and Dance of Salome for SalomÈ, Op. 90. Tsar Iudeyskiy,
Op. 95 "The King of the Jews"
Immediately after working on SalomÈ, Glazunov was asked to write incidental music for a mystery-play with a text by the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich called The King of the Jews, which was premiered in January 1914 with a cast that included the Grand Duke. Apparently all of Glazunov's music is included on this CD, beginning with an Introduction and Chorus which utilizes a musical idea representing "the figure on the cross," used at other times throughout the score at appropriate times. There are several choral sections, some with a baritone soloist, and the work consists of, in addition to the Introduction and Chorus, four Entr'actes, Song of Jesus' Disciples, The Levites' Trumpets (actually horns), Act II ending, Syrian Dance, Shepherd's Musette and Song of the Singers of Psalms. Among these is another Salome's Dance, again, as before, a chaste approach to the subject.
Neither of these scores represent Glazunov at his best. Polyansky and his fine orchestra and chorus do what can be done, with sound from Chandos that vividly conveys the performances in a resonant acoustic. It is rather odd that Chandos would issue this recording as their catalog still contains a 1996 recording of The King of the Jews with the same orchestra and chorus directed by Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Chandos 9467), although that CD contains no filler. Program notes for both CDs are by David Nice, informative as far as they go, but not sufficiently detailed to tell the listener exactly what is included in each excerpt. Some collectors may remember an early Turnabout LP of The King of the Jews, which left out all of the choral parts. Now we have it complete, not only in the two Chandos issues, but via a Naxos Russian recording I haven't heard. Recommended only for those who must have everything Glazunov composed.