! Golovanov seems to have a swell pedal with which he controls the orchestra’s volume! The same goes for the Grieg and Sibelius, which are highly personal, seemingly whimsical in the sudden shifts of tempo and dynamics, but also irresistible in sweep and passion, and totally convincing to me, and needless to say, unique.

The Marche Slave is a bit disappointingly square at times, and there’s an unwelcome surprise in the Soviet-era substitution of one of the major themes of the work, with what I can’t tell you, but hold on to your hats! Kazantseva has her raw moments in the Gliere, mostly in the second part, but makes some lovely sounds as well, and it’s certainly a treat to have this somewhat rare work in a Golovanov rendition. The last two items were dubbed on my less than state of the art 78 playback equipment, so don’t expect the Marston magic on those! I decided to include the flip side on the Carmen record, which is conducted by Vassily Nebolsin.

Bach: Air (from Suite No. 3)
12414/5 (rec. 1945)

Grieg: Notturno, (from Lyric Pieces Op. 54, No. 4)
Sibelius: Valse triste

018870/1 (rec. 1949)

Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina Dawn on the Moscow River
15751/2 (rec. 1948)

Glinka: Valse-Fantasie
016996/7 (rec. 1949)

Glazunov: Valse de concert No. 2 in F, Op. 51
015922/3 (rec. 1948)

Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave
12349/52 (rec. 1944) (from Supraphon 40023/24)

Gliere: Concerto for Coloratura Soprano
Gliere: O, ne vpletaj cvetovi, Op. 18, No. 7 (Oh, do not braid the flowers)
Nadezhda Kazantseva, Soprano
13120/5 (rec. 1945)

Bizet: Carmen Act 4 Entr’acte

Bizet: Carmen Gypsy Dance (Vassily Nebolsin, conductor)
Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater
14657/9648 (rec. 1947)

Glazunov: Serenade in A, Op. 7
D 00705 (7″ 78 rpm pressing) (rec. 1952)

Svendsen: Norwegian Folksong Suite
D 00794 (7″ 78 rpm pressing) (rec. 1949)

Nicolai Golovanov, conductor
Moscow Radio Symphony (unless noted)

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