Popov - Symphony No 1; Shostakovich - Theme and Variations
Robert S. Costic
When I listened to this piece for the first few times I came away with the same impression that the commentator Russ had, which was that, although it had some interesting aspects to it, the overall effect was a mess and the ending sounded very derivative of Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy." However, since then I've been drawn to listen to this several more times, and the more I listen to it the more I appreciate the overall construction. It's very unusual, but the symphony does have a coherent story to it, and once one can figure it out it becomes easier to see how all of the interesting parts fit together. Having this impression now, I'd probably give this work four stars.