Author Topic: Janis Ivanovs  (Read 10541 times)

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Offline schweitzeralan

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Janis Ivanovs
« on: April 17, 2009, 08:19:40 AM »
About a year ago I acquired on the Campion CD a recording of the first two symphonies by Latvian composer Ivanovs.  It wasn't until recently that I listened to them somewhat more intently.  Both works are generally conceived in a musical language that suggest certain Nordic, or even Russian influences:  Rosenberg, (early) Egge, Nielsson, or Scriabin come to mind.  From what I've read about Ivanov's work is thart his later style becomes considerably more dissident and dodecaphonic.  He's composed several symphonies along with other orchestral tone poems.  The tone, or mode of expression in his two early symphonies suggest a neo-romantic, quasi impressionistic quality.  The disc was a good buy for me, as Ivanov is a serious and convincing symphonic artist.  Recommended.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2009, 11:36:50 AM »
I nearly started an Ivanovs thread myself and have contributed some recent comments to the Latvian Composers thread. I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD. The Naxos release with symphonies 8 and 20 is excellent. No 20 is the last completed symphony and is a powerful and gripping work, which has grown on me. No 8 has a wonderful tune in the slow movement, so the Naxos release would be my recommendation for investigating Ivanovs. Apart from that Nos 2 and 3 on Marco Polo and No 4 'Atlantis' are recommended as is the charming film score 'Late Frost in Spring' (Campion). Symphony No 11, which I have on LP is one of the best but it has never been released on CD.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Bulldog

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2009, 12:18:19 PM »
I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD. The Naxos release with symphonies 8 and 20 is excellent. No 20 is the last completed symphony and is a powerful and gripping work, which has grown on me. No 8 has a wonderful tune in the slow movement, so the Naxos release would be my recommendation for investigating Ivanovs.

Given the superior sound quality of the Naxos release over the Campion issues, the Naxos is probably the best bet.  However, its blemish is the rather dour conducting of Yablonsky, a trait that usually follows him from one recording to the next.  The wonderful symphonies of Ivanovs need great conducting and sound; I hope that this problem will be adressed at some future date.

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 12:42:38 PM »
I nearly started an Ivanovs thread myself and have contributed some recent comments to the Latvian Composers thread. I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD. The Naxos release with symphonies 8 and 20 is excellent. No 20 is the last completed symphony and is a powerful and gripping work, which has grown on me. No 8 has a wonderful tune in the slow movement, so the Naxos release would be my recommendation for investigating Ivanovs. Apart from that Nos 2 and 3 on Marco Polo and No 4 'Atlantis' are recommended as is the charming film score 'Late Frost in Spring' (Campion). Symphony No 11, which I have on LP is one of the best but it has never been released on CD.

I thought there was a thread but couldn't locate it.  You are quite well informed.  I have only the one recording.  I put in a request for the 4th plus the "Rainbow Symphonic Poem."  This might be interesting to me personally as I am drawn to impressionism.  The following post also recommends Naxos. Thanks for your acknowledgement to my post.

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2009, 12:44:15 PM »
Given the superior sound quality of the Naxos release over the Campion issues, the Naxos is probably the best bet.  However, its blemish is the rather dour conducting of Yablonsky, a trait that usually follows him from one recording to the next.  The wonderful symphonies of Ivanovs need great conducting and sound; I hope that this problem will be adressed at some future date.

Ivanovs seems to have been quite prolific in his many orchestral works.  If I decide to acquire further works by him, I'll check out Naxos.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2009, 10:46:10 PM »
Ivanovs seems to have been quite prolific in his many orchestral works.  If I decide to acquire further works by him, I'll check out Naxos.

I am listening to Symphony No 4 at the moment - 'Atlantis' - well worth investigation. If you don't have the Naxos, I would certainly go for that as both symphonies are strong.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2009, 02:37:10 PM »
I nearly started an Ivanovs thread myself and have contributed some recent comments to the Latvian Composers thread. I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD.

That's my favorite Ivanovs work (the violin concerto).  I hear alot of family resemblance to Miaskovsky's vc in it.
You'll be happy.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2009, 04:22:48 AM »
That's my favorite Ivanovs work (the violin concerto).  I hear alot of family resemblance to Miaskovsky's vc in it.
You'll be happy.

Thank you! Very pleased to hear it.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2009, 02:18:36 AM »
I am listening to Symphony No 4 at the moment - 'Atlantis' - well worth investigation. If you don't have the Naxos, I would certainly go for that as both symphonies are strong.

After several weeks I finally acquired the 4th Symphony.  Exscellent.  I particularly like "Rainbow." Exquisitely impressionist with Scriabinist influences.  ArchivMusic had it; Amazon didn't.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2009, 02:46:12 AM »
After several weeks I finally acquired the 4th Symphony.  Exscellent.  I particularly like "Rainbow." Exquisitely impressionist with Scriabinist influences.  ArchivMusic had it; Amazon didn't.

I am listening a lot to Symphony No 11 - one of the best I think - a dark, lyrical score. Sadly not on CD, I received a copy from someone on a different forum. I am becoming more appreciative of Ivanovs's music. Francis Wilson, the former MD of Olympia responded to my suggestion that he release some of Ivanovs's music by telling me that he'd considered it but found the music to be rather boring. This is not my experience at all and I regret that Campion never completed their cycle of the symphonies and other orchestral works.

Rainbow and Symphony No 4 are listed as 'Masterworks' (as is Symphony 11) in the useful page below.

http://home.wanadoo.nl/ovar/ivanovs.htm

« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 02:49:32 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2009, 02:55:34 AM »
Have been listening to Symphony 3 (Marco Polo, Latvian NRSO, Yablonsky).  This is a memorable score, rather in the spirit of Miaskovsky - I think that it is one of the best Ivanovs works.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline just Jeff

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 03:51:59 AM »
I'm doing my own CD-R transfers from the original Melodiya LP records.  I don't want sluggish conducting on this stuff.

Here is Ivanovs' 6th "Latgale" USSR Radio Symphony Orch., Leonids Vigners conducting.  An original 10" in this case.  Sometimes called his best Symphony.



Sym. No. 5, L. Reiters conducting The Latvian Radio Symphony Orchestra




Rainbow Symphony Picture, Sym No. 16, Sinaisky conducting




« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 11:49:19 PM by just Jeff »
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 11:59:26 AM »
The problem I have with Ivanovs is that his music just isn't that individual. It's as if he was trying too hard to find his musical style when the reality was he had nothing musically interesting to say. A Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Scriabin, or even a Myaskovsky he is not.
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2010, 01:38:44 PM »
Nice to see those nostalgic old LP sleeves. I think that Ivanovs does have an individual style - the Naxos CD is the one to start with with symphonies 8 and 20. He reminds me a bit of Lyatoshinsky (a Ukrainian composer) whose work I really like.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2013, 06:38:34 PM »
I’ve been having an Ivanovs phase for the past couple of weeks.

As has been noted Naxos/Marco Polo have recorded the Symphonies 2, 3, 5, 8, 12 and 20. MP3s of old Melodya recordings or Latvian radio recordings of all the remaining symphonies and many other works are available at the Arts Music Forum.
The early symphonies remind me of Allan Peterson, there’s the same sort of declamatory style and relentless momentum, though Ivanovs usually writes his symphonies in the familiar four movement pattern (scherzo usually second), instead of one span. The orchestration is very good and you get really exciting moments, for example where the strings are giving out a thrilling rhythmic figure and the brass are blasting away underneath with threatening or heroic figures (the strong brass is a strong point of the Naxos/Marco Polo recordings). The mood is very like Peterson as well, enigmatic, with joy and sorrow both wrapped up in the music, and the music ultimately being hopeful because it does progress towards a conclusions. Ivanovs does very effective quiet and slow endings to otherwise loud and brusque movements.

Each symphony is quite different from the previous, for example in one or two the harp is prominent, in others piano, Symphony 5 is consciously folkloric &c.

In the later symphonies there is more breadth, and the declamatory style gives way to one with more contrapuntal work and motivic development, thought here are still exciting moments of declamatory drama. In all the symphonies there are slower interludes in the fast movements (and usually the slow movements are ABA with a faster central section). In the later ones these changes in tempi become more marked but they don’t hold the music up, instead they make for dynamic contrast. In these later symphonies the slow movements are almost Brucknerian in their solemnity.

Symphonies 17, 18 and 19 are his masterpieces and are as good as any symphonies written in the C20. Of all the symphonies my favourites are 7, 8, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21 (completed by Karlsons).

Of the other works I haven’t listened to his choral and keyboard works, but his orchestral music (tone-poems) are very good and are more Sibelian than his symphonies. His Concertos (piano, cello and violin) are in the Romantic lyrical tradition and are full of beautiful moments. The Violin Concerto reminds me of the Rubbra Violin Concerto with its beautiful themes and light dancing rhythms. His string quartets and other chamber works are very good too.

I think he is a major composer.


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2013, 09:51:43 AM »
2,3,4,8,11 and 20 are the ones I especially like, plus the charming film score 'Late Frost in Spring'. He deserves to be better known I believe.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2013, 06:01:28 PM »
Oops, it's No.6 that is consciously folkloric.

kyjo

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2013, 05:45:38 AM »
Ivanovs' VC is a wonderful work in the romantic tradition: http://youtu.be/y-7P69Twtb0
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 05:49:39 AM by kyjo »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2013, 06:28:39 AM »
Ivanovs' VC is a wonderful work in the romantic tradition: http://youtu.be/y-7P69Twtb0

Horrible audio quality!
"Music should be able to invoke the natural emotions in all human beings. Music is not notes fixed on apiece of paper.” - Toru Takemitsu

kyjo

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Re: Janis Ivanovs
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2013, 06:38:45 AM »
Horrible audio quality!

Yikes! I own the CD recording of the VC and hadn't checked the audio quality on the YT upload. :-[ In the meantime, check out Ivanovs' magically beautiful symphonic poem Rainbow: http://youtu.be/sIXqoUfcokM