Author Topic: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)  (Read 103307 times)

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Online vandermolen

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #560 on: May 10, 2020, 09:22:00 PM »
I need to dip back into Myaskovsky’s symphonies. I had recently bought (before the pandemic) the complete symphony sets on Olympia and the SQs on Northern Flowers, but haven’t cracked either open yet. I own the initial set of symphonies on the Warner label, but it had several defective discs and it seems that it wasn’t just one time problem, I had bought another one and the same errors occurred, so I decided to keep it on the condition the seller reimburse me for the shipping, which they thankfully did. Anyway, I’ll be posting my thoughts here in the next week or so. I recall being hugely impressed with the later symphonies, but this has been quite some time ago since I’ve heard any of them. The main caveat of the newer Olympia set is it doesn’t have a lot of the bonus works that came with the Warner set. I’ll have to see if there’s a separate issue on Olympia containing these works or perhaps someone here knows off-hand if such a recording exists?
I'll be very interested to know what you think of it John. When you say 'Olympia' do you mean the new Alto boxed set (the same recordings as on Olympia and Warner)? If so be aware that the booklet inadvertently missed out the notes for four of the twenty-seven symphonies due to an oversight. However Alto have now loaded them up (typed out by me - a long story), so if you find the boxed set on their website you can download the missing notes. I'll try to find a link in a moment:

Here they are (yellow link):
https://altocd.com/product/alc3141

PS remember that Svetlanov's very good performance of the epic Symphony No.6 in the boxed set does not feature the optional chorus at the end, which I think is a pity. However, I think that you'll find that you do possess a different performance in your collection, also on Alto, featuring the choir at the end.
 8)
« Last Edit: May 10, 2020, 09:28:56 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #561 on: May 10, 2020, 11:06:12 PM »
I'm curious to hear a version of No. 6 with the choir. To me, I don't feel like the finale is lacking in any way at all.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #562 on: May 11, 2020, 03:03:26 AM »
I'll be very interested to know what you think of it John. When you say 'Olympia' do you mean the new Alto boxed set (the same recordings as on Olympia and Warner)? If so be aware that the booklet inadvertently missed out the notes for four of the twenty-seven symphonies due to an oversight. However Alto have now loaded them up (typed out by me - a long story), so if you find the boxed set on their website you can download the missing notes. I'll try to find a link in a moment:

Here they are (yellow link):
https://altocd.com/product/alc3141

PS remember that Svetlanov's very good performance of the epic Symphony No.6 in the boxed set does not feature the optional chorus at the end, which I think is a pity. However, I think that you'll find that you do possess a different performance in your collection, also on Alto, featuring the choir at the end.
 8)

Thanks, Jeffrey. I haven’t even looked at the booklet yet. This is the set I own:



Ah yes, that recording you sent me. ;) I’ll have to give it a listen whenever I decide to dig into Myaskovsky --- I see it’s conducted by Kondrashin, so that’s very cool. Thanks again for sending me that recording, especially now that I have a different version of the 6th!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 03:12:01 AM by Mirror Image »
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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #563 on: May 11, 2020, 04:21:38 AM »
Thanks, Jeffrey. I haven’t even looked at the booklet yet. This is the set I own:



Ah yes, that recording you sent me. ;) I’ll have to give it a listen whenever I decide to dig into Myaskovsky --- I see it’s conducted by Kondrashin, so that’s very cool. Thanks again for sending me that recording, especially now that I have a different version of the 6th!
Yes, that's the new Alto set John. So, now you have a version of Symphony No.6 with and without the choir! The Svetlanov is excellent but the Kondrashin (the earlier of his two recordings of that score) is in a class of its own IMO.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #564 on: May 11, 2020, 05:15:39 AM »
Yes, that's the new Alto set John. So, now you have a version of Symphony No.6 with and without the choir! The Svetlanov is excellent but the Kondrashin (the earlier of his two recordings of that score) is in a class of its own IMO.

Yeah, Svetlanov is excellent in Myaskovsky, but I imagine that Kondrashin is something else. 8) By the way, what do you think of his Cello Sonatas and the concerti for violin and cello? I have the Violin Concerto in two performances, which I recall the Repin/Gergiev performance was the one I liked the best.
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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #565 on: May 11, 2020, 05:41:42 AM »
Yeah, Svetlanov is excellent in Myaskovsky, but I imagine that Kondrashin is something else. 8) By the way, what do you think of his Cello Sonatas and the concerti for violin and cello? I have the Violin Concerto in two performances, which I recall the Repin/Gergiev performance was the one I liked the best.
The Cello Concerto is the first work I ever heard by Miaskovsky - on the radio decades ago. I think that it's great, especially the Rostropovich/Malcolm Sargent recording. I enjoy the Violin Concero as well. It is quite sunny and upbeat with a catchy finale. I like the Feigin/Dmitriev version best (Olympia/Melodiya) probably because it's how I came to know the work in the first place:
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #566 on: May 11, 2020, 06:09:56 AM »
The Cello Concerto is the first work I ever heard by Miaskovsky - on the radio decades ago. I think that it's great, especially the Rostropovich/Malcolm Sargent recording. I enjoy the Violin Concero as well. It is quite sunny and upbeat with a catchy finale. I like the Feigin/Dmitriev version best (Olympia/Melodiya) probably because it's how I came to know the work in the first place:


Great to hear, Jeffrey. Thanks for the feedback.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline J

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #567 on: May 11, 2020, 09:46:00 AM »
Agree with Jeffrey that Feigin is top choice for the VC, if you can find it (I think it can be heard on YouTube).  The playing just seems to flow noticeably more naturally than the alternatives, especially in the songful middle (slow) movement.

That Olympia CD (coupled with Svetlanov's Symphony 22) was my very first Myaskovsky encounter, the CD cover of which induces no little nostalgia in me.

As for the Cello Concerto, my preference has long been Lloyd-Webber/M Shostakovich, again, largely for its naturalness and flow (should "natural" be a banned word?).

They don't over interpret the piece, and I like Lloyd-Webber's smooth legato phrasing (not at all bland to my ears).

If you're partial to a lot of fussing and laboring, Feigin & Lloyd Webber aren't the tickets you want for these works, - but did I say how just how smoothly and naturally they flow?

My choices, anyway.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 09:48:44 AM by J »

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #568 on: May 11, 2020, 09:50:48 AM »
Agree with Jeffrey that Feigin is top choice for the VC, if you can find it (I think it can be heard on YouTube).  The playing just seems to flow noticeably more naturally than the alternatives, especially in the songful middle (slow) movement.

That Olympia CD (coupled with Svetlanov's Symphony 22) was my very first Myaskovsky encounter, the CD cover of which induces no little nostalgia in me.

As for the Cello Concerto, my preference has long been Lloyd-Webber/M Shostakovich, again, largely for its naturalness and flow (should "natural" be a banned word?).

They don't over interpret the piece, and I like Lloyd-Webber's smooth legato phrasing (not at all bland to my ears).

If you're partial to a lot of fussing and laboring, Feigin & Lloyd Webber aren't the tickets you want for these works, - but did I say how just how smoothly and naturally they flow?

My choices, anyway.

Very cool. I’ll keep these performances in mind. Thanks!
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #569 on: May 11, 2020, 01:10:55 PM »
Agree with Jeffrey that Feigin is top choice for the VC, if you can find it (I think it can be heard on YouTube).  The playing just seems to flow noticeably more naturally than the alternatives, especially in the songful middle (slow) movement.

That Olympia CD (coupled with Svetlanov's Symphony 22) was my very first Myaskovsky encounter, the CD cover of which induces no little nostalgia in me.

As for the Cello Concerto, my preference has long been Lloyd-Webber/M Shostakovich, again, largely for its naturalness and flow (should "natural" be a banned word?).

They don't over interpret the piece, and I like Lloyd-Webber's smooth legato phrasing (not at all bland to my ears).

If you're partial to a lot of fussing and laboring, Feigin & Lloyd Webber aren't the tickets you want for these works, - but did I say how just how smoothly and naturally they flow?

My choices, anyway.
Interesting comments. I liked those original Olympia series 'Socialist Realist'-type CD cover images as well. That particular painting is called 'The Return' (from 1969) by M. Kugach. Presumably a Red Army soldier returning from the war and a good choice for Symphony 22 which is from 1942.

PS that CD is available, second-hand, from Amazon.com for about $20. From Amazon UK it is priced at over £1200  :o
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 01:15:01 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 Mirror Image

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #570 on: May 14, 2020, 06:03:59 AM »
Here’s a fantastic photo of two former classmates chatting:

“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #571 on: May 14, 2020, 06:15:17 AM »
Here’s a fantastic photo of two former classmates chatting:


Lovely! I think that the 20 year old Miaskovsky was in the same class as the 10 year old Prokofiev or something like that. Prokofiev had a reputation for being acerbic and critical and yet he remained remarkably loyal to Miaskovsky throughout his life.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #572 on: May 14, 2020, 06:56:47 AM »
Lovely! I think that the 20 year old Miaskovsky was in the same class as the 10 year old Prokofiev or something like that. Prokofiev had a reputation for being acerbic and critical and yet he remained remarkably loyal to Miaskovsky throughout his life.

Yes, the best I can remember he was good friends with Myaskovsky. I think the relationship between Prokofiev and Shostakovich, however, was an interesting one. Shostakovich said (or believed to have said) that he thought that Prokofiev never took him seriously as a composer. But this was quoted through Testimony and I can’t say if this was accurate or not.
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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #573 on: May 14, 2020, 07:37:10 AM »
Yes, the best I can remember he was good friends with Myaskovsky. I think the relationship between Prokofiev and Shostakovich, however, was an interesting one. Shostakovich said (or believed to have said) that he thought that Prokofiev never took him seriously as a composer. But this was quoted through Testimony and I can’t say if this was accurate or not.

I know that if a journalist or writer turned up early to interview Prokofiev a hand would appear out of the front door holding a large clock and the door would then be slammed shut.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #574 on: May 14, 2020, 08:00:36 AM »
I know that if a journalist or writer turned up early to interview Prokofiev a hand would appear out of the front door holding a large clock and the door would then be slammed shut.

 :laugh:
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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #575 on: May 14, 2020, 09:12:07 AM »
I know that if a journalist or writer turned up early to interview Prokofiev a hand would appear out of the front door holding a large clock and the door would then be slammed shut.

That is typical of the man, Jeffrey. Prokofiev and Miaskovsky had a great relationship, one played the role of errant son and the other sensible father. I have told the story before that on a picnic Prokofiev teased Miaskovsky by dropping broken egg shells on the ground and watching Miaskovsky digging a small hole to bury them and not leave a mess. There was no jealousy between them which may (only guessing) not be the case with DSCH.     
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Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #576 on: May 14, 2020, 01:12:06 PM »
That is typical of the man, Jeffrey. Prokofiev and Miaskovsky had a great relationship, one played the role of errant son and the other sensible father. I have told the story before that on a picnic Prokofiev teased Miaskovsky by dropping broken egg shells on the ground and watching Miaskovsky digging a small hole to bury them and not leave a mess. There was no jealousy between them which may (only guessing) not be the case with DSCH.     
That's a lovely story and, I imagine, typical of Miaskovsky, who, by all accounts was a very courteous and dignified individual. Yes, you are right about the absence of jealousy in their relationship. Somewhere there is a photo of Prokofiev unveiling a plaque in memory of his old friend in Moscow.
"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).