Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov (1913–2007) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist, and leader of the Union of Soviet Composers, who was also known for his political activities. He wrote three symphonies, four piano concertos, two violin concertos, two cello concertos, operas, operettas, ballets, chamber music, incidental music and film music.
"He will quickly be forgotten." That was Rimsky-Korsakov's unkind but not inaccurate prediction made shortly after his pupil Anton Arensky's death from tuberculosis at the age of 35. His prediction was unkind in the sense that Arensky's stylish and lyrical works rank with those of Liadov, Kalinnikov, and Ippolitov-Ivanov for melodic charm and orchestral color. But his prediction was accurate to the extent that there have been few performances or recordings of Arensky's music in the century since his death in 1906. Indeed, aside from this undated recording with Evgeny Svetlanov leading the Academic Symphony Orchestra, there has apparently been only one other recording of Arensky's symphonies in the past half century – Valery Polyansky's on Chandos – and none before that at all. For die-hard fans of Russian music, this state of affairs is a shame because as Svetlanov's performances demonstrate, Arensky's symphonies deserve to be heard.
Our series of historic radio recordings from Russian archives has proved very popular all over the world. Many people have chosen performance over recording quality. – which, when necessary, we have improved optimally. – Thus allowing themselves the infinite joy of listening to legendary performers.
The musicians in this large set are all (living) legends indeed: pianists, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Lazar Berman, Evgeny Kissin; violinists David Oistrakh, Leonid Kogan, Viktor Tretiakov and Gidon Kremer; cellists Rostropovich and Daniel Shafran. Solo works, chamber music and works with orchestra are included. The recordings of lesser-known and hardly ever heard repertoire are a definite additional bonus of this series. The list of mainly Russian composers comprises such names as Catoire, Medtner, Kazhlaev, and Vladigerov.