Author Topic: Mosolov  (Read 7472 times)

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Sean

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Mosolov
« on: July 08, 2009, 08:03:47 AM »
I just borrowed the CD with Four Pieces for bassoon and piano, Four Pieces for oboe and piano, String quartet No.2, Four Newspaper announcements, Three Children’s scenes (and the Cello concerto arrangement). Somewhere between Popov and Shostakovich in his lighter moods...

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 09:03:02 AM »
I just borrowed the CD with Four Pieces for bassoon and piano, Four Pieces for oboe and piano, String quartet No.2, Four Newspaper announcements, Three Children’s scenes (and the Cello concerto arrangement). Somewhere between Popov and Shostakovich in his lighter moods...


The Iron Foundary is good Socialist Realist propaganda and the Cello Concerto is pleasant.
"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).

snyprrr

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 09:46:48 AM »
Yea, I heard Mossolov was "brought into line" at some point. Perhaps the cd you have (I've seen it) is all the "happy" stuff.

However...hrhmmm... SQ No.1 is the most...mmm... unnerving SQ I've ever heard. This is right in the middle of his experimental stuff, and this thing is just... perplexing. It's highly ugly to me, totally "grey to black", it almost reminds me of an eastern european snuff film. In a way, it reminds me of the abbatoir feeling I get from Schubert's D887, like there is a really sick mind behind it all, except with Mossolov I feel that it's all calculated that way.

Someone said it sounded like silent horror movie music. Yes, and no. It's not literal, but it will give you that creepy 8mm snuff feeling, like there are horrors lurking just out of frame. I don't know, but to me it's quite a disturbing piece... it's just so... so... ugly. Kind of like really creepy children's music interspersed with child killer music.

Perhaps this is what heroin sickness "sounds" like. It definitely "sounds" like a terrible hangover... verrry dreary... fragmented...without the delirious "joy" of Berg.

I just put it on, but it's a sunny day out... I'm taking it off!!! Definitely dead of winter stuff.

The "worst" I've ever heard... I like it!
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 09:48:36 AM by snyprrr »

Sean

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 07:04:44 PM »
Yes, the SQ is pretty mushy and dull, almost like he had other reasons for writing it- there's a lack of counterpoint, a bit bizarre if you're going to write for quartet. Interesting perspective you have- I like your evaluations by the way, I think you see some things just as I do.

Sean

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 04:43:04 AM »
Listened again several times today- the banality isn't all banal, more of the clever intentional Russian kind, the best example of which I think being in Shos 14, that song with the simple but menacing theme and drum repetitions, if you know it.

Offline Joe_Campbell

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 05:02:29 AM »
Not particularly on topic, but can I make a recommendation? Change the thread name to Mosolov's Cocktail. >:D

Drasko

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 05:13:43 AM »
Somewhere between Popov and Shostakovich in his lighter moods...


http://www.myaskovsky.ru/?id=47

Depends on the chronology. As with many soviet composers of that era (including Popov) Mosolov's music pre gulag and post gulag isn't the same. To judge Mosolov's achievements you need to hear his pre-1929 music: Piano Sonatas, 1st String Quartet, Piano Concerto....

http://www.siue.edu/~aho/musov/discrev/moschron.html

4 Newspaper Advertisements are in my opinion superb example of dada in music, because they are exactly what they say they are - four newspaper adds set to music and turned into song cycle.

snyprrr

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 09:02:54 AM »
Not particularly on topic, but can I make a recommendation? Change the thread name to Mosolov's Cocktail. >:D

yes, yes!!!... and 2 "s"s would be nice (snyprrr's graphic design LLC.)

Drasko

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2009, 09:39:29 AM »
The Iron Foundry is good Socialist Realist propaganda

That is the usual tag which seems to accompany Iron Foundry but I fail to see it. During 1920s so called 'machine music' was very popular idea across the Europe and I can't hear any fundamental difference between Mosolov's piece and Prokofiev's Le Pas d'acier, Antheil's Ballet mécanique or works of Italians like Casavola or Aldo Giuntini (like this one) and yet only Mosolov gets inherently negative tag of being propaganda, propagating what? Industrial machine age? That's progress, not socialist realism.

for those unfamiliar here's the piece in question:
http://www.mediafire.com/?usyzwfg7b8t
Mosolov - Iron Foundry
LA Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen (live, broadcast)   

Sean

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2009, 12:17:40 PM »
Drasko, you're obviously as mad a listener as the rest of us with such fringe repertory; the newspaper suite indeed is short and bizarre- this guy must've had a few contradictions, or maybe just rocks, going round his head. Will listen to the music link also- thanks for that.

Drasko

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2009, 12:41:30 AM »
this guy must've had a few contradictions, or maybe just rocks, going round his head.

No, he was just very talented composer with unique voice and something to say.......and then The Party broke him (same with Popov, same with Roslavets).

snyprrr

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2009, 11:42:53 AM »
I'll just reiterate that SQ No.1 is one of the most unique SQs ever.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2009, 12:56:03 PM »
A riveting (no pun intended) performance of Mossolov's 'Iron Foundry' (1933, Turin) can be found on this fascinating Naxos Historical CD. The transfers are excellent and I really like the Glazunov piece as well. I have seen the performance of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony described as the best ever.

"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).

Sean

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2009, 11:00:49 PM »
There's a little known short piece in this connection I recommend- With gigantic boots by the Austrian Kurt Schwertsik, similar clever stomping rhythms plus some humour.

Drasko

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2011, 12:52:48 PM »


I find this painful to listen to. It's musically thin, yet tediously overlong second rate film score of a symphony (Symphony in E (1944)) having very little to do with bold, terribly bleak but unique soundworld of Mossolov of the 1920s. Unfortunately The Party did get to him, big time.
Companion on disc is Second Cello Concerto, contemporaneous with the Symphony, haven't listened to it, probably will, at some point.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2011, 02:28:40 AM »
That is the usual tag which seems to accompany Iron Foundry but I fail to see it. During 1920s so called 'machine music' was very popular idea across the Europe and I can't hear any fundamental difference between Mosolov's piece and Prokofiev's Le Pas d'acier, Antheil's Ballet mécanique or works of Italians like Casavola or Aldo Giuntini (like this one) and yet only Mosolov gets inherently negative tag of being propaganda, propagating what? Industrial machine age? That's progress, not socialist realism.

for those unfamiliar here's the piece in question:
http://www.mediafire.com/?usyzwfg7b8t
Mosolov - Iron Foundry
LA Philharmonic/Esa-Pekka Salonen (live, broadcast)   

Fair enough - I take your point.
"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).

eyeresist

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2011, 07:17:18 PM »


I find this painful to listen to. It's musically thin, yet tediously overlong second rate film score of a symphony (Symphony in E (1944)) having very little to do with bold, terribly bleak but unique soundworld of Mossolov of the 1920s. Unfortunately The Party did get to him, big time.
Companion on disc is Second Cello Concerto, contemporaneous with the Symphony, haven't listened to it, probably will, at some point.

From listening only to Amazon samples, I disagree with this. There is no terrible difference between Mosolov's first and second symphonies (nor the cello concertos). It is possible that, after his enfant terrible pieces, he simply grew up.
 

Drasko

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2011, 05:44:29 AM »
From listening only to Amazon samples, I disagree with this. There is no terrible difference between Mosolov's first and second symphonies (nor the cello concertos). It is possible that, after his enfant terrible pieces, he simply grew up.

Are we talking about the same person? Could you point me toward those amazon samples, because I'm unaware that his second symphony has ever been recorded, or any of his other symphonies, except for the one I mentioned above.

eyeresist

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2011, 05:38:59 PM »
Stupid Amazon lied to me - I was looking at Weinberg's 1st symphony on the Northern Flowers label. I guess it shows they were writing in a not dissimilar language?

It is unfortunate that Mosolov's later work is known only by (poor) reputation. According to the List of compositions by Alexander Mosolov on Wikipedia, he wrote NOTHING after 1936!

This site gives some idea of what he was up to after his 37th birthday:

1937-38 - Prison
1939 - Harp Concerto 
1940 - M I Kalinin oratorio 
1940-2 - Masquerade opera 
1941 - The Signal opera (lost) 
1942 - Second String Quartet 
1943 - The Ukraine vocal-orchestral poem 
1944 - Symphony (without number) in E major
1946 - Second Symphony in C major ; Cello Concerto ; Cello Sonatina 
1947 - Glory to the Red Army oratorio 
1948 - Criticised by Khrennikov 
1949-50 - Song-Symphony in B major, Symphonic Pictures from the Life of the Kuban Cossack Collective Farmers 
1956 - Russian Overture for orchestra 
1958-9 - Symphony (without number) in C major ; Third Symphony in A minor, Four Poems about Virgin Lands
1960 - Hello, New Harvest cantata 
1960 - Fifth Symphony in E minor
1967 - Glory to Moscow oratorio 
1970 - People's Oratorio about Kotovsky 
1973 - Dies 11 July in Moscow
 

EDIT: I listened to the first movement of the Mosolov symphony and quite liked it. (Didn't listen to the rest because I don't want to be FIRED.) I enjoyed the way it was mostly quiet and brooding, a bit like the first movement of Shostakovich 11. The upbeat peak in the middle admittedly sounds like it might be appropriate for a Soviet documentary on hydroelectric power, but shows the influence of his research on folk music, and has some interesting writing for the flutes. I'd like to hear the rest of the work.

His Poeme Elegiaque (1961), OTOH, is a not bad but ultimately faceless cello concertante work in the Romantic style.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 07:50:25 PM by eyeresist »

Popov

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Re: Mosolov
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2011, 03:27:48 PM »
I too like the Symphony in E Major, I find it very enjoyable. It's certainly less appealing than his 1920s music, though. Mosolov's story is really sad...

Personally my favorite works are the 1st Piano Concerto (my favorite PC!) and the haunting 1st String Quartet.