Nikolay Miaskovsky (1881-1950)

Started by vandermolen, June 12, 2007, 01:21:32 PM

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foxandpeng

Cross-post from WAYTL

Symphonies 13, 14 and 15

Darker 13, lighter 14 with some very enjoyable energy and tunes, and currently hearing 15 (what an attractive melody in the second movement!). Continuing to enjoy my first meaningful and full traversal of NYM's symphonies, as it is proving lots of fun and appropriately relaxing. Some of the emotionally searching demands made by other composers I often hear, are absent from this cycle so far, and that different focus is nice. It is simply enjoyable music. I mean that without suggesting NYM falls short in any way. I'm still only half way through, mind, but the less challenging and more restorative nature of many of the symphonies is welcome.

I find the same features in Glazunov, whose music I love far more than I mention on GMG, and Kallinikov's two wonderful symphonies. Perhaps I'm not as blinkered or focused on far more contemporary/recent music, as I think.   
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

vandermolen

Quote from: foxandpeng on March 17, 2023, 02:20:26 PMCross-post from WAYTL

Symphonies 13, 14 and 15

Darker 13, lighter 14 with some very enjoyable energy and tunes, and currently hearing 15 (what an attractive melody in the second movement!). Continuing to enjoy my first meaningful and full traversal of NYM's symphonies, as it is proving lots of fun and appropriately relaxing. Some of the emotionally searching demands made by other composers I often hear, are absent from this cycle so far, and that different focus is nice. It is simply enjoyable music. I mean that without suggesting NYM falls short in any way. I'm still only half way through, mind, but the less challenging and more restorative nature of many of the symphonies is welcome.

I find the same features in Glazunov, whose music I love far more than I mention on GMG, and Kallinikov's two wonderful symphonies. Perhaps I'm not as blinkered or focused on far more contemporary/recent music, as I think.   
I'm sure that a theme in NYM's 27th Symphony comes from Glazunov's 1st Symphony (a work that I really like).
"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).

foxandpeng

Quote from: vandermolen on March 18, 2023, 12:12:40 AMI'm sure that a theme in NYM's 27th Symphony comes from Glazunov's 1st Symphony (a work that I really like).

Returning to hear some Glazunov, Balakirev, and Borodin seems a really natural step alongside the sweep of NYM's symphonies. I did hear the Kondrashin Balakirev symphonies first thing this morning, before picking up my first Myaskovsky of the day just now. Symphony 16 through the house while my kind wife cooks bacon breakfast rolls isn't a bad beginning to Saturday.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

vandermolen

#863
Quote from: foxandpeng on March 18, 2023, 01:45:14 AMReturning to hear some Glazunov, Balakirev, and Borodin seems a really natural step alongside the sweep of NYM's symphonies. I did hear the Kondrashin Balakirev symphonies first thing this morning, before picking up my first Myaskovsky of the day just now. Symphony 16 through the house while my kind wife cooks bacon breakfast rolls isn't a bad beginning to Saturday.
I like the sound of bacon breakfast rolls! The 16th Symphony, inspired by an aircraft disaster (the crash of the massive 'Maxim Gorky'), has a wonderful, funereal slow movement.
"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).

Karl Henning

Quote from: vandermolen on March 16, 2023, 02:28:00 AMA great pleasure Danny! After your marathon traversal of the symphonies you could investigate some of his other scores (if you don't already know them) here are my top recommendations:
String Quartet No.13
Piano Sonata 5
Cello Concerto
Violin Concerto
Lyric Concertino
Two Pieces for Strings (adapted from the middle movements of Symphony No.19 for Band)
The Kremlin at Night (only on You Tube)
Thanks, again, Jeffrey. I wasn't aware of the (though I might easily have theorized the existence of a) Violin Concerto. Found this readily:

Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

foxandpeng

Cross-post from WAYLT...

Nicolai Miaskovsky
Complete Symphonies
Symphony 18
Svetlanov
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia

This is delightful, to be honest. Folk melodies and whirling peasants abound! There's no doubt that NYM writes masterfully for strings, and that is becoming increasingly apparent to me as he moves into this purple patch of quality writing. Wind instruments, brass... all the good stuff.

Without access to a great deal of liner notes or review material, I wonder whether there is an element of NYM looking back over his shoulder to a simpler and less modern time in this symphony. There seems more rustic joy and glad celebration than the political complexities and upheaval of his time, would suggest. Whatever the rights or wrongs of that take, this is music to cheer the spirits and lift the mood.

Go, go, NYM.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

vandermolen

Quote from: foxandpeng on March 20, 2023, 05:53:52 AMCross-post from WAYLT...

Nicolai Miaskovsky
Complete Symphonies
Symphony 18
Svetlanov
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia

This is delightful, to be honest. Folk melodies and whirling peasants abound! There's no doubt that NYM writes masterfully for strings, and that is becoming increasingly apparent to me as he moves into this purple patch of quality writing. Wind instruments, brass... all the good stuff.

Without access to a great deal of liner notes or review material, I wonder whether there is an element of NYM looking back over his shoulder to a simpler and less modern time in this symphony. There seems more rustic joy and glad celebration than the political complexities and upheaval of his time, would suggest. Whatever the rights or wrongs of that take, this is music to cheer the spirits and lift the mood.

Go, go, NYM.
Don't worry, the liner notes will be coming your way soon!  ;D
"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).

foxandpeng

Quote from: vandermolen on March 20, 2023, 06:43:09 AMDon't worry, the liner notes will be coming your way soon!  ;D

Haha, that wasn't a hint! Nevertheless, I am immensely grateful  ;D. It's never been a surprise to me that music needs narrative to explain it. It may carry waves of emotion, sometimes very primally so, but context can only be provided by stated intention. Holmboe makes the same kind of fairly obvious point in his book Enjoying Music, so access to written insights really helps. Without it, we can only approximate the intention of the composer.

Now, whether that even matters, or whether we even bother pondering the idea of the 'death of the author' in musical terms, are another issue again!
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

foxandpeng

Symphony 19 is an immediate winner for me, again. Probably far too upbeat for some of us, but I like it a great deal. Not a very technical analysis, but still.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: foxandpeng on March 15, 2023, 09:12:29 PMBrilliant! This is just very helpful, thank you 😁. I'm so glad you've benefitted from your survey, and even more glad you've taken time to share some thoughts. It really does appear that the best part of my discovery starts with the symphonies to come!

Thank you, again for sharing your knowledge 🥳🥳

You're welcome, Danny, just to clarify that I'm only giving my humble appreciations of these works, someone who's got a more emotional reaction to music rather than an intellectual one. I hope you continue finding much pleasure in these fabulous works.
Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that is calculating.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: vandermolen on March 16, 2023, 12:53:54 AMInteresting list Cesar, which I largely agree with, although the sprawling No.6 is my favourite for its moments of profound beauty and emotion, which are more compelling as they break through the 'academic' surface (trio of the scherzo - that flute passage is one of the most moving moments that I know in all classical music) and the entry of the chorus at the end.
No. 8 has a very moving slow movement 'like a Russian Delius of the Steppes' according to one source. Apart from No.6, 3, 17, 21,and 27 are my favourites and I rate 12,15,16,22,23,24 and 25 very highly. I liked the new Naxos recording of 13 more than expected. 11 has its moments too. No.5 is highly rated but it is a bit too 'perky' for me; I prefer the all-encompassing pervasive gloom. 8)
Thanks, Jeffrey, and I'm aware of your fondness of the Sixth, a work that has grown on me with repeated listens; the sort of baleful Scherzo with its profundly endearing Trio is really something else, a great movement for sure, so is the last movement (the chorus is definitely mandatory to me to enjoy the work much better). I have yet to hear the Naxos recording comprising Nos. 1 and 13.
Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that is calculating.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: Karl Henning on March 16, 2023, 07:04:55 AMMost interesting, Cesar. I don't at present foresee knowing them so comprehensively myself. (I still haven't made a complete traversal, even. Back when I knew little more of Myaskovsky than lines here and there in Prokofiev bios (I first learnt of him in Harlow Robinson's generally good book) I tended to dismiss his music as "same gloom, different day," so at the least I am delighted to have heard so much genuinely excellent music of Myaskovsky's, and even better, morally, to have found that the early symphonies are rather better than I had at first hostilely appraised them.
The last part is very true as I also had a rather unfair view of the early symphonies, but they are much more interesting than I had thought initially. One finds new details and puts together the puzzle better with each listen.
Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that is calculating.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

foxandpeng

#872
Nicolai Miaskovsky
Complete Symphonies
Symphony 20
Svetlanov
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia

Miaskovsky 20 continues to deliver on emotionally arresting tunes, huh? Having heard it through four or five times now, the beauty of the central movement and its recapitulation in the symphon's conclusion, refuses to lie down. No wonder this won the Stalin prize.

Just captivating.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

foxandpeng

Cross-post from WAYLT

Nicolai Miaskovsky
Complete Symphonies
Symphony 21
Svetlanov
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia

Fourth time through for 21. Beginning to gather some familiarity with this now. I've found this symphony harder to connect to than others, surprisingly. It feels like a change of style, somehow, which I think has thrown me. Perhaps because there are fewer light moments? Fewer folk or pastoral passages, maybe? It certainly feels like a more modern symphony than some of its predecessors. Not in a bad way, just in a way. Perhaps it is simply more complex? Maybe it's just Wednesday 🤔

Again, purely subjective and open to correction by wiser ears.

What is worth commenting on, is the quality of liner notes included in the Alto booklet, written by our own Vandermolen. Extremely informative and thoughtfully incisive. Credit where such is due.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Symphonic Addict

I'm not much fond of the Svetlanov recording of that symphony. This is the recording that opened my ears to the No. 21 (epic cover art too):


Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that is calculating.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer

vandermolen

Quote from: foxandpeng on March 22, 2023, 01:46:53 PMCross-post from WAYLT

Nicolai Miaskovsky
Complete Symphonies
Symphony 21
Svetlanov
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia

Fourth time through for 21. Beginning to gather some familiarity with this now. I've found this symphony harder to connect to than others, surprisingly. It feels like a change of style, somehow, which I think has thrown me. Perhaps because there are fewer light moments? Fewer folk or pastoral passages, maybe? It certainly feels like a more modern symphony than some of its predecessors. Not in a bad way, just in a way. Perhaps it is simply more complex? Maybe it's just Wednesday 🤔

Again, purely subjective and open to correction by wiser ears.

What is worth commenting on, is the quality of liner notes included in the Alto booklet, written by our own Vandermolen. Extremely informative and thoughtfully incisive. Credit where such is due.
Thank you Danny!  :)
"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).

vandermolen

Quote from: Løvfald on March 22, 2023, 05:27:57 PMI'm not much fond of the Svetlanov recording of that symphony. This is the recording that opened my ears to the No. 21 (epic cover art too):



That's a great CD - I had the original LP too. The cover art (for the LP and CD) is very fine. David Measham died much too young. I wish his excellent recording of Eugene Goossens's 1st Symphony had been released by Unicorn on CD. It is the best recording, good as the Chandos and ABC releases are.
I'm currently enjoying this unusual Japanese 2CD release including Symphony No.24:
"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).

foxandpeng

Cross-post from WAYLT

Nicolai Miaskovsky
Complete Symphonies
Symphony 22 and 23
Svetlanov
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia


22 is very much a quality piece of work, which even after only a few traversals, seems likely to be amongst my initial favourites. First time through for 23, but on first hearing this is very much my sort of thing too.

Both of these symphonies continue to convince me that I need to speak of Myaskovsky as amongst my favourite Russian composers. I know that sitting with the whole cycle for the next few weeks is necessary before jumping the gun on too hasty a statement, and getting to know the 13 SQs is an additional prerequisite, but I can see that there is enough quality and certainly enough enjoyment for that assessment to feel meaningful.

27 symphonies where at least half of the first 23 are completely loveable and another 5 or 6 are excellent? That has to push Myaskovsky toward the front of the line.

More to come, but revelatory, so far.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Karl Henning

Quote from: Løvfald on March 22, 2023, 05:27:57 PMI'm not much fond of the Svetlanov recording of that symphony. This is the recording that opened my ears to the No. 21 (epic cover art too):



Who are the forces?
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: Karl Henning on March 23, 2023, 08:14:19 AMWho are the forces?

David Measham and the New Philharmonia Orchestra.
Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that is calculating.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz



As we acquire knowledge, things do not become more comprehensible, but more mysterious.

Albert Schweitzer