Author Topic: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.  (Read 1888 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« on: August 02, 2017, 12:50:23 PM »
I would have placed this in the Bulgarian Composers section but there isn't one. I'm not expecting to be inundated with responses but I thought it worth mentioning as I think that Nenov's epic Piano Concerto (1932-36) is excellent. Because of the political circumstances of his time Nenov suffered decades of neglect. Khachaturian for one criticised Nenov's music for 'western influences' which is surprising considering that sections of Nenov's Piano Concerto resemble the music of Khachaturian. The Concerto shows the influence, I think, of Bartok, Rachmaninov, Khachaturian and Busoni as well as the French impressionists. It is a very powerful and engaging work which I have played several times with increasing appreciation. The Ballade No.2 is just as good. Nenov has been a very interesting discovery:

"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 schnittkease

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Re: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2017, 02:56:01 PM »
Speaking of great Bulgarian piano concertos, Vladigerov's Third and Stoyanov's First would provide stiff competition to just about every 20th-century composer's entry(ies) in the field. By sampling Nenov's work, I can't make that judgment (not that I should be able to).

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/BP-UpwLANhE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/BP-UpwLANhE</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/dxGcywd-bnk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/dxGcywd-bnk</a>

Maybe I'll take the gamble, but only if I'm in a good mood!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 03:20:56 PM by schnittkease »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2017, 10:21:58 PM »
Speaking of great Bulgarian piano concertos, Vladigerov's Third and Stoyanov's First would provide stiff competition to just about every 20th-century composer's entry(ies) in the field. By sampling Nenov's work, I can't make that judgment (not that I should be able to).

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/BP-UpwLANhE" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/BP-UpwLANhE</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/dxGcywd-bnk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/dxGcywd-bnk</a>

Maybe I'll take the gamble, but only if I'm in a good mood!
Thanks for the response. The only other Bulgarian composer I'm aware of is indeed Vladigerov. One day on my long drive to work I was very impressed by his 'Bulgarian Rhapsody' which was playing on the radio. I then bought the CD which also included Piano Concerto No.3 and agree with your positive view of it.
The Stoyanov sounds of great interest too. So, now I'm aware of three Bulgarian composers!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 10:24:10 PM by vandermolen »
"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 "Harry"

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Re: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2017, 10:36:11 PM »
The list of composers unjustly neglected is a long one, a very long one. I have just a limited time on this earth, so I have to restrict myself, which is really against my nature.
I am writing this because I got a rather long list with unknown Romanian and Hungarian composers, more than 15 names, plus samples of their music played on piano. It all came from a composer friend who does research for a book he is writing. More as 80% of the music was composed between 1850-1950, and much of it is really good. But it will never be recorded and heard by the likes of me and others. I have by now so many composers on the table of my listening room, waiting to be played, all unknown, that it oppresses me to know that many of them will stay unheard by me. The discovery is exhilarating but lack of time makes me go into a depressive fit.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 10:59:36 PM by Harry's corner »
There comes a point in your life when you realize: Who matters, Who never did, Who won't anymore, And who always will. So, don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2017, 10:52:35 PM »
The list of composers unjustly neglected is a long one, a very long one. I have just a limited time on this earth, so I have to restrict myself, which is really against my nature.
I am writing this because I got a rather long list with unknown Romanian and Hungarian composers, more that 15 names, plus samples of their music played on piano. It all came from a composer friend who does research for a book he is writing. More as 80% of the music was composed between 1850-1950, and much of it is really good. But it will never be recorded and heard by the likes of me and others. I have by now so many composers on the table of my listening room, waiting to be played, all unknown, that it oppresses me to know that many of them will stay unheard by me. The discovery is exhilarating but lack of time makes me go into a depressive fit.
Thank you Harry for your interesting response. I very much share your view. I often buy CDs of neglected composers and don't always get time to listen to them. I like to think that 'less is more' and it's best, sometimes, to appreciate what I have (I think this is true of life generally) rather than endlessly searching for 'the new'. Having said that I love discovering undeservedly neglected composers - one of the joys of life. As I've mentioned before my brother during his speech at my wedding said that my wife was 'doomed to years of listening to music by deservedly neglected composers' - I'm sure that it was here on GMG Forum that someone suggested that he could have just stopped after 'doomed' HA!
I'm pleased that anyone replied to this thread - maybe it will rival those devoted to Haydn and HB. 8)
"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).

pjme

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Re: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2017, 11:21:28 PM »
Forgotten , neglected composers.... a fascinating topic that keeps some music lovers very busy.

Nenov seems an interesting example. 

On You Tube :

Dimitar Nenov (1901 — 1953) was a famous Bulgarian composer and pianist, music pegagogue, architect. He was one of the major figures of the second generation of Bulgarian composers. He studied piano privately with A. Stoyanov (1919-1920).
Between 1920 and 1927 he studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, took a doctorate in art history and attended the Dresden Conservatory where he studied the piano with Karl Fehling and theory with Theodor Blumer and Paul Bitner. From 1927 to 1930 he worked in Bulgaria as an architect. After further studies in Zakopane (Poland) with the pianist Egon Petri (Italy, 1931) and receiving a diploma in Bologna (1932) he embarked on a career in music. He was founder and director of the music section at Sofia radio (1935-7), for which he made a number of folk song arrangements, and from 1937 was professor at the State Academy of Music. A co-founder of the Bulgarian Composers Society (1933), in the 1930s he took part in the debate on the Bulgarian national style, and in furtherance of this published several articles.
Nenov was a gifted pianist and interpreter of Beethoven, Liszt and Skryabin. A successor to the Liszt-Busoni-Petri tradition, he developed the contemporary approach towards playing that combined artistry with great technical skill. As a composer, he was an outstanding representative of the Bulgarian school. The originality of his work is apparent in miniatures as well as the symphonic works, which contain complex musical ideas and an impressive dramatic quality. The Romantic expression and moments of ecstasy, for example in Vazhdeleniye (Aspiration) and Kopnezh (Desire), betray the influence of Skryabin. An integral style is reached in works which draw on the melodic and rhythmic characteristics of archaic Bulgarian folk music. In the symphonic works, the folk influence is evident in the way melodies are constructed; in the use of variation as a principle of development; and in his choice of modes, many of which are symmetrically formed and bear resemblance to the octatonic scale. His rich, sumptuous musical language relies on a functional type of harmony based on modes, while his masterful orchestrations frequently call for large wind sections and a number of unusual percussion instruments. His greatest achievements are the Piano Concerto and Rapsodichna fantazia.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/dEAdXsmfjgk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/dEAdXsmfjgk</a>

More Bulgarians: https://youtu.be/5zFX-bED3nY?list=PL034540FD1932FA4C


Peter
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 11:24:28 PM by pjme »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Dimitar Nenov (1901-1953) - neglected Bulgarian composer.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 12:59:58 AM »
Forgotten , neglected composers.... a fascinating topic that keeps some music lovers very busy.

Nenov seems an interesting example. 

On You Tube :

Dimitar Nenov (1901 — 1953) was a famous Bulgarian composer and pianist, music pegagogue, architect. He was one of the major figures of the second generation of Bulgarian composers. He studied piano privately with A. Stoyanov (1919-1920).
Between 1920 and 1927 he studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, took a doctorate in art history and attended the Dresden Conservatory where he studied the piano with Karl Fehling and theory with Theodor Blumer and Paul Bitner. From 1927 to 1930 he worked in Bulgaria as an architect. After further studies in Zakopane (Poland) with the pianist Egon Petri (Italy, 1931) and receiving a diploma in Bologna (1932) he embarked on a career in music. He was founder and director of the music section at Sofia radio (1935-7), for which he made a number of folk song arrangements, and from 1937 was professor at the State Academy of Music. A co-founder of the Bulgarian Composers Society (1933), in the 1930s he took part in the debate on the Bulgarian national style, and in furtherance of this published several articles.
Nenov was a gifted pianist and interpreter of Beethoven, Liszt and Skryabin. A successor to the Liszt-Busoni-Petri tradition, he developed the contemporary approach towards playing that combined artistry with great technical skill. As a composer, he was an outstanding representative of the Bulgarian school. The originality of his work is apparent in miniatures as well as the symphonic works, which contain complex musical ideas and an impressive dramatic quality. The Romantic expression and moments of ecstasy, for example in Vazhdeleniye (Aspiration) and Kopnezh (Desire), betray the influence of Skryabin. An integral style is reached in works which draw on the melodic and rhythmic characteristics of archaic Bulgarian folk music. In the symphonic works, the folk influence is evident in the way melodies are constructed; in the use of variation as a principle of development; and in his choice of modes, many of which are symmetrically formed and bear resemblance to the octatonic scale. His rich, sumptuous musical language relies on a functional type of harmony based on modes, while his masterful orchestrations frequently call for large wind sections and a number of unusual percussion instruments. His greatest achievements are the Piano Concerto and Rapsodichna fantazia.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/dEAdXsmfjgk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/dEAdXsmfjgk</a>

More Bulgarians: https://youtu.be/5zFX-bED3nY?list=PL034540FD1932FA4C


Peter
How interesting! The Four Sketches sound excellent and I agree about the influence of Scriabin as well as Bulgarian folk music. Yes, Nenov was an architect too and maybe this influenced his music - the massive architectural structure of the Piano Concerto for example - if this doesn't sound too daft!
"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).