Author Topic: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers  (Read 67635 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2008, 03:39:02 PM »
Bother! Having not long ago buying an ancient recording of the premiere of Kabalevsky's 4th Symphony I see that CPO is about to release a two-disc set of all four Kabalevsky symphonies with the North German Radio Philharmonic conducted by Eiji Oue.

Oh well, at least that means that the Symphony No.3 "Requiem for Lenin" for chorus and orchestra now becomes available again!

And...a modern recording of Symphony No.4 for you, Jeffrey!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 08:31:37 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2008, 08:50:43 AM »
Now had a chance to listen to Boris Tishchenko's Dante Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 on a Northern Flowers CD recording of the premieres of both works. These are the first two symphonies in Tishchenko's massive 5 symphony cycle based on Dante's Divine Comedy. The Dante Symphony No.5 will be premiered in St.Petersburg in September, I understand.

The Symphony No.3(released on a Fuga Libera CD) did not make much impression on me at the time but I had best go back and have another listen to that CD because the first and second symphonies are pretty remarkable works! I don't think that I can remember hearing music quite so unrelentingly loud! The ear is battered by brass fanfares and timpani, side drum and bass drum assaults which do-at times-remind me of Nielsen No.4 or No.5. But they do work as depictions of the horrors of Hell as portrayed by Dante.

I don't really think that Tishchenko is a great composer. He is now-I suppose-the last of the pupils of Shostakovich who still works in an idiom which could be described as post-Shostakovich-which is to say that he is certainly now no slavish imitator. But he does now seem to me to be perhaps more interesting than I previously thought!

ChamberNut

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2008, 10:33:01 AM »
Would Sergey Taneyev be considered a "lesser known" Russian composer?  :-\

Offline daizowski

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2008, 12:57:47 AM »
Alexander Lokshin (1920-1987)

A while ago i came across Alexander Lokshin, his works are quite nice. Some pieces can be downloaded from www.lokshin.org, there's also a biography / discography on the website.

from wiki..
He was born to Lazar Lokshin and Maria Korotkina, a doctor. He wrote eleven symphonies, two string quintets (one recorded), among other works. A pupil of a great Russian composer, Nikolay Myaskovsky, he refused to compromise with the Soviet regime and dearly paid for it by being persecuted and rejected by the censors . However, later in life there were allegations, never proved, that he had been an informer for the secret police. At the time of his death his name was forgotten in his native Russia and not known in the West. Some of his compositions he had never heard performed. His art, ironically, was introduced in the West only after his death. His close friendship with famed Russian conductor Rudolf Barshai led to their close collaboration, premier performances of his major works and recordings.






Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2008, 02:23:57 AM »
Alexander Lokshin (1920-1987)

A while ago i came across Alexander Lokshin, his works are quite nice. Some pieces can be downloaded from www.lokshin.org, there's also a biography / discography on the website.

from wiki..
He was born to Lazar Lokshin and Maria Korotkina, a doctor. He wrote eleven symphonies, two string quintets (one recorded), among other works. A pupil of a great Russian composer, Nikolay Myaskovsky, he refused to compromise with the Soviet regime and dearly paid for it by being persecuted and rejected by the censors . However, later in life there were allegations, never proved, that he had been an informer for the secret police. At the time of his death his name was forgotten in his native Russia and not known in the West. Some of his compositions he had never heard performed. His art, ironically, was introduced in the West only after his death. His close friendship with famed Russian conductor Rudolf Barshai led to their close collaboration, premier performances of his major works and recordings.







BIS released a couple of Lokshin discs containing his 4th, 5th, 9th and 11th symphonies. Nos. 5 and 9 are for baritone and strings and No.11 for soprano and orchestra.

Afraid I didn't really take to them very much. Found them rather dry to be honest.

Another persecuted Russian composer was Mikhail Nosyrev(1924-1981). There is an excellent website-http://www.nosyrev.com/
I find Nosyrev more accessible than Lokshin. Unfortunately the excellent Olympia series containing all of Nosyrev's major works will be difficult to obtain.

Offline tab

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #25 on: July 25, 2008, 03:24:44 AM »
Here is Tarnopolsky's live concert.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/mnmr68

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2008, 07:32:42 AM »
Neeme Jarvi recorded Maximilian Steinberg's early Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2. Steinberg(1883-1946) was Rimsky-Korsakov's son-in-law and Shostakovich's teacher. The first two symphonies did not strike me as particularly inspired but they were written while Steinberg was still in his twenties. He wrote three more(1928, 1933 and 1942-the last two using themes from the Russian Asiatic Republics) which might be interesting.

I listened again last night to Maximilain Steinberg's Second Symphony. I must say that I rather like this work (in memory of his teacher and father-in-law N Rimsky-Korsakov), especially the redemptive ending with the tolling bell like motive and the percussive use of the piano, which to me looks forward to the music of his pupil Shostakovich.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline The new erato

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2008, 08:27:45 AM »
Feinberg anybody? I'm a novice and would appreciate comments.

ezodisy

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2008, 08:59:14 AM »
Now had a chance to listen to Boris Tishchenko's Dante Symphonies Nos. 1 and 2 on a Northern Flowers CD recording of the premieres of both works. These are the first two symphonies in Tishchenko's massive 5 symphony cycle based on Dante's Divine Comedy. The Dante Symphony No.5 will be premiered in St.Petersburg in September, I understand.

The Symphony No.3(released on a Fuga Libera CD) did not make much impression on me at the time but I had best go back and have another listen to that CD because the first and second symphonies are pretty remarkable works! I don't think that I can remember hearing music quite so unrelentingly loud! The ear is battered by brass fanfares and timpani, side drum and bass drum assaults which do-at times-remind me of Nielsen No.4 or No.5. But they do work as depictions of the horrors of Hell as portrayed by Dante.

I don't really think that Tishchenko is a great composer. He is now-I suppose-the last of the pupils of Shostakovich who still works in an idiom which could be described as post-Shostakovich-which is to say that he is certainly now no slavish imitator. But he does now seem to me to be perhaps more interesting than I previously thought!

I used to listen to quite a lot of Tishchenko -- some syms, VC 2, cello concerti and some of the piano works. I think he's a very good composer, original and haunting if sometimes tedious with the repetitive buildups. His violin concerto 2 is a masterly piece of music. Do you know it? As for the Dante syms, I've been wanting to hear them for some time. Someone I know mentioned that the orchestral performances could be improved upon but overall you make it sound well worth hearing.

Offline some guy

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2008, 10:02:06 AM »
Tab, thanks so much for the Tarnopolsky concert.

It's superb. Some very different performances of two pieces I already have* and two new pieces. I'm listening to Маятник Фуко as I type this. It's a real treat, very colorful and full of variety.

*preferable to the recorded performances I already have, just by the way!

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2008, 01:20:19 PM »
I used to listen to quite a lot of Tishchenko -- some syms, VC 2, cello concerti and some of the piano works. I think he's a very good composer, original and haunting if sometimes tedious with the repetitive buildups. His violin concerto 2 is a masterly piece of music. Do you know it? As for the Dante syms, I've been wanting to hear them for some time. Someone I know mentioned that the orchestral performances could be improved upon but overall you make it sound well worth hearing.

Agree about the Second Violin Concerto. I also admire the 5th Symphony a good deal.

The St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra is not the body it was in Soviet times(which Russian orchestra is!) and the two conductors in the premieres of the lst and 2nd Dante Symphonies-Yuri Kochnev and Nikolai Alexeev-are no Mravinskys but I would say that the performances are probanly adequate. It is obviously difficult with a premiere; one has to imagine what Mravinsky or Kondrashin would have made up them.

Drasko

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2008, 01:40:36 PM »
Feinberg anybody? I'm a novice and would appreciate comments.

Samuil Feinberg neatly fits into Pianist-Composer drawer since all, or vast majority (seem to recall reading about existing string quartet) of his compositions include piano - solo piano, piano concertos and songs (with piano accompaniment). Songs are I believe, mostly unrecorded, piano concertos I haven't heard but few are recorded.
Most easily available are piano sonatas (12) on two separate BIS CDs, most obvious point of reference would be Scriabin's late sonatas, but sufficiently different, denser, less mystical more angular, not that easy to penetrate, last few are bit lighter in style. Bottom line if you generally like Sriabin's late sonatas give Feinberg's a try, if not avoid.   

Offline Allegro ben articolato

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2008, 04:52:57 PM »
Here is Tarnopolsky's live concert.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/mnmr68

Thank you very much! I had been curious about Tarnopolsky's music, but never had the chance to listen to any work of his. For the moment, I have listened to Chevengur and I must say I'm impressed. By the way, do you know who the performers are? Cheers!

Regarding Vladimir Shcherbakov, I wish they would record some of his music; it'd be great if Botstein registered the Symphony, as he did with Popov's 1st. I know two of Shcherbakov works: one is his piano Invention, a flaming constructivist bravura piece continuously doubling in speed - driven to a delightful coda. The other, his Nonet (the eigth "instrument" being a soprano, the ninth - a mime!), which I listened (and recorded in casette) at an Euroradio transmission; a gorgeous composition. It's odd he's so little known even by 1920s Soviet progressive music standards.

Cheers!   
« Last Edit: August 02, 2008, 04:57:26 PM by Allegro ben articolato »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2008, 05:01:41 PM »
Thank you very much! I had been curious about Tarnopolsky's music, but never had the chance to listen to any work of his. For the moment, I have listened to Chevengur and I must say I'm impressed. By the way, do you know who the performers are? Cheers!

Regarding Vladimir Shcherbakov, I wish they would record some of his music; it'd be great if Botstein registered the Symphony, as he did with Popov's 1st. I know two of Shcherbakov works: one is his piano Invention, a flaming constructivist bravura piece continuously doubling in speed - driven to a delightful coda. The other, his Nonet (the eigth "instrument" being a soprano, the ninth - a mime!), which I listened (and recorded in casette) at an Euroradio transmission; a gorgeous composition. It's odd he's so little known even by 1920s Soviet progressive music standards.

Cheers!   

Interesting comments on Shcherbakov! Yes, Botstein does seem to have a knack for rescuing little known composers and some of their works so perhaps there may be some hope of interesting a record company ;)

Offline The new erato

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2008, 09:34:37 PM »
Samuil Feinberg neatly fits into Pianist-Composer drawer since all, or vast majority (seem to recall reading about existing string quartet) of his compositions include piano - solo piano, piano concertos and songs (with piano accompaniment). Songs are I believe, mostly unrecorded, piano concertos I haven't heard but few are recorded.
Most easily available are piano sonatas (12) on two separate BIS CDs, most obvious point of reference would be Scriabin's late sonatas, but sufficiently different, denser, less mystical more angular, not that easy to penetrate, last few are bit lighter in style. Bottom line if you generally like Sriabin's late sonatas give Feinberg's a try, if not avoid.   
Thanks, and as I fall into the late Scriabin crowd (not that its very crowded her) tis seems worth a try.

Also I would like to second the Tischenko 2nd Vn Concerto, a major and jawdropping work. Almost makes him a major composer even if all the rest he has composed is utter crap.

ezodisy

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2008, 12:58:27 AM »
Tarnopolsky's...Chevengur and I must say I'm impressed.

oh my god, Chevengur!!!!!! Do you know that that is the major work by Platonov which has not been translated into English yet? I have been waiting yeeeeeeeeeears to read that. Bloody Russian, can't read it properly, and with him it wouldn't make much sense anyway unless you were a native speaker or extremely advanced. Apparently Robert Chandler is working on a translation. Anyway thanks for mentioning it, it undoubtedly will be one of the major translations of the decade when it finally comes out. Going to listen to the music now....

Offline Allegro ben articolato

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2008, 02:56:27 AM »
This is the Shcherbakov Invention's moving last page ;) Most unexpected resolution I have ever faced in a piano score, ex-aequo with Aribert Reimann Sonata's - I swear. On the other hand, it seems that Chevengur has been edited here in Spain (Ediciones Cátedra, 1998). I had never heard about this novel, but after listening to Tarnopolsky's music and reading about it, I'm definitely looking forward to read it.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2008, 03:59:27 AM »
Thanks, and as I fall into the late Scriabin crowd (not that its very crowded her) tis seems worth a try.

Also I would like to second the Tischenko 2nd Vn Concerto, a major and jawdropping work. Almost makes him a major composer even if all the rest he has composed is utter crap.

Oh, that's a bit harsh, isn't it? I don't imagine that you have heard everything Tishchenko has composed :) He is certainly a very uneven composer but-as I said above-I do think that the 5th Symphony is a good work and the lst and 2nd Dante Symphonies are certainly interesting.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2008, 04:21:58 AM »
Oh, that's a bit harsh, isn't it? I don't imagine that you have heard everything Tishchenko has composed :)
Didn't say he was a bad composer, just that this work makes him a significant one whatever the quality of the rest of his oeuvre.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Lesser known Russian/Soviet composers
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2008, 04:31:34 AM »
Bother! Having not long ago buying an ancient recording of the premiere of Kabalevsky's 4th Symphony I see that CPO is about to release a two-disc set of all four Kabalevsky symphonies with the North German Radio Philharmonic conducted by Eiji Oue.

Oh well, at least that means that the Symphony No.3 "Requiem for Lenin" for chorus and orchestra now becomes available again!

And...a modern recording of Symphony No.4 for you, Jeffrey!

Just noticed this message. Great news Colin, thank you. Am currently listening to Tishchenko's Second Violin Concerto, inspired by this thread. I've had it since the Olympia CD came out but never made much of it before. It is really good. Kabalevsky's Symphony No 1 is also good, v much in the spirit of his teacher Miaskovsky.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2008, 04:45:30 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).