Donald Macleod on Arensky's move from the Moscow Conservatoire to the Imperial Chapel.
Described by Tchaikovsky as a man of remarkable gifts - Leo Tolstoy said of him that among the new composers he is the best, he is simple and melodious.
Celebrating 150 years since the composer's birth, Donald Macleod in conversation with Gerard McBurney, journey through this murky picture that is Arensky's life and music.
During the 1890's, Arensky composed his second opera Raphael.
This was a commission to mark the opening of the Tretyakov Gallery, and was based on the life of the Florentine Renaissance artist Raphael.
Tchaikovksy spent much time and effort trying to promote this work, but died before its premiere.
This was a terrible shock to Arensky, and his second String Quartet unusually scored for violin, viola and two cellos, was dedicated to the memory of his greatest supporter.
Arensky's own lifestyle was catching up with him, for his drinking and gambling had resulted in his inability to be promoted to Professor at the Moscow Conservatoire.
Arensky resigned in high dudgeon, but not before obtaining a new position at the Imperial Chapel, taking over the reigns of Director from Balakirev.
An example of his choral writing, is the beautiful three vocal quartets for choir and solo cello.
The programme finishes with Arensky's second symphony, which some believe forms a synthesis between the opposing musical schools in Russia: the Moscow and St Petersburg groups.
This work also displays the influence of Liszt upon Arensky, as explained by guest Gerard McBurney.
Serenade in G op.30 no.2 2.02
Itzhak Perlman (violin)
Samuel Sanders (piano)
Moderato, from String Quartet no.2 op.35 (1894) 10.49
Raphael's Aria from Raphael op.37 (1894) 4.36
Marina Domashenko (mezzo-soprano)
Constantine Orbelian (conductor)
Philharmonia of Russia
Three Vocal Quartets op.57 7.08
Russian State Symphonic Cappella
Dmitri Miller (cello)
Valeri Polyansky (conductor)
Symphony no.2 op.22 (1888) 22.29
Evgeny Svetlanov (conductor)
Russian Federation State Symphony Orchestra