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Foggy Bottom? It’s what Russians think of English music

A series on English music opened last night in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Curated by Gennadiy Rozhdestvensky, 82, sometime chief condcutor at the BBC, it is titled ‘Foggy Albion’, subtly reinforcing old Russian prejudices of climate and perfidy.

The opening concert consisted of Michael Tippett’s first symphony and Gustav Holst’s The Planets. Here’s a link in English.


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  1. Rozhdestvensky!!!! Great man. I adore him.

  2. Just like the old days when he was at the BBC SO! Golden memories…….

  3. Louis Blois says:

    That would explain the paucity of English music in the Melodiya catalogue. I don’t think there’s even one complete Vaughan Williams cycle by a Russian conductor.

  4. I remember a shattering VW 4th with the LSO in 1976 (which should be issued if it’s around). At the conclusion of the work on the third curtain call, Rozhdestvensky simply held the score aloft.

  5. I’ve seen Rozhdestvensky do some really interesting things in Moscow; unfortunately in the U.S. he usually gets asked to do Tchaikovsky.

  6. “A series on English music opened last night in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory” – if so, it’s part 2. Rozhdestvensky did a similar series in the same hall in 2012, featuring programs devoted to Elgar, VW, Walton and Britten.

  7. Theodore McGuiver says:

    So why the reference to Washington DC in the title?

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