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Les Vendredis
Collection of pieces for »string quartet from Belaieff's Friday Concerts (1899)«
1 CD | 77min | Nr. SWR19034CD
CD 1: » Alexander Glasunow: Preludio e Fuga
» Nikolay Artcibouchev: Sérénade A major
» Alexander Glasunow: Polka D major – Allegretto
» Jāzeps Vītols: Menuet B flat major – Con moto moderato
» Nikolay Sokolov: Canon D major – Adagio assai
» Maximilian d'Osten-Sacken: Berceuse
» Anatol Ljadow: Mazurka D major
» Felix Blumenfeld: Sarabande G major – Andante semplice
» Nikolay Sokolov: Scherzo D major – Allegro
» Nikolai Rimsky-Korssakoff: Allegro B flat major – Allegro commodo - Tempo animato - Più mosso
» Anatol Ljadow: Sarabande g minor – Adagio
» Alexander Borodin: Scherzo D major
» Anatol Ljadow: Fuga d minor – Moderato
» Nikolay Sokolov: Mazurka a minor – Moderato
» Alexander Glasunow: Courante G major – Andante sostenuto
» Aleksandr Kopylov: Polka C major – Tempo di Polka - Meno mosso - Tempo primo - Più mosso

Mitrofan Petrovich Belaieff was a wealthy Russian wood trader, who was also an excellent violist and the founder of a music publishing house. Beginning in the 1880s he held regular string quartet evenings every Friday, inviting the most popular composers and musicians of St. Petersburg.

The collection of works for string quartets by these composers was published in 1899 as Les Vendredis. The current release presents these rarely-performed pieces by Russian composers from the end of the 19th century. The Szymanowski Quartet is the perfect ensemble for these Russian miniatures, demonstrating an exciting mixture of musical enthusiasm and soulful performances.

Les Vendredis is a collection of string quartets by several Russian composers, who played a key role at the famous Friday evening concerts organized by the music publisher Belaieff at the end of the 19th century. Alexander Glazunov, Anatoli Liadov and Rimsky-Korsakov are among the illustrious names that formed that musical society. Belaieff, son and heir of a wealthy wood trader, was a music enthusiast and an excellent violist. Thus, it was only natural that he hosted string quartet concerts in his house and commissioned composers for new string quartet works. Some of these works were published in 1899 by Belaieff’s own publishing house, which he had founded in the 1880s. The works of this collection continue to fascinate to this day, but are, unfortunately, only rarely performed.

The Szymanowski Quartet, who are known for their exciting and cleverly compiled concert programmes, perform this repertoire with both pleasure and passion. Their technical perfection suits the musical challenges and their soulful performance highlights the lyrical emotions of these Russian musical treasures.