Elégie for Viola and Piano, Op.44
Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936) was born in St. Petersburg, the son of a wealthy book publisher. He began studying piano at the age of nine and started composing not long after. In 1879, he began studies with Rimsky- Korsakov. Glazunov’s progress was so fast that within two years, Korsakov considered Glazunov more of a junior colleague than a student. Between 1895 and 1914, Glazunov was widely regarded, both inside and out, as Russia’s greatest living composer. His works include symphonies, ballets, operas and seven string quartets in addition to various instrumental sonatas.
The Elégie for viola and piano was composed in 1893. It is thought to have been as a memorial for either Anton Rubinstein or Tchaikovsky, both of whom who had died the year before. An Allegretto, it is, valedictory and at times tinged with sadness, but it is not filled with pathos and dolor. Lovely music which was a favorite short recital among violists for many years.