At the age of 14, my brother and l bought our first Svetlanov recording (Russian overtures). It was like being struck by lightning! From that moment on, Svetlanov has always been on our minds and every new recording became a true celebration. We are 68 years old now and we are still subdued by his magnificent presence.
I have been immersing myself in the Miaskovsky cycle conducted by the Great Maestro Svetlanov. I am thankful that these wonderful performances have been released to the public in such good sound. For those of us in the West it would otherwise be very difficult, if not impossible to hear the complete cycle of these symphonies which deserve to be heard and in such dedicated performances. I look forward to the future releases of material from the Svetlanov archive.
Thank God for this Master Musician. We are forever the richer for his musical insight and brave, exciting leadership. Who else given a Russian orchestra could do full justice to Rachmaninov and show the rest of the world how it should be done!
I am deeply grateful to the creators of the site! I come from St Petersburg, and for me Svetlanov, together with Mravinsky, was, is and will always be one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century. For 13 years I never missed one of his concerts in our city. I remember well the last concert where the St Petersburg Philharmonic orchestra played Wagner. I somehow plucked up the courage to thank the Maestro after the concert. He was very kind and welcomed me warmly, shaking my hand. The warmth of this hand is still there as if it were yesterday. His great Art continues to shine and will always warm our hearts. Again, thank you!!!!
Jean-Pierre Pister / Metz France
I remember the emotional shock that I felt in 1969 upon listening to the vinyl recording of the USSR Symphony Orchestra performing Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies conducted by Evgeny Svetlanov. And then from Shostakovitch’s Symphony N°7 that I brought from Moscow in 1973, recently remastered on CD! The most memorable experience was a concert at the Metz Arsenal in December 1992. My greatest disappointment occurred in Montpellier in 2002 when the Maestro performed “Madame Butterfly”: the hall was sold out. Many thanks Maestro for this great music.
Robert van der Toorn
For me Svetlanov was the greatist conductor together with Katrajan. both I follow many years. I visit allmost all concerts with the residentie orchestra here in den haag. Now I’m looking for people for trade live recordings. I have many radio , Private and Archief Recordings from Den Haag ( Some of them I have make for the Maestro himself ). I’m looking for some Opera’s like Boris Godunow e.t.c. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Florin Chirila (Romania) I grew up amidst good music on vinyl discs… the first Svetlanov recording I can remember of was Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Italian Capriccio – this is how I fell in love with Tchaikovsky. Svetlanov enlightened many moments in my life. To me, Svetlanov equals the great music of Russia, from Tchaikovsky to Miaskovski and Shostakovich. I hope he can see from up there, above, the joy he has brought into my life. Spasibo, Maestro !
Dolly Bright USA
Many thanks to the creators of this wonderful site! The contribution of Evgeny Svetlanov to the musical heritage and culture is so immense that is difficult to understand it fully.
I often attended his great performances… And each time I was taken away by the depth of Svetlanov’s unique approach to each musical piece. His ability to convey to in fine detail the emotion of the piece… to translate it in gestures and also to interpret music almost in words – displayed such refined skill! It seemed he would always go beyond what was possible. We are so sorry that he is no longer with us… But he is always alive, always! In the hearts of those who witnessed his art. I had a chance to see the maestro and even gave him a gift – one of my paintings. It was so long ago, but I remember as if it were yesterday. We thank HIM for everything that he did for wonderful music!
Bravo for the Russian version of this site, very good explanations about Evgueny Svetlanov’s life and records as well. Regards.
I am so glad that there is a website dedicated to our Great Russian Musician – Evgeny Svetlanov. I was priviledged to attend many of his concerts while studying at Moscow Conservatory in 1991-1996 until leaving Russia in 1998. In Svetlanov’s interpretation of particularly Russian, there is a feeling of beauty of Russian nature. He made the orchestra sing as very few conductors did. He was (as still is) the greatest Russian conductor of our times. Once again, that you for creating and maintaining this wonderful website. Ruslan Sviridov
Thanks for the page! It’s really the best way to promote Svetlanov’s legacy. Why didn’t you publish the pictures from his funerals in Moscow? As a graduate of the Gnessins Academy, I was probably the only one from that institution (esxcept yhe former rector Kolobkov) who was present at EFS’s funerals(at the picture I wear glasses and a multicolored short sleeve shirt) . I still remember a great impact it made on me. The funerals of the greatest Russian conductor of the century were too simple and too bad attended. There was no feeling of a national loss, perhaps, Russians still need some time to understand what has passed away along with Svetlanov. As for me, I’m proud that I threw one of the first handfuls of ground into his grave along with the priest, and with his friend Alexander Gradsky.
François Le Guen
My eternal regret is to have never seen Svetlanov at a concert, and this is unforgivable : he came to conduct “The Poem of Ecstasy” in January 2001 at the “Folle Journée” Festival in Nantes where I lived there at the time… But his recordings are there to tell me : his generosity, his humanism, his total self-sacrifice – forming the foundation of his interpretations.
One remembers that a conductor is, first of all, a man, a human being. Especially in the “Poem of Ecstasy”… I will never tire of the interpretation of this piece by Svetlanov ( I found six under this magical baton) to diminish the frustration of not having ever heard him live… Especially in his Melodya recording of 1977 (Svetlanov and his trumpetist).
They expose themselves to an extreme degree… This conductor seems to belong to the same family of performers as Dorati or Munch, whom I have never seen either. But I have a better excuse : I was not yet born.
I have just discovered the recording of “Shelomo” and the “Israel” Symphony by Ernest Bloch, and experienced the same enchantment.
I am counting on your site to guide me in his testimonial discography….
1990. Munich. “Poem of Ecstasy”. Like Furtwängler, Svetlanov was unique, incomparable. A Great Artist. Without him I would not cherish Russian music. Thanks to his recordings, his art during the past twenty years has been a companion for my happy days and provided support in my sadness. A friend. Forever
I’m so glad to know this page! Thank you. From Osaka, Japan.