Audio Selections

Alexander Glazunov
(1865 - 1936)

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
in A minor, Op. 82


By the turn of the 20th century, Russian music had become a mature art. The works of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky and Borodin, having been played at home and abroad, established a national character and tradition that those masters wanted to see passed on to succeeding generations.  The most important Russian musical torchbearer of the two decades after 1900, the time between the deaths of Tchaikovsky and his contemporaries and the rise of the modern school of Prokofiev and Shostakovich, was Alexander Glazunov.

Quiz yourself on facts about Glazunov

Major Works of Glazunov


1882    Symphony no. 1

1886    Symphony no. 2

1890    Symphony no. 3

1893    Symphony no. 4

1895    Symphony no. 5

1896    Symphony no. 6

1902    Symphony no. 7

1906    Symphony no. 8

1910    Symphony no. 9 (only 1st movement, incomplete)


1883    Serenade no. 1 in A

1884    Serenade no. 2 in F

1885    Stenke Razin, symphonic poem

1887    The Forest, fantasy for orchestra

1889    The Sea, fantasy for orchestra

1889    Oriental Rhapsody

1892    Triumphal March

1894    Scenes de ballet

1900    Chant du menestral for cello and orchestra

1902    From the Middle Ages

1909    Finnish Fantasy


1904    Violin Concerto

1911    Piano Concerto no. 1

1917    Piano Concerto no. 2

1931    Concerto balata for cello and orchestra

1934    Saxophone Concerto


1897    Raymonda

1898    Les ruses d’amour

1899    The Seasons


7 String Quartets

Saxophone Quartet

Brass Quartet

Glazunov Video Links

Violin Concerto, 1st mvt

Here is Hilary Hahn performing the first movement of the Glazunov Violin Concerto, with Semyon Bychkov conducting. A fine performance.

Violin Concerto, 3rd mvt

The Glazunov Concerto was a standard favorite of the great Jascha Heifitz. Here is a performance of the last movement—as you can hear, Heifitz was famous for rapid tempos! Sorry for the sound quality, but the performance is legendary. Most experts agree that Heifitz had the greatest intonation in the history of violin playing.

Saxophone Concerto

The last completed work by Glazunov was his Concerto for Saxophone and String Orchestra, finished in 1934. The saxophone was invented in the 1840s, and was still a relatively obscure instrument during Glazunov’s youth. This work was composed for the German saxophonist Sigurd Rascher. Unfortunately, Glazunov never heard this work: the first performance did not occur until after his death.

The Seasons

The Seasons ballet was composed in 1899 and consists of four parts: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Offered here is an excerpt from Winter. According to the composer, “Winter is surrounded by his companions: Hoar-frost, Ice, Hail and Snow, who amuse themselves with a band of snowflakes. Two gnomes enter, and soon light a fire that causes all assembled to vanish.” The Seasons is one of Glazunov’s most popular and often-performed works. His mastery of orchestration and tone-painting is particularly in evidence in this wonderful work.

Symphony No.4

The Symphony no. 4 was composed in 1893 and was dedicated to Anton Rubenstein, the great Russian pianist and composer. Glazunov departed from his earlier three symphonies, which were all based on nationalistic Russian tunes, and, in his own words, “allowed me to give personal, free, and subjective impressions of myself.” The Scherzo heard here is a tour-de-force of virtuoso writing and features the woodwind section most prominently. The Fourth Symphony was the favorite Glazunov symphony in Europe, while the Fifth Symphony was preferred in America.

Symphony No.5
The 8 Glazunov Symphonies are much more popular in Russia than here in America, and are frequently performed by most of the major Russian orchestras. Here is a performance of the Symphony no. 5 in Bb by a Moscow symphony orchestra.

Chant du menestrel

The Chant du menestrel is a wonderful work for cello and orchestra, composed in 1900. Here we have a very moving performance (with my favorite conductor ant the podium!)

Performance History

2009 - Evie Chen

2022 - Andromeda Kepecs