Glazunov & Schoeck: Works for violin and orchestra
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads availableCDA67940
The dance which has become known as the Mazurka (in Polish, Mazurek) takes that name from the district of Mazovia, around Warsaw, originally inhabited by the Slavic ethnic group known as the Mazurs: though it has come to be a general designation applied to a number of dances from that area, principally the moderate-paced Mazur, the slow Kujawiak and the fast Oberek, which share similar features. All these dances, which would normally have been danced to the accompaniment of a bagpipe and fiddle, are in triple time, with a dotted rhythm and a strong accent (signalling a tap of the heel) on the second or third beat. These features can clearly be heard in Glazunov’s piece, which also shows he is aware of the distinctions between the various forms of the dance.
Beginning Allegro vivo with bagpipe imitations in the orchestra and a repetitive theme which recurs many times as a kind of ritornello, the Mazurka-oberek soon displays a solo violin part quite as virtuosic as anything in the concerto while Glazunov constructs a succession of attractive tunes with a distinct Polish character. The frosty delicacy of the scoring and the range of sonorities Glazunov draws from the violin in harmonics, trills and sonorous double- and triple-stopping show he had lost none of his sure compositional touch. This delightful piece, which works up to a scintillating conclusion, deserves to be better known.
from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2013