Author Topic: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)  (Read 9189 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« on: November 21, 2008, 03:41:40 PM »
I was going to put this into the Lesser known Russian Composers thread but having just listened with mounting astonishment to this new cd I decided to start a separate Sviridov thread!

I had never heard any Sviridov before tonight. I had read that he was a late exponent of Soviet Socialist Realism in music, that he had written masses of choral music but that there might be a bit more to him than the description on Onno van Rijen's site-

"Sviridov has long represented a restrospective pernicious side of Soviet music. Some love his music because of the intensity of his identification with his chosen models. Others dislike his music for its political implications or for its grotesque naivety and consider his music an appalling example of generalised kitsch."

http://home.wanadoo.nl/ovar/sviridov.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgy_Sviridov

"pernicious" "grotesque" "appalling".....these are pretty strong words!

The disc contains three short Cantatas "Kursk Songs", "The Wooden Russia" and "It's Snowing" for choirs and orchestra, the a capella "Ladoga" and the Suite from the Film "Time Forward".

On the one hand my verdict could be that the music is utter rubbish-naivety elevated almost into an art form, jolly Russian choruses of happy, contented peasant farmers dancing around fields of corn ripening in the summer sunshine or welcoming the pitter patter of snowflakes as winter comes to Mother Russia.....

....but it is also quite infectiously happy music in a sub-Carl Orff sort of way. The folk tunes are pretty, the singing is full of marvellous optimistic enthusiasm. There is none of the nastiness of, say, Tikhon Khrennikov about this music. It is not pretending to a substance which it manifestly lacks. It was probably hugely popular with Russian audiences!

And-the Suite 'Time Forward' is quite, quite extraordinary!! It is like a symphony orchestra meets big band meets rock band meets jazz hilariously over the top riot ;D  A sort of Soviet Leonard Bernstein/Elmer Bernstein! It is great fun!!

Surprised-yes. Amused-yes. Is this great music-DEFINITELY not!! Am I going to listen to it again? When I want to be cheered up-most certainly.

(Thanks, Drasko, for the recommendation!)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 03:45:06 PM by Dundonnell »

Offline Maciek

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 04:04:52 PM »
Ha ha. Nice write up. ;D

I do own two Sviridov pieces! The one Luke posted not so long ago (on the "Soviet" thread, I believe) + one movement from something that supposedly has something to do with Pushkin (on an Olympia sampler disc - where or how I got it, I have no clue). If the Pushkin connection is to be treated seriously, the piece is an abomination. But so are Tchaikovsky's operas. So I choose to disregard the connection and listen to it for what it is, an idiotically naive, no-holds-barred happy romp. Can be very enjoyable, just as long as one remembers to keep to the prescribed doses.

I also happen to own the score of a piano reduction of the Pushkin pieces. It has convinced me that I do not need a recording of the whole thing. :P

Had no idea of Sviridov's political involvement. Hm, sort of puts me off a bit.......

[edit: link to Luke's post]
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 04:09:02 PM by Maciek »

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 04:06:06 PM »
Oh, to hell with it, I am going to download the last movement of 'Time Forward' so people can get an idea ;D

It is SO hysterically dreadful/good that you just have to hear it for yourselves ;D ;D ;D

Offline Maciek

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2008, 04:10:24 PM »
Oh, so it's not awful anymore, is it?

Offline Maciek

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2008, 04:10:38 PM »
(There was a nice pun/typo in there.)

Drasko

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2008, 04:16:29 PM »
(Thanks, Drasko, for the recommendation!)

Nice to hear Ruslania came through, had no previous expirience with them myself. And I think that is probably the best, and the only Sviridov CD you'll ever need.

Oh, to hell with it, I am going to download the last movement of 'Time Forward' so people can get an idea ;D

That's the same piece Luke already uploaded (if the link still works)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2008, 04:31:25 PM »
Well..five minutes and it will go up again ;D ;D

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2008, 04:33:17 PM »
Oh, so it's not awful anymore, is it?

You were not supposed to notice ;D

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 04:48:43 PM »
The sixth and last movement of Sviridov's Suite from the Film "Time Forward"-

http://www.mediafire.com/?gliuyyfgol2

You will either think that this is the worst music ever composed or that it is an absolute hoot ;D

I think that it is both ;D ;D

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 04:50:40 PM »
Nice to hear Ruslania came through, had no previous expirience with them myself. And I think that is probably the best, and the only Sviridov CD you'll ever need.

That's the same piece Luke already uploaded (if the link still works)

Yes-the disc did come and VERY quickly ;D :)

Offline jowcol

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 05:29:44 PM »
I haven't listened to the clip (yet) but I remember reading the novel Time Forward, and I remember it was being the worst soviet era novel I've read-- and there is a lot of competition in that area.

Still, there is a fine line between bad and "guilty pleasure", and I think we all need to walk it from time to time...
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline Pierre

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2008, 02:07:46 AM »
I think that is probably the best, and the only Sviridov CD you'll ever need.

That's a bit harsh - if that grim movement is anything to go by!  :)

I've only recently discovered Sviridov myself, but I would say Pushkin's garland shows a more reflective side to Sviridov, some of it quite charming, some quite haunting. I'm listening to a performance conducted by Vladimir Minin on the label 'Talents of Russia' (RCD 13005).

Drasko

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2008, 09:06:49 AM »
That's a bit harsh - if that grim movement is anything to go by!  :)

No, that particular piece is not really representative of that disc as a whole, it's the most extreme sounding bit there, disc offers nicely wide ranging selection of Sviridov, generaly more upbeat and with few nice tender moments, like Душа, second part from It's Snowing.


Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2008, 11:43:02 AM »
Listening to the last movement of Time, Forward...

Well, what can I say? Batman Meets the Gotham Fire Department? Country & Eastern? It's terrible but mildly infectious. ;D
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2008, 11:51:45 AM »
Listening to the last movement of Time, Forward...

Well, what can I say? Batman Meets the Gotham Fire Department? Country & Eastern? It's terrible but mildly infectious. ;D

Good description ;D

I suppose that both Pierre and Drasko are right in pointing out that it isn't typical of the music on the disc ;D Some of the movements from particular works do have a 'beguiling' charm and show the strong influence of Prokofiev in his more populist works. Shostakovich himself did write some pretty terrible choral works to satisfy party demands!

Offline Ciel_Rouge

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2008, 01:07:14 PM »
Many composers of the soviet era were told their music was rubbish... by the government and they were banned which meant they would soon be starving. I can't imagine why you are making fun of Sviridov in this way. Time Forward was film music and who knows what kind of pressure was on him when he wrote this. Yes, it does sound "terrible" but maybe someone other than the composer himself WANTED it to sound this way. Remember that art in Soviet Russia could not develop in normal environment, there was a lot of hate and fear that the composers had to face on a daily basis.

On the other hand, I DO LIKE a waltz by Sviridov and I DO NOT feel guilty about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57KCUHNkk5A

Offline Pierre

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2008, 01:19:28 PM »
On the other hand, I DO LIKE a waltz by Sviridov and I DO NOT feel guilty about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57KCUHNkk5A

I'm happy you like this, though again I'm not sure this is Sviridov at his most inspired: doesn't it sound rather like a reworking of Khachaturian's waltz from Masquerade (a piece my wife and I have a soft spot for, btw)?

Offline Ciel_Rouge

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2008, 02:29:44 PM »
I like Khachaturian's waltz from Masquerade as well and also the one from Jazz Suite by Shostakovich :) It is a waltz after all, so you could always say it is "reworked". That however would be bias and I have no idea where it comes from :) For me all 3 waltzes are completely separate, beautiful pieces of music.

Offline Christo

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 02:52:17 AM »
So far, I only met people (mostly Russians) who know Sviridov for one single reason: The Snow Storm. AFAIK the only "famous" piece of him - but not yet mentioned in this thread, AFAICS. For one (Dutch) friend of mine, it represents the essence of "Russian" music, to his ears. Actually, it's very much in the same vein as the other pieces discussed here before.

               
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Georgi Sviridov(1915-98)
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 08:23:16 AM »
So far, I only met people (mostly Russians) who know Sviridov for one single reason: The Snow Storm. AFAIK the only "famous" piece of him - but not yet mentioned in this thread, AFAICS.

Ah, but no. That is precisely the piece I had in mind. Sorry, at the time of writing my earlier post I was too lazy to find the score or recording and check the title. But now I've managed to find the CD, and here's the track I mentioned earlier - in comparison to Vriemia, vpieriod, it sounds almost tasteful. ;D

http://www.mediafire.com/?dnwjjdym3yi