Author Topic: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)  (Read 103291 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #480 on: March 24, 2020, 07:13:34 AM »
Symphony no.16 "Aviation Symphony".



The crash of "Maxim Gorky" aeroplane is an incredible story. Miaskovsky wrote a symphony which will in the fullness of time stop this tragic event being forgotten - I was unaware, but not now! Not a program symphony, in fact the only part of the symphony that depicts the actual plane/crash (far as I'm aware) is the finale coda. Miaskovsky is more subtle as he alludes to the event without depicting it.

The first movement alternates in typical Miaskovsky fashion between a vigorous Waltonesque march and a secondary noble theme. The march comes out tops.

The second movement has nothing to do with aeroplanes but instead a beautiful pastoral scene. I have always thought that Russian and English music can be alike. Never more so then here, the opening with an oboe's soft tone is RVW to a tee. Best movement of the symphony for me.

A funeral march makes up the third movement for, I would imagine, the 45 who perished on the fateful day of the crash.

Initially I was  flummoxed by the finale. The last thing expected after the previous grave procession was a celebration (based on a song)! But the penny eventually dropped. The national pride of a feat of aero-engineering and at the end of the symphony, the crash, and stunned realisation.
Nice analysis Lol.
I love the slow movement in particular. I must listen to this symphony again soon. It features in the Melodiya 3 CD set.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #481 on: March 24, 2020, 08:29:50 AM »
Nice analysis Lol.
I love the slow movement in particular. I must listen to this symphony again soon. It features in the Melodiya 3 CD set.

I omitted to mention, Jeffrey that Ivanov's 1950 recording is on YT. The first movement is very good but I found the second rushed compared to Svetlanov.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #482 on: March 24, 2020, 01:46:05 PM »
I omitted to mention, Jeffrey that Ivanov's 1950 recording is on YT. The first movement is very good but I found the second rushed compared to Svetlanov.
I agree Lol. Svetlanov's is better.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #483 on: April 06, 2020, 12:48:32 AM »
17th Symphony.

The symphony swings on the axis of the magnificent 2nd slow movement but no cherry-picking here which I have been guilty of for some of the others. Omit any movement would diminish the rest. The work opens, not for the first time, with a growling rumble and then proceeds at times triumphant, at others tinged with melancholy. All great themes.
The 2nd, an outpouring of a soul, is beyond description. Only to say at times reminded (opening) of Rachmaninov and others of Mahler (I find the harp such an effective instrument for symphonic works).
A movement of such intensity can only be followed one way, a slightly odd-ball jolly march!
The finale feels right. A logical conclusion to I think Miaskovsky's most coherent symphony so far. It is a Romantic 20th century symphony which is frowned upon by some, but the romanticism in this work is not contrived but a sincere  statement. A wonderful symphony.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #484 on: April 06, 2020, 01:09:39 AM »
17th Symphony.

The symphony swings on the axis of the magnificent 2nd slow movement but no cherry-picking here which I have been guilty of for some of the others. Omit any movement would diminish the rest. The work opens, not for the first time, with a growling rumble and then proceeds at times triumphant, at others tinged with melancholy. All great themes.
The 2nd, an outpouring of a soul, is beyond description. Only to say at times reminded (opening) of Rachmaninov and others of Mahler (I find the harp such an effective instrument for symphonic works).
A movement of such intensity can only be followed one way, a slightly odd-ball jolly march!
The finale feels right. A logical conclusion to I think Miaskovsky's most coherent symphony so far. It is a Romantic 20th century symphony which is frowned upon by some, but the romanticism in this work is not contrived but a sincere  statement. A wonderful symphony.
Lovely review Lol. I think that Symphony No.17 is one of his greatest along with 6,21 and 27.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #485 on: April 06, 2020, 10:04:57 PM »
Lovely review Lol. I think that Symphony No.17 is one of his greatest along with 6,21 and 27.

Thanks Jeffrey. With 21 I can use Measham for comparison. Have you heard Kovalyov's 23?
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #486 on: April 07, 2020, 02:39:15 AM »
Thanks Jeffrey. With 21 I can use Measham for comparison. Have you heard Kovalyov's 23?

I was delighted when that Measham LP appeared (with Kabalevsky's 2nd Symphony). I knew the work from Morton Gould's fabulous RCA performance, taken out of the record library, but now I could have my own LP version! Measham's terrific LP of Eugene Goossens First Symphony (best recorded performance IMO and that of Christo I think) has never been released on CD which is a great shame. Measham died prematurely - a great loss. Thee is a fine Samuel Barber CD not to mention his collaboration with Rick Wakeman!
No, I'm not aware of Kovalyov's Symphony No. 23 and I'm very interested to know where you came across it Lol. Somewhere there exists a Bernard Herrmann recording of either Symphony 22 or 23 which NYM himself did not like as Herrmann apparently made some unauthorised cuts.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #487 on: April 07, 2020, 06:14:45 AM »
I was delighted when that Measham LP appeared (with Kabalevsky's 2nd Symphony). I knew the work from Morton Gould's fabulous RCA performance, taken out of the record library, but now I could have my own LP version! Measham's terrific LP of Eugene Goossens First Symphony (best recorded performance IMO and that of Christo I think) has never been released on CD which is a great shame. Measham died prematurely - a great loss. Thee is a fine Samuel Barber CD not to mention his collaboration with Rick Wakeman!
No, I'm not aware of Kovalyov's Symphony No. 23 and I'm very interested to know where you came across it Lol. Somewhere there exists a Bernard Herrmann recording of either Symphony 22 or 23 which NYM himself did not like as Herrmann apparently made some unauthorised cuts.

I have a copy of 23rd Symphony which I wrongly presumed is Svetlanov.

You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #488 on: April 07, 2020, 09:25:43 AM »
I have a copy of 23rd Symphony which I wrongly presumed is Svetlanov.

How weird! I made exactly the same mistake too Lol. I recently acquired that LP which I'd taken out of the record library in my youth. The 23rd is perhaps the most approachable of all NYM's symphonies and that is a particularly soulful performance. That LP is great also for the terrific Shchedrin Symphony No.1 which is, by far, my favourite of his works.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #489 on: April 08, 2020, 05:46:09 AM »
How weird! I made exactly the same mistake too Lol. I recently acquired that LP which I'd taken out of the record library in my youth. The 23rd is perhaps the most approachable of all NYM's symphonies and that is a particularly soulful performance. That LP is great also for the terrific Shchedrin Symphony No.1 which is, by far, my favourite of his works.

Great minds, Jeffrey. :) I will give the Shchedrin a spin.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #490 on: April 08, 2020, 08:15:53 AM »
Great minds, Jeffrey. :) I will give the Shchedrin a spin.
Oh yes, please do Lol. I think that it's a highly memorable and quite exciting work. I love the ending. You think that it's building up to a conventional 'Grand Climax' but instead the music disintegrates down to nothing.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #491 on: April 08, 2020, 10:40:40 PM »
Oh yes, please do Lol. I think that it's a highly memorable and quite exciting work. I love the ending. You think that it's building up to a conventional 'Grand Climax' but instead the music disintegrates down to nothing.

You have tipped me over the edge, Jeffrey. First on this evening.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #492 on: April 09, 2020, 04:15:50 AM »
You have tipped me over the edge, Jeffrey. First on this evening.
I'm really looking forward to hearing your views, positive or otherwise. That symphony by Shchedrin has given me a lot of emotional pleasure. I'd also like to say how much I'm enjoying following your traversal through Myaskovsky's twenty-seven symphonies Lol.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #493 on: April 09, 2020, 06:04:18 AM »
I'm really looking forward to hearing your views, positive or otherwise. That symphony by Shchedrin has given me a lot of emotional pleasure. I'd also like to say how much I'm enjoying following your traversal through Myaskovsky's twenty-seven symphonies Lol.

Nice of you to say that, Jeffrey. Not a hardship by any stretch, far from it.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 986
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #494 on: April 09, 2020, 01:13:26 PM »
+1 to the Shchedrin. A great work. His 2nd Symphony is muuuuch less interesting.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #495 on: April 09, 2020, 01:17:33 PM »
+1 to the Shchedrin. A great work. His 2nd Symphony is muuuuch less interesting.
Totally agree Cesar! I wish that Chandos had recorded the 1st rather than the 2nd Symphony.
"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 Symphonic Addict

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 986
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #496 on: April 09, 2020, 01:20:33 PM »
Totally agree Cesar! I wish that Chandos had recorded the 1st rather than the 2nd Symphony.

Let's hope we'll have it in the near future.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #497 on: April 09, 2020, 01:26:32 PM »
Let's hope we'll have it in the near future.

I hope so but it's odd that, IMO, his greatest work is comparatively neglected.
"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 Irons

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1785
  • Location: Surrey, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #498 on: April 09, 2020, 10:48:05 PM »
+1 to the Shchedrin. A great work. His 2nd Symphony is muuuuch less interesting.

Most impressive. I was put off by Shchedrin by his Carmen ballet and dismissed him, but the 1st Symphony is a very different kettle of fish. I loved the oasis of peace at the end of the powerful first movement where he makes a couple of woodwinds sound like an organ! It was like walking in a church. I don't know if that was Shchedrin meant, but no matter either way, as that is how I hear it.

On vinyl the 1962 recording sounds magnificent and no allowances need to be made for squeezing the whole symphony on a single side. Both the Melodiya sound engineers and the EMI transfer team have pulled one out of the bag here. 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

  • Silver Subscriber
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16828
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)
« Reply #499 on: April 09, 2020, 10:54:08 PM »
Most impressive. I was put off by Shchedrin by his Carmen ballet and dismissed him, but the 1st Symphony is a very different kettle of fish. I loved the oasis of peace at the end of the powerful first movement where he makes a couple of woodwinds sound like an organ! It was like walking in a church. I don't know if that was Shchedrin meant, but no matter either way, as that is how I hear it.

On vinyl the 1962 recording sounds magnificent and no allowances need to be made for squeezing the whole symphony on a single side. Both the Melodiya sound engineers and the EMI transfer team have pulled one out of the bag here.

Excellent! I thought that you'd probably like it Lol. I'm glad that I heard it before the Carmen ballet which I didn't like either. I preferred 'The Little Humpbacked Horse' and 'Chimes' and recently the Cello Concerto. There's was a CD but it can be difficult to find but you are probably happy with your LP:
"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).