From the notes for this 1979 issue of Taneyev's thoroughly engaging Symphony in C minor, Op. 12:
"In the history of Russian music, Serge Taneyev occupies a unique position. Taneyev's contemporaries in Russia were primarily concerned with how to write truly authentic Russian music. Taneyev's answer to the dilemma was as novel as it was solid: he claimed that Russian music had to be based on folksong, but that the folksong needed to undergo a process of intellectual transformation.... And Taneyev knew what he was talking about: of all contemporary Russian musicians, he had by far the most universal education. He was well versed in Ancient Greek and Latin, had gained deep insight into the peculiarities of European cultural history, felt a strong affinity to the vocabulary of Baroque art and the structural models of the classical period, had undertaken a comprehensive study of philosophy and had close contact with German and French intellectuals. In addition, he was a highly gifted writer and one of Russia's foremost pianists, of quite phenomenal ability. Taneyev was, in fact, one of the most integrated personalities in 19th-century musical Europe; later, he handed on his vast knowledge and experience to the next generation, becoming an exemplary teacher. Taneyev's name repeatedly occurs in the biographies of Nicholas Miaskovsky, Alexander Scriabin, Serge Rachmaninov, Nicholas Medtner and Ottorino Respighi, for he had a decisive influence on the spiritual growth of these and many other composers....
The Symphony in C minor, Op. 12, was finished in the year 1898. It is the only work of its kind Taneyev allowed to be published (1901), and consequently bears the title 'First Symphony'. It was in actual fact his fourth attempt.... Extremely critical of his own work, Taneyev was continually searching for the perfect balance between inspiration and execution. His C minor Symphony was a masterpiece of its kind. Rimsky-Korsakov, a close friend of Taneyev's, admired the work not only for its 'noble style' but also for its 'excellent form' and the 'superb handling of musical ideas.' One remarkable feature of this mighty, in places bluntly archaic work is the use of themes from the first movement in other parts of the symphony, masterfully integrated into the whole. It is fascinating the way in which his brilliant style betrays his origns - a composition pupil of Tchaikovsky and the spiritual executor of his will - and simultaneously traces his own development."
Rimsky-Korsakov's "Antar" Symphony is well-paired with Miaskovsky's 21st Symphony on the accompanying 1968 disc from composer / conductor Morton Gould (the latter work having been written on commission for the Chicago Symphony's 50th anniversary).
The works on both of these LPs are beautifully conducted and performed from beginning to end.
LP transfers of material issued 1968 and 1979 (RCA; German RCA).
Includes original covers and notes (German, English and French).