Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857)



Until his mid-thirties, Glinka was regarded as a musical dilettante, but this relatively untrained man went on to produce a four-act opera which was to change the course of Russian musical history. Donald Macleod introduces some of Glinka's early songs and chamber music and the first of his orchestral works.
O Thou Dear, Darling Little Girl
Nicolai Gedda (tenor)
Jan Eyron (piano)
Nocturne for harp
Susan Drake (harp)
The Poor Singer; Alla Cetra
Inessa Galante (soprano)
Roger Vignoles (piano)
Grand Sextet (1st movement)
Russian National Symphony Orchestra Soloists Ensemble
Capriccio on Russian Themes
Joan Yarbrough and Robert Cowan (piano)
Symphony on Two Russian Themes
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor).


Donald Macleod introduces the opera that established Glinka's reputation.
Life for the Tsar (Excerpts from Acts 1 and 4)
Susanin....Boris Martinovich (bass-baritone)
Antonida....Alexandrina Pendachanska (soprano)
Sofia Festival Orchestra
Emil Tchakarov (conductor).


Owing to the huge success of his first opera, Glinka was offered a prestigious job at the Imperial Court, but it was fraught with difficulty and he was also beset with health problems, and marital and financial difficulties. Donald Macleod introduces music from this rocky period of Glinka's life, including incidental music that eventually took on a life of its own after the play for which it was written flopped disastrously.
Where is our rose?
Boris Christoff (bass)
I recall a wonderful moment; The fire of longing burns in my heart; Doubt
Sergei Leiferkus (baritone)
Semion Skigin (piano)
La Premiere Polka
USSR Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov (conductor)
Travelling Song; Farewell Song
Sergei Leiferkus (baritone)
Semion Skigin (piano)
Prince Kholmsky
USSR Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov (conductor).


Glinka's star was looking distinctly tarnished with all the furore surrounding his acrimonious separation and divorce from his wife. That was soon to change with the production of his second opera, which eventually gained a reputation as one of the seminal works of the 19th century.
Ruslan and Lyudmila (Overture and excerpts from Acts 4 and 5)
Lyudmila....Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Ruslan....Vladimir Ognovenko (bass)
Gorislava....Galina Gorchakova (soprano)
Ratmir....Larissa Diadkova (mezzo-soprano)
Svetosar....Mikhail Kit (bass)
Farlaf....Gennady Bezzubenkov (bass)
Kirov Orchestra
Valery Gergiev (conductor).

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Donald Macleod introduces works from Glinka's final years.
Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano)
Mstislav Rostropovich (piano)
Capriccio brillante on the Jota aragonesa
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor)
Reminscences on a Mazurka; Variations on Scottish Themes
Valery Kamyshov (piano)
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky (conductor)
Recollection of a Summer Night in Madrid
USSR Symphony Orchestra
Evgeny Svetlanov (conductor)
BBC Philharmonic
Vasily Sinaisky (conductor).