Author Topic: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963  (Read 6805 times)

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Online vandermolen

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Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« on: May 21, 2009, 11:46:24 AM »
Now here is a very worthwhile composer - especially if you like Miaskovsky. Shebalin was a devoted pupil of Miaskovsky and Shebalin's First Symphony is dedicated to his old teacher. It also resembles the music of the older composer and is a deeply felt and eloquent work, which does not give up its secrets on first hearing but definitely repays repeated listening. Unfortunately this and the other releases of Shebalin's music on the defunct Olympia label are available only at ridiculous prices (ie Symphony No 1 £142 on Amazon UK  :o). The good news is that Alto/Regis may be releasing them soon at budget price. Shebalin's Violin Concerto (which I don't know) has just been issued on Regis - which is very good news.

Shebalin was one of those unfairly condemned by Zhdanov in 1948 - his music then fell into some obscurity - later he suffered a stroke and lost the ability to use his right hand and also suffered speech failure - but he kept composing and the valedictory 5th Symphony is very moving.  Look out for Shebalin if you like Russian/Soviet composers - there is some excellent chamber music too.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline The new erato

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2009, 12:46:15 PM »
There's also a Melodiya disc with string quartets 5 & 9....


Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2009, 04:40:57 PM »
I totally agree with vandermolen(and...NO...we are not the same person ;D).

Shebalin lays fair claim to be the best Russian composer after Shostakovich of the generation born during the first decade of the 20th century. His main rivals would be Khachaturian-who should better be classed as Armenian-and Kabalevsky. And much as I like some Kabalevsky, much of his output is pretty trite. The Kabalevsky symphonies are unfairly under-rated but I think the Shebalin five are just that bit better and deeper.

Interesting to hear about the Violin Concerto. Is this a different work from the Violin Concertino coupled with Symphony No.5 on the old Olympia disc(which, like the others, I have the good fortune to have bought when they were available)?

I don't suppose we stand much chance of hearing the huge Dramatic Symphony "Lenin" for soloists, chorus and orchestra(1931-32).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 01:38:16 AM »
There's also a Melodiya disc with string quartets 5 & 9....



Thanks v much
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 03:27:16 AM »
I totally agree with vandermolen(and...NO...we are not the same person ;D).

Shebalin lays fair claim to be the best Russian composer after Shostakovich of the generation born during the first decade of the 20th century. His main rivals would be Khachaturian-who should better be classed as Armenian-and Kabalevsky. And much as I like some Kabalevsky, much of his output is pretty trite. The Kabalevsky symphonies are unfairly under-rated but I think the Shebalin five are just that bit better and deeper.

Interesting to hear about the Violin Concerto. Is this a different work from the Violin Concertino coupled with Symphony No.5 on the old Olympia disc(which, like the others, I have the good fortune to have bought when they were available)?

I don't suppose we stand much chance of hearing the huge Dramatic Symphony "Lenin" for soloists, chorus and orchestra(1931-32).

To answer my own question....yes, the Violin Concerto is a separate work and the "Lenin Symphony" was available on an Olympia cd but this is no longer in circulation.

DFO

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 05:54:35 AM »
I've the violin concerto by Andrew Hardy, and the 9 SQ by the Krasni SQ on Olympia. Also a piano trio op.39 on an old 10" LP by Edlina and members of the Borodin SQ. All beautiful works IMO.

snyprrr

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 03:45:01 PM »
Shosty had a picture of only one Russian composer on his desk, was it Shebalin or Popov?

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2009, 01:48:56 PM »
Shosty had a picture of only one Russian composer on his desk, was it Shebalin or Popov?

Shebalin
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline haydnguy

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009, 02:55:50 PM »
I'm ordering the violin concerto on Regis. Thanks for the heads up!!  8)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2009, 03:03:03 PM »
I'm ordering the violin concerto on Regis. Thanks for the heads up!!  8)

I have too ;D

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2009, 12:03:14 AM »
I have too ;D

Me three  ;D. Have just received it - not played yet
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2009, 12:02:06 AM »
I enjoyed the VC on Regis, although not as much as Symphony 1 and 5. There is a lovely Horn Concertino on the defunct Olympia label (probably available for £10,000 on Amazon) - it has an especially lovely slow movement. Shostakovich had photos of Mahler, Mussorgsky and Shebalin on his desk.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2009, 04:15:53 PM »
I enjoyed the VC on Regis, although not as much as Symphony 1 and 5. There is a lovely Horn Concertino on the defunct Olympia label (probably available for £10,000 on Amazon) - it has an especially lovely slow movement. Shostakovich had photos of Mahler, Mussorgsky and Shebalin on his desk.

I agree with you about the Violin Concerto, Jeffrey, although I thought that the slow movement was very lovely. However it did throw the accompanying Violin Concertos into perspective-Rakov's First, which sounded as though it had been written sometime in the second half of the 19th century by a contemporary of the young Glazunov without much talent, and the Kabalevsky, which sounded what it is-a bright, breezy works for young people to enjoy. The Shebalin is a class above.

DFO

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 02:31:07 AM »
About Rakov's first, listen to the version of Oistrakh-Eliasberg (1947), and maybe you'll change your mind. There's an other by Igor Oistrakh which I prefer, but I think is not on CD.

kyjo

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2013, 08:21:04 AM »
I have gotten much pleasure out of Shebalin's music. His five symphonies are very fine works which show no signs of any brash propagandistic elements that can plague the music of some lesser-known Soviet composers. All of his symphonies show the influence of his teacher, Miaskovsky, especially nos. 1-3. 4 and 5 show more similarities with Prokofiev and Shostakovich, but their influences are masterfully assimilated into Shebalin's personal style. His Violin Concerto is a wonderful work with a beautiful, almost transcendent slow movement. The two orchestral suites which were recently recorded by Toccata I was less impressed with, as they struck me as sounding like Shostakovich's lighter music without the good tunes. I am not familiar with his nine string quartets, which are reportedly of very high quality. The Olympia recordings of them are, unsurprisingly, quite difficult to get ahold of. ::) BTW anyone having trouble getting ahold of the three Olympia discs of the symphonies and other orchestral works will be pleased to find that they have been reissued at ArkivMusic as ArkivCDs. Any other Shebalin fans out there? :)

« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 08:30:39 AM by kyjo »

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2013, 09:30:15 AM »
I have gotten much pleasure out of Shebalin's music. His five symphonies are very fine works which show no signs of any brash propagandistic elements that can plague the music of some lesser-known Soviet composers. All of his symphonies show the influence of his teacher, Miaskovsky, especially nos. 1-3. 4 and 5 show more similarities with Prokofiev and Shostakovich, but their influences are masterfully assimilated into Shebalin's personal style. His Violin Concerto is a wonderful work with a beautiful, almost transcendent slow movement. The two orchestral suites which were recently recorded by Toccata I was less impressed with, as they struck me as sounding like Shostakovich's lighter music without the good tunes. I am not familiar with his nine string quartets, which are reportedly of very high quality. The Olympia recordings of them are, unsurprisingly, quite difficult to get ahold of. ::) BTW anyone having trouble getting ahold of the three Olympia discs of the symphonies and other orchestral works will be pleased to find that they have been reissued at ArkivMusic as ArkivCDs. Any other Shebalin fans out there? :)

Here we are again  :)

Very good news about the Arkiv CDs - hopefully they will introduce this fine composer to a wider audience. Symphony 1 and Symphony 5 remain my favourites. For me he ranks with Popov as a much underrated composer.


"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

kyjo

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2013, 09:37:27 AM »
Here we are again  :)

Very good news about the Arkiv CDs - hopefully they will introduce this fine composer to a wider audience. Symphony 1 and Symphony 5 remain my favourites. For me he ranks with Popov as a much underrated composer.

Symphony no. 1 is a wonderful work with plenty of youthful energy and lyricism. No. 5 is a deeply personal work that took me a couple listens to fully appreciate it. It's quite an eloquent work.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vissarion Shebalin 1902-1963
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2013, 11:35:28 AM »
Symphony no. 1 is a wonderful work with plenty of youthful energy and lyricism. No. 5 is a deeply personal work that took me a couple listens to fully appreciate it. It's quite an eloquent work.

I find that No 5 has an underlying sadness and a valedictory quality which is very poignant.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).