Author Topic: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)  (Read 4300 times)

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robnewman

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V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« on: June 10, 2009, 04:27:13 AM »

V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
Symphony No. 1
1st Movement (excerpt)

http://www.mediafire.com/?j5eu5jkylle

(excerpt from article in 'Grove' Dictionary of Music and Musicians')

Russian composer. V.S. Kalinnikov was a son of a police official,  belonged to an ecclesiastical family, and was therefore eligible to attend the seminary when the family moved to Oryol in 1879. His father, who played the guitar and sang in a local choir, encouraged his musical interests. He had taken violin lessons at Voina, and became director of the seminary choir at the age of 14. In 1884 he went to Moscow to enrol in the elementary classes at the conservatory, but he was unable to pay the fees and had to withdraw after only a few months. He then won a scholarship as a bassoon player at the Moscow Philharmonic Society Music School, where he studied with Il'yinsky and Blaramberg until 1892. During these years he lived in almost complete poverty, playing the violin, the bassoon and occasionally the timpani in theatre orchestras and finding employment as a copyist to eke out a meagre existence. He was much helped at this time, and later, by his sympathetic teacher and devoted friend S.N. Kruglikov. Tchaikovsky thought highly of Kalinnikov and recommended him for the conductorship at the Malïy Theatre in 1892; in the following year he was appointed assistant conductor at the Italian Theatre. He also gave private lessons in music theory. In autumn 1893 his health, never robust and perhaps undermined by his privations as a student broke down completely; he spent the rest of his life in the Crimea, depending mainly on friends for financial support. In spite of his illness he composed regularly, and at the time of his death he had a small but enthusiastic following.

Kalinnikov made his name with a very remarkable First Symphony. He sent the score to Kruglikov, the dedicatee, who was sufficiently impressed to submit it to leading Russian conductors. Rimsky-Korsakov, while admitting to finding in it evidence of real talent, maintained that it contained too many technical mistakes to make a performance worthwhile (its since been suggested these ‘mistakes’ were in fact copyist’s slips). However, Vinogradsky undertook to conduct the work at a Russian Musical Society concert in Kiev. It was a great success, and the second and third movements received an encore. Performances in Moscow, Vienna, Berlin and Paris followed, and it still remains in the Russian repertory of most orchestras.

//


Offline haziz

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 03:52:47 AM »
I was introduced to his music fairly recently. While perusing the favorite symphonies thread, I came across the Kalinnikov 1st symphony, which was "fast-tracked" by a fan, but my initial reaction on reading the list was KalinniWHO? I automatically assumed it was some 20th century composer and the piece was a 12 tone musical contraption or a post modern piece, which tends to evoke fairly negative reactions from me (sorry, I don't "get" most 20th century composers other than the 19th century holdovers like Rachmaninoff and Elgar). Fortunately, I did google Kalinnikov, and to my delight discovered a 19th century romantic Russian composer, recommended by none other than Tchaikovsky (very high praise indeed in my book).

I have since acquired all three recordings I could find easily on Amazon and have listened repeatedly to both symphonies over the last month. The first symphony is reminiscent of early Tchaikovsky but with even more melody (and hints of orientalism) thrown in. The second symphony is marginally less melodius but is still a great work. I prefer Kuchar's recording with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine on Naxos to Järvi's account on Chandos (also coupled with the second symphony) and to Friedmann's recording with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra on Arte Nova (First Symphony only coupled with some Glinka overtures). Kuchar imbues the music with warmth and humor and the orchestra sound like they are enjoying themselves. The recording quality is also quite good.

I really wish this composer would get more recognition. His two symphonies certainly deserve to be played and recorded more.

Sincerely,

Hany.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 04:50:47 AM by haziz »

Offline Grazioso

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 10:26:31 AM »
Well said, Haziz. I too enjoy the first symphony in particular. Fwiw, I started writing out a basic guitar transcription of the 2nd movement so one can play along: http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,18913.0.html I need to get back to it and finish it up at some point.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 11:00:26 AM »
I like Kalinnikov's two symphonies. I'm afraid I don't know anything else by him. I have a Svetlanov recording that I haven't even heard yet. I also own Jarvi's recording of the two symphonies. This is, unfortunately, all I own by the composer. I remember the music being quite nice and full of big tunes.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

eyeresist

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 04:39:08 PM »
There aren't many recordings to choose from. A few of the symphonies, of variable quality. I'm happy if you find Kuchar satisfactory, though I think Friedmann gets more feeling from the 1st than anyone, especially in the finale. Svetlanov is my first choice in the 2nd.

Jarvi did some of the tone poems, but I suspect they are the usual dashed-off interpretations. There is also a Marco Polo CD conducted by Jancsovics, which is sadly a half-hearted effort. Svetlanov is probably the guy to turn to, but a bit rich for my blood at the moment. We need more and better recordings!
 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 04:48:48 PM »
We need more and better recordings!

Wake me up when this happens.
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Offline Cato

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 02:26:47 PM »
Somewhere on GMG a few months ago, somebody bad-mouthed Kalinnikov.   :o

For shame!   $:)

He might have challenged The Rach for primacy, if he had lived longer.

Like Hans Rott and Julius Reubke, he tantalizes us with an incredible early talent, showing us only what might have been.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 02:39:24 PM by Cato »
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Offline Daverz

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 06:32:09 PM »
I think the best recording of the Symphony No. 1 is the Kondrashin.  Very good recording and transfer by Melodiya.

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//MELCD1000957.htm







Offline Brian

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 11:09:34 AM »
There's a new recording of the symphonies coming next month on BIS. Kees Bakels and Malaysian Philharmonic.

eyeresist

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2011, 06:36:28 PM »
^ Bad news IMO. Fast and expressionless is not how Kalinnikov should go. Will only damage his reputation.

Offline haziz

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2012, 04:14:55 AM »
^ Bad news IMO. Fast and expressionless is not how Kalinnikov should go. Will only damage his reputation.

Fairly decent performance and overall a good recording from a technical point of view actually. Just relistening to it on Spotify, as I type this, though I did buy the physical CD, I just have to find it.  :-[
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 04:17:03 AM by haziz »

Offline Scarpia

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2013, 10:22:29 AM »
Just listened to the recording referenced above.



A very positive listening experience.  In the first symphony I was extremely impressed, except for the second (slow) movement.  Evoked early Tchaikovsky, or perhaps Dvorak, in its general style.  The first movement contrasts exposition and recapitulation which mostly feature graceful melodies with a central development section which is more rigorous and which contains some skillfully constructed counterpoint.  The most remarkable thing about it is the finale, which has an very extended build-up to an overwhelming conclusion.  Really outstanding stuff.

The second symphony I found much less engaging, except for a miraculous second (slow) movement with haunting melodies from winds (english horn, I think) and some remarkable contributions from the strings.

The orchestra is beautifully recorded and exhibits remarkable precision and control of timbre and balances. 

I need to listen to more of this Russian stuff.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 11:28:33 AM »
I did quite enjoy Rimsky Korsakov's third yesterday. The first time ever,mind. The Scherzo was the standout.
On the other hand,this is a less well known Russian Symphony I really did enjoy. Rousing and colourfully orchestrated with a really exciting finale. And it's not supposed to be as good as his First! (Which I listened to yesterday). Well,for a not supposed to be as good symphony,I think it's pretty great! Excitingly performed too,with top notch Chandos sound. Excellent! How tragic his untimely death,and what a sad loss to music! :(


Offline cilgwyn

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2017, 04:01:48 AM »
+1 it would have been fascinating to hear how Kalinnikov's music would have developed had he lived on. I like both symphonies, especially No.1.
The First Symphony is obviously the best of the two. I was just surprised at how good the Second is,for a symphony that's 'not as good'! Even if Kalinnikov's First didn't exist (or heaven forbid there's little enough) been destroyed,or gone missing,as so many old musical manuscripts do;I would still regard it as one of the finest 19th century Russian symphonies I have heard. Of course the First Symphony has that lovely slow movement;but the Second is a colourful and spirited score. Some of it is very fiery and exciting in the best Russian tradition. I would like to hear Svetlanov conducting these,as well. I bet you've got those recordings in your collection?!! Jarvi sounds very good here,though!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2017, 05:54:58 AM »
The First Symphony is obviously the best of the two. I was just surprised at how good the Second is,for a symphony that's 'not as good'! Even if Kalinnikov's First didn't exist (or heaven forbid there's little enough) been destroyed,or gone missing,as so many old musical manuscripts do;I would still regard it as one of the finest 19th century Russian symphonies I have heard. Of course the First Symphony has that lovely slow movement;but the Second is a colourful and spirited score. Some of it is very fiery and exciting in the best Russian tradition. I would like to hear Svetlanov conducting these,as well. I bet you've got those recordings in your collection?!! Jarvi sounds very good here,though!

Just purchased the above for under £1.00. (Picture didn't appear - it's the Jarvi version on Chandos with Glazunov)
Yes, I do have other recording of both symphonies. I'll report back after I've heard it.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 05:57:02 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2017, 09:37:21 AM »
Under £1?!! :o ;D I'm sure Svetlanov,being the master he was,would have recorded the finer reading. I have seen at least one review that criticised Jarvi's approach. However,it still comes over as a fine symphony! Kees Bakel has recorded them,I note;who gave us  recordings of Vaughan Williams symphonies. Which recordings have you got?

Offline Turner

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2017, 09:49:25 AM »
Regarding the 1st Symphony,

Svetlanov/USSR SO is indeed lively, excellent and has good sound;

I´ve also got Scherchen/CzechPO on Tahra, and Friedman/RussianPO, on Arte Nova.

For the 2nd, I´ve got Svetlanov again, and Neeme Järvi.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2017, 12:11:17 PM »
Under £1?!! :o ;D I'm sure Svetlanov,being the master he was,would have recorded the finer reading. I have seen at least one review that criticised Jarvi's approach. However,it still comes over as a fine symphony! Kees Bakel has recorded them,I note;who gave us  recordings of Vaughan Williams symphonies. Which recordings have you got?
Because of redecoration in the house ( ::)) my CD collection is in a more chaotic state than it is normally. From memory the Naxos version (Kuchar) and the Olympia (Dudarova).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2017, 02:34:20 PM »
Regarding the 1st Symphony,

Svetlanov/USSR SO is indeed lively, excellent and has good sound;

I´ve also got Scherchen/CzechPO on Tahra, and Friedman/RussianPO, on Arte Nova.

For the 2nd, I´ve got Svetlanov again, and Neeme Järvi.
Apologies. Thanks for the response. Svetlanov is always good. Scherchen sounds interesting. I'm not familiar with Friedman.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: V.S. Kalinnikov (1866-1901)
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2017, 03:05:38 PM »
Apologies. Thanks for the response. Svetlanov is always good. Scherchen sounds interesting. I'm not familiar with Friedman.

Friedmann's performance is notable (among the four I own) for having the slowest first and last movements. Uniquely his opening is tinged with melancholy, almost tragedy, and then the second subject is broadened even more to gorgeous effect. Timings:

Friedmann    15:32  7:22   8:21  11:51
Järvi             14:04  7:08  7:34   8:29
Svetlanov     14:03  7:27  7:34   7:56
Bakels          13:39  7:26  7:33   8:40

But you'll hate the Friedmann cover  ;D



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