One might be forgiven for saying of Reinhold Glière's artistic career that he built up to "Ilya Mourometz" and then built down from it. Yet in auditing the two symphonies that come before the colossal Third, it is hard not be aware of the way that they forecast the later work. In them, Gliere appears to be searching for his protagonist. The First Symphony (1900)is thus already one stage on the way to "Ilya Mourometz" and the Second (1908) is a considerable stage farther along. Right away, in the opening bars of the First Movement, Glière puts us in the misty land of Russian lore; the harmonies are more exotic than those in the earlier symphony. The Second Movement (Allegro Giocoso) points toward the "Vladimir Fair-Sun" movement of "Ilya Mourometz." The Third Movement (Andante con Variazioni) strikes me as more domestic in mood, although it, too, points toward "Ilya Mourometz," where the transformation of themes on a Wagnerian scale will constitute the order of business. The Finale (Allegro Vivace) returns us to the serious mood of the First Movement: We are again in a land of swirling mists and demonic forces. There is a wild dance, a kind of Slavic Bacchanalia. Keith Clark leads the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra in a performance recorded in 1987, and which previously circulated, at full price, on a Marco Polo CD. The makeweight, "The Zaporozhye Cossacks" (1921) is part of Glière's long building-down after his great achievement of 1911, but merits attention and pays a dividend. At the Naxos price, fans of "Ilya" will not want to pass this up.