Magazine article Gramophone

Koussevitsky's Nephew

Magazine article Gramophone

Koussevitsky's Nephew

Article excerpt

No one could claim that Fabien Sevitzky (1893-1967), Serge Koussevitsky's nephew, was in the Mengelberg class, or indeed in his uncle's league. But he was a very good conductor none the less. Sevitzky became Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1937 after he first conducted it in the winter of the previous year and remained at the orchestra's helm until 1955, when he moved to Miami.

The second volume in Pristine's Indianapolis/Sevitzky series (the first on PASC479 featured a fine account of Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony) includes two undoubted highlights, the first of which, Alexander Glazunov's suite From the Middle Ages, is a world-premiere recording (and the only version of the work to be released on 78s). Sevitzky's performance is at its best in the two middle movements, the feisty 'Scherzo' (which is especially well recorded) and the richly scored and achingly beautiful 'Serenade of the Troubador', both movements also recorded by the RAI Orchestra, Turin under Victor de Sabata (now out on Naxos). It would be some while before Nikolai Golovanov would make his benchmark LP of the whole work for Melodiya, and years after that before Yevgeny Svetlanov, a Golovanov admirer whose approach was in certain respects not dissimilar, taped his excellent stereo version.

The other highlight on this Sevitzky CD is the Gershwin/Robert Russell Bennett Porgy and Bess Symphonic Picture with one oddity, a bassoon going proxy for the banjo in 'I got plenty o' nuttin". …

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