By Alexander Zemtsov, Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Emil Tabakov. By Emil Tabakov. Classical. CD. Toccata Classics #TOCC0410. Published by Toccata Classics (NX.TOCC0410).
The Bulgarian Emil Tabakov (1947) follows in the footsteps of such musicians as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, being active as both composer and conductor. Like Mahler, he prefers to write for large forces and now has nine symphonies and an impressive series of concertos to his name. Again like Mahler, Tabakov's symphonies explore the darker side of the human spirit in epic scores as austere as they are powerful. Both the First Symphony and the Viola Concerto use small motifs to build up compelling symphonic structures, generating expansive, sometimes bleak, post-Shostakovichian landscapes that can explode with violence and energy. The composer and conductor Emil Tabakov began to compose at 14. From 1975 to 1979 he conducted the Ruse Symphony Orchestra. He then directed the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble, the Sofia Philharmonic and several others. Alexander Zemtsvo has been performing as a solo violist since the age of 15 and at 23, was appointed Principal Viola of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012 he left the LPO to dedicate himself to a career as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. In 2014 he made his conducting debut with the International New Symphony Orchestra Lviv, and the next year was apointed artistic director and principal conductor.