Glazunov Symphony No 6 in c, Op 53

1898? Glazunov's Sixth Symphony was the work that established its 32-year-old composer as Tchaikovsky's natural successor. Like much of his music, its debts and aims are a bit too overt. José Serebrier and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra make a superbly articulated case for the piece but can't disguise the fact that the Tchaikovskyan overtones are self-consciously done, as if Glazunov was angling for the supposed succession from the outset. La Mer and Salome, meanwhile, inevitably invite comparison with the more familiar works with which they share their titles. La Mer, written in 1889, is a striking Wagnerian seascape that bears no resemblance to Debussy's. Salome consists of the incidental music for a 1908 production of the Oscar Wilde play that also forms the basis of Strauss's opera. Given that Glazunov was a great ballet composer, one might have expected him to at least get the Dance of the Seven Veils right. Instead he falls back on a kind of bogus orientalism, which is unoriginal and unconvincing.-T Ashley, The Guardian.


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