Author Topic: Modern Russian composers  (Read 12063 times)

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Offline Pierre

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Modern Russian composers
« on: July 22, 2007, 09:50:15 AM »
Here's a new thread for modern Russian composers from the last century (I'm being a bit selfish and keeping the original thread focused on contemporary composers).

Kullervo wrote: "What about Mosolov? I've heard bits of his piano music and it sounds pretty intriguing. Anyone more familiar with him?"

Drasko

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2007, 10:32:17 AM »
Mosolov's Iron Foundry 1936 recording under Julius Ehrlich can be downloaded here

http://www.damians78s.34sp.com/records.htm

Drasko

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2007, 12:48:28 PM »
And for those whose cravings for steelworks can't be satiated by 70 year old recording, here is another slightly fresher one:

Alexander Mosolov - Iron Foundry
LA Philharmonic / Esa-Pekka Salonen
From FM broadcast of concert given on 25.05.2007 (3.1 MB @ 128 Kbps)

http://rapidshare.com/files/44434069/Mosolov_-_Iron_Foundry.mp3.html

pjme

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2007, 01:05:37 PM »
This could be a fascinating thread, but getting good and recent information is still difficult, I think;

Alexander Mosolov's music is not well represented. i have an old Melodya CD with Zavod ( great, wild performance under Svetlanov) ,coupled with choruses " Front road" and "Collective farm meadows" - rather bland ,but well performed by the Russian RTV chorus under Nicolai Kutuzov. The most interesting work is pianoconcerto nr 1 op.14 ( ca 1926)- a repetitive & percussive piece - Rusudan Chuntsaria ,piano : Vladimir kozhukar cond. the USSR Symph.Orch. The CD I have is not dated - but these recordings dat propably back to the 1960-1970-ies.
Michael Rudy performed a second pianoconcerto some years ago in Paris .
the CD leaflet mentions 5suites for orchestra, concertos for harp and  cello, 6 symphonies ,two operas and chambermusic.... it is clear that we have a very limited view of Mosolov. Zavod is announced as a ballet for Bolshoi - but i can hardly imagine that it is the complete work - at 2.51 mins! There's propably more.

Leon Mouraviev (1905-1987) lived most of his life in Paris. I have a little but very beautiful piece by him " Nativité" for string trio and string orchestra. But for the rest - ??? a mystery.

Nicholai Obouhov is another fascinating artist. He wrote the most amazing works between ca 1915 and 1950. Mysticism , Russian Cosmism (??), experiment and deep religious feeling combine in really difficult music. Pianoclusters, singing and speaking voices, organ, Theremin, bells and incantatory choruses...I wtnessed the performance of two works at the Holland festival (2003-2006) and was totaly bowled over by the strangeness of this music ( Le troisième et dernier Testament  - 1918). Ives, Messiaen and Xenakis come to mind , but Obouhov's extasis is totaly is own creation.

so far for today...
See yoy all tomorrow.
Peter


sidoze

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2007, 01:18:39 PM »
Alexander Lokshin is worth hearing too. Dark, harrowing symphonies, often including vocal parts. Quite a few of them are recorded, however I've heard only one and don't even remember which number it was  ::) Good website here where you can listen:

http://www.lokshin.org/

Tishchenko adores him and has used Lokshin's works as examples while teaching his own students.

Offline jurajjak

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2007, 05:58:44 PM »
I have the same Mossolov CD--the Svetlanov recording of Iron Foundry is stunning, far superior to Riccardo Chailly's.

As far as I know, the 3-minute Iron Foundry was one episode from a projected ballet that was never completed.

I'll have to investigate to Oboubov--are CD's of his works available?

Drasko

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2007, 06:48:50 AM »
Another essential name would be Gavriil Popov. In my opinion early Popov is more interesting than late. 1st Symphony, Chamber Symphony, Symphonic Suite No.1 are the pieces to go for, 2nd Symphony sufferes a bit from excess rethoric but is it wartime piece so it's tolerable, 6th was something of a letdown for me but still interesting, haven't listened to the 5th so far. There were three Olympia disc devoted to his music (1st & 2nd, Chamber Sym & 6th, Sym. Suite & 5th) but oop and quite rare these days.

pjme

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2007, 07:19:18 AM »
As far as I know, nothing of importance by Obouhov was recorded. But then, possibly, nothing of importance is available in print.

I wrote following lines when the performance of "Troisième et dernier Testament" was announced :

I really thought that it would NOT happen, but Dutch musicologist /journalist Elmer Schoenberger continues his exploration of the compositions by Nikolaj Obouchov (Moscou 1892 - Paris 1954).
Much is unclear about this composer who signed some of his compositions with "Nicholas l'Extasié" (Nicholas the Extatic).
He came to France in 1918 and was a pupil of Nicolai Tcherepnin. He met Maurice Ravel , Serge Koussevitsky and the pianist Marie Antoinette de Broglie.
His life is not well documented and many questions remain unsolved: is it true that he wrote some scores in his own blood? What is the true character of his private, deeply religous universe? Where was/is he burried? He designed and had an electrical instrument built (La croix sonore) .But apparently only one photograph survives. (the Paris opera museum was credited for a long time to have such an instrument)...
The truth just may be more prozaic : as with many talented and art-obsessed creators he neglected his wife and child and was not very good at getting his work performed - inspite of his famous friends! Sergei Prokofiev noted in his diary that he was deeply impressed by 'Préface au Livre de Vie" (Preface to the Book of life")
Two years ago, this "Préface" was resurrected by Elmer Schoenberger at the Holland Festival. I witnessed that concert (at the Concertgebouw) and can only tell you that it was an extraordinary experience.

Let it be clear for the lovers of Rococo-, early- or -late Romantic music, sweet melodies and comforting sounds : this is not for you!
In Obouchovs tormented Russian soul, boils a cauldron of extreme,monumental music that is very rare for its time : ca 1910-1920. Schoenberger sees in Obouchov the missing link between Scriabin and Messiaen.

Roughly 60 opuses remain, many of them different versions of the same piece and his Magnum Opus (literaly so); Le livre de Vie ;
Schoenberger claims that : Le livre de Vie is not an ordinary composition. it is the musical articulation of a deeply felt religious conviction. It is an "Action sacrée" a sacred action- that ,if possible should be performed in a Temple -the musicians beeing the celebrants, the audience the co-celebrants. Obouchov's sees himself as the "Opener" of divine powers -through mystic extasis.
The texts are based on the Bible (Revelations and Apocryphal books).

"Livre de Vie " has never been performed in its entirity. Schoenberger,who studied the scores in Paris (bibliothèque Nationale), estimates that the whole work may last up to 8 or 10 hours. It is divided in 4 parts (4 books of ca 800 pages) and accompanied by a kind of portable "explanation" ,consisting of large cartons with drawings, amulets,charms and mystical, handwritten texts.
Some parts of the score( orchestra,chorus,soloists and Croix sonore) may be almost unperformable.... The vocal lines have more than extreme tessitura, the omni-present pianists need more than 2 hands and 20 fingers,there is the Croix Sonore...(propably built on the basis of a Theremin)

This will never be "popular" music - it really is extreme. But that Obouchov speaks & thinks  in an original language is undeniable.

After "Testament" I wrote:

Last year already, Dutch composer/journalist Elmer Schoenberger, had a fragment (The Prelude) performed of Nikolai Obouchov’s magnum opus, “Le livre de Vie” – The book of life. Apparently Obouchov  worked on it for many years ,never finishing the megalomaniac project . During his lifetime only small sections were performed. Moreover, he kept changing the instrumentation, or reworked complete sections in different versions. The Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris keeps the imposing books and it will take years before everything has been cleared out....For Schoenberger it has become a work of love and history of music, for he sees Obouchov as a missing link between Scriabin and Messiaen.

What I heard last Saturday, “Le troisième et dernier testament” (The third and last testament) (1946) comes close to Messiaen – complex & grand,combined with something like Ivesian toughness – Propably ,by 1940-1942, Obouchov knew some organworks by Messiaen. Still, he has his own voice, and it is not an easy one. Instrumental and vocal lines cross & divide, extatic solos alternate with intricate polyphonic combinations.
This section from “Le livre” ( about 35 minutes in lenght and one of three versions) is scored for mammoth forces : 5 voices, including a super-soprano of Wagnerian stamina ( “the Bride of God and God himself”), a very large orchestra , two solo pianos, an organ and Obouchov’s own version of the Theremin, La croix Sonore ( the sonorous cross). Thereministe extraordinaire, Lydia Kavina, has re-created such an instrument ( a Theremin in the form of a cross, based on a large glass ball, at the center of the cross a crystal star that lights up...).We had bad luck – the thing did not work and had to be replaced in extremis by an ordinary Theremin...capable of swooning & crooning sounds that made the Hall shudder.
It is too early to make a clear verdict on Obouchov. We know too little .But he definitely is an inspired original – possibly confused and hindered by his extreme religious beliefs????
It is a ritual, set off by a stroke on a large bell, unleashing an unstoppable “stream of consciousness”.Inspired by the Bible, Obouchov’s own text is a plea, an invocation for universal love through Divine love .
In the program booklet, Elena Poldieva calls it “Russian cosmism” and speaks of “Sobornost” (a collective spiritual or artistic experience) .
I felt exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. In these times of banality and uniformity, there is still music that can astonish .The Amsterdam audience (very international) –used to even more extreme artistic utterances- reacted with enthusiasm.

Yet another "eccentric" is Iwan Vyshnegradsky (°1893 -1980) who is mainly known for his research on quarter tones.  During one of the mentioned concerts in Amsterdam, his "La journée de l'existence - confession de la Vie ,devant la Vie" was performed ( The day of existence - Confession of Life, in front of Life)
It is a full hour long melodrama for speaking voice , large orchestra and a chorus (only in the last section). In spite of Alexey Tarasov's stentorian qualities and conductor Pascal Rophé's splendid work with the( very Scriabinesque) orchestra, this pompous opus left me totally unmoved and...exhausted... ( From the darkness of Existence's Night, appears the Day...The divine fire of consciousness...etc etc etc)




 Now we have to wait for (more & better) recordings of sergey Protopopov, Arthur Lourié, alexander Roslavetz...



S709

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2007, 12:35:38 PM »
I was about to add Wyschnegradsky but I see pjme has already mentioned him! A most interesting composer, though I have not heard "The day of existence", but the microtonal piano preludes and some songs for tenor (microtonal?) and piano (microtonal of course). The sound of these pieces can be quite absorbing since it is so strange and different from most other music.


pjme

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2007, 12:47:43 PM »
I agree, even if I have heard only very few works by Wyschnegradsky ( pieces for two pianos,tuned in quartertones) As far as I could/can judge, "Journée de l'existence" sounded tonal - maybe a late work?

Drasko

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2007, 12:57:55 PM »
Some of Obouhov piano music (7 Prayers. to be more precise) is available on Jenny Lin's 'Preludes to a Revolution' disc on Hanssler along with preludes by Anatol Liadov, Reinhold Gliere, Alexander Scriabin, Samuel Feinberg, Nikolai Roslavetz, Alexei Stanchinsky, Arthur Vincent Lourié, Anatoli Alexandrov and Ivan Wyschnegradsky

Here is one of Obouhov's Prayers played by Jenny Lin for sample
http://rapidshare.com/files/44630632/Nikolai_Obouhov_-_Prayer_IV.wma.html

« Last Edit: July 23, 2007, 01:02:11 PM by Drasko »

uffeviking

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2007, 07:10:41 PM »
Some time should be spent discussing Sofia Guibadulina, composer of so many beautiful works. When I have more free time I'll try to contribute; until then, I am sure some of you have heard of her and her compositions.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2007, 01:26:19 PM »
Mosolov's Iron Foundry 1936 recording under Julius Ehrlich can be downloaded here

http://www.damians78s.34sp.com/records.htm

Shucks! I only spotted your link now, and it seems "Socialist realism" has been removed from that site only yesterday! :'(

Could anyone upload that somewhere? Please?

Offline Maciek

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2007, 01:45:09 PM »
Some time should be spent discussing Sofia Guibadulina, composer of so many beautiful works. When I have more free time I'll try to contribute; until then, I am sure some of you have heard of her and her compositions.

Lis, you'll like this (the companion thread):
Contemporary Russian composers

Drasko

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2007, 01:47:05 PM »
Shucks! I only spotted your link now, and it seems "Socialist realism" has been removed from that site only yesterday! :'(

Could anyone upload that somewhere? Please?

Here

http://rapidshare.com/files/44838392/SocReal.rar.html

info on the performances is in ID3v2 Tag Comment of the Meytuss piece

Offline Maciek

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2007, 01:48:45 PM »
You're the greatest! :D 8)

lukeottevanger

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2007, 02:35:23 PM »
As far as I know, nothing of importance by Obouhov was recorded. But then, possibly, nothing of importance is available in print.

There are a couple of interesting piano pieces to download at IMSLP...

5against4

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2011, 04:14:49 AM »
Hope it's alright to bump a bit of an aged thread, but i hope people are aware of Jay Gottlieb's superb CD of Obouhov's piano works, released last year? It's by far the most significant Obouhov release to date - not that there are many as yet! His name has been spelt Nicolas Obouhow, which may mean it gets missed from some people's radars; Amazon has it here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Obouhow-Piano-Works-Jay-Gottlieb/dp/B003VPG8C0.

All the music on the disc is also now readily available as sheet music - the publication seems to have been designed to coincide with & accompany Gottlieb's CD release. Di-arezzo have it here: http://www.di-arezzo.co.uk/sheet+music/classical+score/sheet+music-for-piano/LEMOI04174.html.

One can only hope that more of Obouhov's music might begin to surface; with my conductor hat on, i'd love to take on some of his music. i'm hoping to include a performance of the 4 songs for voice & piano in one my ensemble's concerts at some point (they've been orchestrated by someone), & i'm also considering orchestrating some of the piano works.

Brahmsian

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2011, 04:44:54 AM »
Hope it's alright to bump a bit of an aged thread

Always a great idea.  In fact, it is encouraged!  Thanks for bumping this one up.  :)

DieNacht

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Re: Modern Russian composers
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2012, 11:52:27 AM »
An Obukhov rarity has been around on the web etc. but became available on you-t just a few days ago: the large work
"Le Troisieme et Dernier Testament", probably the first work to include electronics in the orchestra  (1946):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOTRsrk5rH8

The piano works on you-t also seem magnificent, rather Scriabin-like.

There´s also a lot more Mosolov available now than mentioned earlier in this thread. If you like Bartok´s piano concertos, you´ll probably like his too.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2012, 08:20:25 AM by DieNacht »