Author Topic: Recommended obscure Russian composer  (Read 1553 times)

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Offline Turner

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2017, 08:39:49 PM »
But there are very inventive Russian composers of those generations too, of course; the Futurists (including Mosolov); Roslavets; Obuchov and Wyshnegradsky (both emigrated to France) among those coming to mind, not to mention later generations.

Among the futurists, Avraamov´s Symphony of Factory Sirens (1923; reconstruction) is indeed remarkable.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq_7w9RHvpQ
« Last Edit: May 09, 2017, 08:41:44 PM by Turner »

Offline Turner

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2017, 08:51:45 PM »
Onno van Rijen ran a very comprehensive website on the subject of Soviet composers, including a systematic list of many of the obscure ones, their works and their recordings, the website once also had a good forum section. Unfortunately it seems to be gone now.

Musicweb has a good in-depth source on Russian/USSR symphonies:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/Ntl_discogs/Russian_symphonies/Soviet_Symphonies.htm

Offline jessop

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2017, 08:56:23 PM »
I think it is fair to say that Ussachevsky is seen as an American composer; he emigrated to the US in 1930, 19 years old, and built his musical career abroad. "Of Wood and Brass" is from 1965.
I suppose that is fair, despite his Russian family background.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2017, 10:18:32 PM »
Onno van Rijen ran a very comprehensive website on the subject of Soviet composers, including a systematic list of many of the obscure ones, their works and their recordings, the website once also had a good forum section. Unfortunately it seems to be gone now.

Musicweb has a good in-depth source on Russian/USSR symphonies:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/Ntl_discogs/Russian_symphonies/Soviet_Symphonies.htm

That's a pity about the van Rijen website which was indeed very helpful.
I listened to the Ovchinnikov First Symphony last night and thought it excellent. It's also a pity that his music is largely not represented on CD although I had an LP of Symphony 2, for strings I think.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 02:12:58 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Cato

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2017, 11:21:48 AM »

I listened to the Ovchinnikov First Symphony last night and thought it excellent. It's also a pity that his music is largely I represented on CD although I had an LP of Symphony 2, for strings I think.

Yes, the Second Symphony is for strings, dedicated to astronaut Yuri Gagarin.
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Drasko

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2017, 11:29:57 AM »
- Lev Knipper (also spy!)

Knipper's life seems far more interesting than his music. His greatest claim to fame (musically) is Polushko Pole, the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoT70zUqqkU

The ones I like are the early Mosolov and Popov, stuff they wrote up to mid 1930s.

Roslavets, Lourie, Protopopov, Feinberg and Obukhov are also worth a spin.

Offline Cato

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Re: Information About V. Ovchinnikov
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2017, 09:38:28 AM »
Hello Everyone!  The miracles of the Internet continue!

On YouTube I was listening to a work by Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov and saw a comment from a person in Lebanon who remarked that he personally knows Ovchinnikov, and that the man is still alive, in his early 80's.

The Lebanese is a composer named Houtaf Khoury, who has a good number of works available on YouTube.

So I sent him a note and asked about the current status of Ovchinnikov.

I received a reply!  Here is a summary of what Professor Khoury said: he has known the Russian since 1990.  He wrote that Ovchinnikov's religious nature and anti-Communist attitudes held him back from becoming better known.  Andrei Tarkovsky's influence, however, helped him to stay afloat.  But after Tarkovsky's death in 1986, it was difficult for Ovchinnikov to get his works performed and recorded, despite all of his earlier fame from both Tarkovsky's films and of course Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace films.

And so Ovchinnikov turned to conducting and toured with some orchestras "especially to Japan."  He also revised some of his works, including his Third and Fourth Symphonies.

Nothing was mentioned about any new works produced in the last years.  Professor Khoury's (apparently Russian) wife "Tatiana" has performed Ovchinnikov's works:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/523ffnItaCY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/523ffnItaCY</a>

The professor said that he has been out of contact with Ovchinnikov for 5 years, and my letter has served as an impetus for him to re-establish contact. 0:)

So perhaps some news about this great composer will surface!
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline Cato

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Re: Information About V. Ovchinnikov
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2017, 01:53:35 PM »
Hello Everyone!  The miracles of the Internet continue!

On YouTube I was listening to a work by Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov and saw a comment from a person in Lebanon who remarked that he personally knows Ovchinnikov, and that the man is still alive, in his early 80's.

The Lebanese is a composer named Houtaf Khoury, who has a good number of works available on YouTube.

So I sent him a note and asked about the current status of Ovchinnikov.

I received a reply!  Here is a summary of what Professor Khoury said: he has known the Russian since 1990.  He wrote that Ovchinnikov's religious nature and anti-Communist attitudes held him back from becoming better known.  Andrei Tarkovsky's influence, however, helped him to stay afloat.  But after Tarkovsky's death in 1986, it was difficult for Ovchinnikov to get his works performed and recorded, despite all of his earlier fame from both Tarkovsky's films and of course Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace films.

And so Ovchinnikov turned to conducting and toured with some orchestras "especially to Japan."  He also revised some of his works, including his Third and Fourth Symphonies.

Nothing was mentioned about any new works produced in the last years.  Professor Khoury's (apparently Russian) wife "Tatiana" has performed Ovchinnikov's works:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/523ffnItaCY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/523ffnItaCY</a>

The professor said that he has been out of contact with Ovchinnikov for 5 years, and my letter has served as an impetus for him to re-establish contact. 0:)

So perhaps some news about this great composer will surface!

A second little note arrived today from Professor Khoury:

Quote
The music written by Ovchinnikov is really great. Sadly appreciation in our time has turned with different tastes...

He was a very good person but he deal with everything in the way he feel and believed. There was no compromises in his life this is why he was often in the corner. I strongly recommend his beautiful second symphony for a double string orchestra, Hommage a Ravel, Yarmarka... as well his beautiful music written for Tarkovsky's Films. Tarkovsky is a Genius of his time, sadly he left too soon.

And so here is a link to a YouTube performance of the Second Symphony:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PCgnNQ9Hsh4" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PCgnNQ9Hsh4</a>
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline jessop

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2017, 06:14:50 PM »
Georgy Dorokhov and Alexander Khubeev come to mind. Both very interesting composers, particularly when it comes to their individual tastes for timbre.

Offline André

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2017, 06:36:10 PM »
Thanks Cato ! You made me discover Ovchinnikov a few years ago and he’s definitely very high on my list of excellent obscure composers !

Ovchinnnikov also wrote shorter orchestral/vocal works that are worth dscovering: Elegy, The Fair, Ave Maria, Festival, Valse-poème.

One word of commendation for the very excellent and very obscure Ivan Wyschnegradsky, whose cantata La journée de l’existence is mind-blowing. His main output, though, is for the piano (microtonal works).

Offline Cato

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2017, 06:46:51 PM »
Thanks Cato ! You made me discover Ovchinnikov a few years ago and he’s definitely very high on my list of excellent obscure composers !

Ovchinnnikov also wrote shorter orchestral/vocal works that are worth dscovering: Elegy, The Fair, Ave Maria, Festival, Valse-poème.

One word of commendation for the very excellent and very obscure Ivan Wyschnegradsky, whose cantata La journée de l’existence is mind-blowing. His main output, though, is for the piano (microtonal works).

Hi Andre'!

Yes, the Russians produced a good number of great composers whose works have remained under the radar a century later!

I have read theories throughout the years that Scriabin would have embraced quarter-tone music eventually.  I recall reading (in something by Faubion Bowers?) that Scriabin's use of parallel fifths in his later piano works was an attempt to evoke the quarter-tones he was "actually hearing."  To be sure, in his quarter-tone works,  Wyschnegadsky  does evoke the world of Scriabin more than a little.

Whether Scriabin himself would have produced e.g. a quarter-tone Art of the Fugue...?
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline Cato

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2017, 07:26:19 AM »

One word of commendation for the very excellent and very obscure Ivan Wyschnegradsky, whose cantata La journée de l’existence is mind-blowing. His main output, though, is for the piano (microtonal works).


Listening to it again today: I wonder how it would work as a pure tone-poem, without the French poem spoken a la Sprechgesang.
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2017, 12:14:35 PM »
There's the other Tchaikovsky
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Tchaikovsky
I have at least one CD of his music, and no qualms with the music.

He has a very distinctive style, with a more serene emotional expression, in contrast to so much angry or bombastic Russian/Soviet music.

Offline André

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2017, 01:37:33 PM »
Listening to it again today: I wonder how it would work as a pure tone-poem, without the French poem spoken a la Sprechgesang.

You got me there, Leo: my version of the « The Day of Being » (as I saw it translated on the net) is sung in russian !!  :o. It originated as a russian work, the composer having settled in Paris in 1920 and lived there for the duration of his life. Apparently, somewhere around 1927 the text was translated in French.

This is the Pascal Rophé version, with the Omroep Symfonie Orkest (a Dutch outfit), with Alexei Tarasov, récitant:


http://classical-music-online.net/en/performer/1948?composer_sort=1947&prod_sort=4910


If the link still works you will immediately notice how dramatic and imposing the russian delivery is. A comment I read calls it an « Acte préalable lite ». I’m not familiar with Scriabine’s magum opus, but I take it was meant as some sort of compliment !

I do not have the French language version on hand, but I find the russian language so musical, so dramatic ! Reminds me (visually) of the great portrayals of actor Nicolaï Tcherkassov:


Offline Monsieur Croche

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2017, 02:46:39 PM »
For some reason people are very interested of Russian obscure composers. Not so much say French, Canadian, Swedish or Spanish obscure composers.

 ::)

I would certainly be happy, and find it justified, if Medtner et alia was far more obscure than it is ;-)
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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2017, 09:25:41 PM »
Sergei Protopopov is definitely worth investigating. The piano sonatas are pure gold!
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Offline Cato

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2017, 05:11:23 AM »
Sergei Protopopov is definitely worth investigating. The piano sonatas are pure gold!

A big AMEN to that!  0:)

You got me there, Leo: my version of the « The Day of Being » (as I saw it translated on the net) is sung in russian !!  :o. It originated as a russian work, the composer having settled in Paris in 1920 and lived there for the duration of his life. Apparently, somewhere around 1927 the text was translated in French.

This is the Pascal Rophé version, with the Omroep Symfonie Orkest (a Dutch outfit), with Alexei Tarasov, récitant:


http://classical-music-online.net/en/performer/1948?composer_sort=1947&prod_sort=4910


If the link still works you will immediately notice how dramatic and imposing the russian delivery is. A comment I read calls it an « Acte préalable lite ». I’m not familiar with Scriabine’s magum opus, but I take it was meant as some sort of compliment !

I do not have the French language version on hand, but I find the russian language so musical, so dramatic ! Reminds me (visually) of the great portrayals of actor Nicolaï Tcherkassov:


Many thanks, Andre' !  I have been wondering about joining that site, so this will probably convince me to do so! 8)
"Now who taught ye t' be playin' patty fingers in the holy water?"

- Barry Fitzgerald to John Wayne in  The Quiet Man.

Offline yekov

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2017, 12:18:59 PM »
I like Vasily Kalinnikov. His 1st symphony is among the best I ever heard

Offline kyjo

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2017, 06:07:52 PM »
I like Vasily Kalinnikov. His 1st symphony is among the best I ever heard

Indeed, it's a gorgeous work. I love his 2nd symphony as well. Absolutely heart-warming music.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Recommended obscure Russian composer
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2017, 06:26:17 PM »
Maybe Balakirev isn't that obscure, but his Symphony no. 1 and tone poem Tamara deserve to be played more often. They're both highly atmospheric and tuneful works that are comparable to the more popular orchestral works of Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 09:50:06 AM by kyjo »

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