Author Topic: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)  (Read 60097 times)

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Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #340 on: April 13, 2018, 12:01:31 AM »
If somebody drops the price of the Svetlanov box low enough I may take the plunge. Until then?!!! :( ;D

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #341 on: April 27, 2018, 04:06:30 PM »
I'm revisiting a symphony that impressed me very much the first time I heard it, and right now is delighting me again: the Symphony No. 22 Symphony-Ballad, an authentic war symphony (I'm wanting to hear the Merikanto's symphony 2 next (related to war, too)). It's a solid single-movement symphony, imbued with the strength of a battletank, immensely haunting, a poem for bravery. The conducting is under Svetlanov (from the old box set).
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 04:10:56 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #342 on: April 28, 2018, 12:48:59 AM »
I'm revisiting a symphony that impressed me very much the first time I heard it, and right now is delighting me again: the Symphony No. 22 Symphony-Ballad, an authentic war symphony (I'm wanting to hear the Merikanto's symphony 2 next (related to war, too)). It's a solid single-movement symphony, imbued with the strength of a battletank, immensely haunting, a poem for bravery. The conducting is under Svetlanov (from the old box set).

I remember getting a record token for Christmas or my birthday in the early 1970s and spending on the EMI/Melodiya LP of Symphony 22 (coupled with a work by the conductor Svetlanov). Somewhere there exists a recording by Bernard Herrmann I think although I gather that NM himself was displeased by it as Herrmann cut somevofvthe material. Must have been recorded during the war I think during the period of US/Soviet rapprochement (the Chicago SO had commissioned the poetic, concise and eloquent Symphony 21 - one of his greatest I think).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #343 on: April 28, 2018, 09:50:23 AM »
I remember getting a record token for Christmas or my birthday in the early 1970s and spending on the EMI/Melodiya LP of Symphony 22 (coupled with a work by the conductor Svetlanov). Somewhere there exists a recording by Bernard Herrmann I think although I gather that NM himself was displeased by it as Herrmann cut somevofvthe material. Must have been recorded during the war I think during the period of US/Soviet rapprochement (the Chicago SO had commissioned the poetic, concise and eloquent Symphony 21 - one of his greatest I think).

I'll revisit the symphonies at some point since the impressions I have from them are very positive, some masterpieces there without doubt. I still feel thrilled by the poetry of the 22. It's like a symphonic poem rather than a symphony, though.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 04:00:00 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline relm1

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #344 on: April 28, 2018, 03:16:33 PM »
I'm revisiting a symphony that impressed me very much the first time I heard it, and right now is delighting me again: the Symphony No. 22 Symphony-Ballad, an authentic war symphony (I'm wanting to hear the Merikanto's symphony 2 next (related to war, too)). It's a solid single-movement symphony, imbued with the strength of a battletank, immensely haunting, a poem for bravery. The conducting is under Svetlanov (from the old box set).

I am listening to this now and interestingly, I thought "wow, I am surprised by the diversity and the quality of this symphony" only to realize later that spotify was randomly jumping between various symphonies!!  I now realize I had the "shuffle" button enabled!  Ok, so after re-listening, yes I agree this is a very musical and interesting work.  Not particularly war like in the way of a Prokofiev or Shostakovitch symphony might be.  For example, I find this somewhat like Gliere and Eshpai...very fine examples of Slavic Russian music which I love but not similar to the Soviet era such as Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, etc.  Also interesting, we can hear Boris Tchaikovsky, Sviridov, Shchedrin, and Boris Tishchenko.  Sergei Slonimsky (b. 1932) might be his closest musical heir stylistically and has surpassed symphony no. 32. 
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 03:30:41 PM by relm1 »

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #345 on: April 28, 2018, 04:16:46 PM »
I am listening to this now and interestingly, I thought "wow, I am surprised by the diversity and the quality of this symphony" only to realize later that spotify was randomly jumping between various symphonies!!  I now realize I had the "shuffle" button enabled!  Ok, so after re-listening, yes I agree this is a very musical and interesting work.  Not particularly war like in the way of a Prokofiev or Shostakovitch symphony might be.  For example, I find this somewhat like Gliere and Eshpai...very fine examples of Slavic Russian music which I love but not similar to the Soviet era such as Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, etc.  Also interesting, we can hear Boris Tchaikovsky, Sviridov, Shchedrin, and Boris Tishchenko.  Sergei Slonimsky (b. 1932) might be his closest musical heir stylistically and has surpassed symphony no. 32.

I also hear reminiscences/influences from those composers you mentioned (except Tishchenko and Slonimsky whose works I don't know yet). On the other hand, I concur with you about the No. 22, which is not at the same league of war symphonies as those by Khachaturian et al. I feel this symphony is much more expressive, contemplative, less crude, albeit it has some shattering moments. All in all, an impressive symphony.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #346 on: April 29, 2018, 08:37:52 AM »
I am listening to this now and interestingly, I thought "wow, I am surprised by the diversity and the quality of this symphony" only to realize later that spotify was randomly jumping between various symphonies!!  I now realize I had the "shuffle" button enabled!  Ok, so after re-listening, yes I agree this is a very musical and interesting work.  Not particularly war like in the way of a Prokofiev or Shostakovitch symphony might be.  For example, I find this somewhat like Gliere and Eshpai...very fine examples of Slavic Russian music which I love but not similar to the Soviet era such as Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, etc.  Also interesting, we can hear Boris Tchaikovsky, Sviridov, Shchedrin, and Boris Tishchenko.  Sergei Slonimsky (b. 1932) might be his closest musical heir stylistically and has surpassed symphony no. 32.

That's quite funny about 'shuffle'. I remember my brother telling me that years ago at an Arts cinema he had seen a very modernist film in which people who had apparently died earlier in the film appeared alive and well later on. It was only at the end that they were told that the film reels had been played in the wrong order.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #347 on: April 29, 2018, 08:40:07 AM »
I also hear reminiscences/influences from those composers you mentioned (except Tishchenko and Slonimsky whose works I don't know yet). On the other hand, I concur with you about the No. 22, which is not at the same league of war symphonies as those by Khachaturian et al. I feel this symphony is much more expressive, contemplative, less crude, albeit it has some shattering moments. All in all, an impressive symphony.

Yes, I never really think of No.22 as a 'War Symphony' but I always enjoy it. The wartime No.24 is a darker work and the poignancy of the Cello Concerto of 1945 always strike me as more war-influenced although No.24 is in commemoration of a friend of the composer.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline BasilValentine

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #348 on: May 01, 2018, 04:05:50 PM »
I remember getting a record token for Christmas or my birthday in the early 1970s and spending on the EMI/Melodiya LP of Symphony 22 (coupled with a work by the conductor Svetlanov). Somewhere there exists a recording by Bernard Herrmann I think although I gather that NM himself was displeased by it as Herrmann cut somevofvthe material. Must have been recorded during the war I think during the period of US/Soviet rapprochement (the Chicago SO had commissioned the poetic, concise and eloquent Symphony 21 - one of his greatest I think).

Yes, 21 is a gem. One of my favorites, or maybe the favorite of the bunch. What do you think of 9?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #349 on: May 02, 2018, 02:18:14 AM »
Yes, 21 is a gem. One of my favorites, or maybe the favorite of the bunch. What do you think of 9?

Haven't heard it for ages but that will be rectified soon!

No.21 is arguably the greatest of them all. The longest and shortest (6 and 21) are my favourites although 3,5,8,11,12,15,16,17, 22, 23,24,25 and 27 rate highly as well. I like the middle two movements of Symphony 19 for Band transcribed for string orchestra.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline BasilValentine

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #350 on: May 02, 2018, 07:51:43 AM »
Haven't heard it for ages but that will be rectified soon!

No.21 is arguably the greatest of them all. The longest and shortest (6 and 21) are my favourites although 3,5,8,11,12,15,16,17, 22, 23,24,25 and 27 rate highly as well. I like the middle two movements of Symphony 19 for Band transcribed for string orchestra.

I have the Svetlanov complete set and like most of the interpretations. Not his 9 though. The first movement is ponderously slow. Have a live performance by Edward Downes and the BBC Phil that is much better. 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #351 on: May 02, 2018, 10:23:03 AM »
I have the Svetlanov complete set and like most of the interpretations. Not his 9 though. The first movement is ponderously slow. Have a live performance by Edward Downes and the BBC Phil that is much better.
Ok I'll try to fish out the Downes recording.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline J

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #352 on: May 08, 2018, 07:29:23 AM »
As I think Jeffrey will agree, the Morton Gould recording of Symphony 21 beats all the alternatives.  It's comparatively fast, and just utterly cohesive, seamless, and inexorable, with perfect ensemble.  As compelling a Miaskovsky recording as there is in my judgment, and essential listening for all Miaskovskians, - especially so if you're an enthusiast for this work.  Stylistically the very antithesis of Svetlanov (which I like very much too, however).  For Symphony 22 there's also a Northern Flowers recording that I find preferable to Svetlanov, - slower, better played, and in much better sound (Svetlanov's 22 was among the oldest of his cycle, I believe).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #353 on: May 09, 2018, 01:07:47 PM »
As I think Jeffrey will agree, the Morton Gould recording of Symphony 21 beats all the alternatives.  It's comparatively fast, and just utterly cohesive, seamless, and inexorable, with perfect ensemble.  As compelling a Miaskovsky recording as there is in my judgment, and essential listening for all Miaskovskians, - especially so if you're an enthusiast for this work.  Stylistically the very antithesis of Svetlanov (which I like very much too, however).  For Symphony 22 there's also a Northern Flowers recording that I find preferable to Svetlanov, - slower, better played, and in much better sound (Svetlanov's 22 was among the oldest of his cycle, I believe).

Greg is absolutely right about that Morton Gould Chicago SO recording of the poetic 21st Symphony which is in a class of its own. I was so happy to see it released on CD in a mini-version of the attractively colourful RCA LP sleeve (and alongside its original LP partner Rimsky Korsakov's 'Antar') in a Morton Gould boxed set. I had been waiting for this to appear on CD for decades.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Daverz

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #354 on: May 11, 2018, 07:45:40 PM »
Greg is absolutely right about that Morton Gould Chicago SO recording of the poetic 21st Symphony which is in a class of its own. I was so happy to see it released on CD in a mini-version of the attractively colourful RCA LP sleeve (and alongside its original LP partner Rimsky Korsakov's 'Antar') in a Morton Gould boxed set. I had been waiting for this to appear on CD for decades.

It's not just a great recording of a Miaskovsky symphony, it's one of the greatest recordings of anything.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #355 on: May 12, 2018, 02:06:35 AM »
It's not just a great recording of a Miaskovsky symphony, it's one of the greatest recordings of anything.

It does have a very special atmosphere - I agree.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #356 on: May 14, 2018, 06:47:24 PM »
I'm revisiting a symphony that impressed me very much the first time I heard it, and right now is delighting me again: the Symphony No. 22 Symphony-Ballad, an authentic war symphony (I'm wanting to hear the Merikanto's symphony 2 next (related to war, too)). It's a solid single-movement symphony, imbued with the strength of a battletank, immensely haunting, a poem for bravery. The conducting is under Svetlanov (from the old box set).

It's a great symphony, for sure. I especially like the expansive cello theme in the first movement and the "cavalry charge" of the trumpets in the finale. Merikanto's Symphony no. 2 is also great, btw!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #357 on: May 14, 2018, 07:24:24 PM »
It's a great symphony, for sure. I especially like the expansive cello theme in the first movement and the "cavalry charge" of the trumpets in the finale. Merikanto's Symphony no. 2 is also great, btw!

I can't do anything but agree. It has a sort of epic atmosphere that I find so appealing. The ending (with the 'cavalry charge') happens a bit sudden, yet effective after all.

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #358 on: July 16, 2018, 12:33:29 PM »
Today I started listening to the 13 string quartets, especifically with the Nr. 1. I didn't expect a so bitter and lugubrious work, rather pessimistic and dissonant. I wonder what inspired Miaskovsky to write his 1st quartet in this way. I think it's a very strong and serious work which I liked very much.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #359 on: July 16, 2018, 01:14:40 PM »
Today I started listening to the 13 string quartets, especifically with the Nr. 1. I didn't expect a so bitter and lugubrious work, rather pessimistic and dissonant. I wonder what inspired Miaskovsky to write his 1st quartet in this way. I think it's a very strong and serious work which I liked very much.

At the other end 13 is my favourite - very moving and memorable.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).