I like to hear the early works of certain composers, especially when they later developed a distinctive style, like Taneyev: formally advanced, contrapuntally complex, richly textured. The 1st Symphony recorded here was written as a student assignment when Taneyev was a teenager studying with Tchaikovsky, and while it is clearly the work of a beginning composer, it is also just as clearly by a composer who had a definite idea of what he wanted to do. One of the features of Taneyev's later work that stands out are his masterly development sections in sonata movements. In this symphony, Taneyev shows himself to be concerned with development, though he didn't yet know how to do it as cleverly as he later did. The result, however, is not only rather charming, but curious, in that it has a seriousness and purposeful intent that does not strike one as the work of a teenager. In the finale he uses a Russian folk theme (not something he often did in later work), apparently at the suggestion of his teacher, Tchaikovsky, who had himself just written his 2nd Symphony. Though Taneyev rather beats the melody to death, he does so in some interesting ways! As for the 3rd Symphony, it may appear a bit dry at first (apparently Tchaikovsky's complaint about it), but it grows on one, and the finale is immediately appealing and full of vigor. Buy the companion volume with Symphonies 2 and 4 as well: the 4th is his greatest symphony.