Your Top 10 Favorite Russian Composers

Started by Mirror Image, July 20, 2016, 08:21:54 PM

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musicrom

Off the top of my head...

1. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
2. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
3. Dmitri Shostakovich
4. Sergei Prokofiev
5. Igor Stravinsky
6. Alfred Schnittke
7. Sergei Rachmaninoff
8. Alexander Glazunov
9. Alexander Scriabin
10. Dmitry Kabalevsky

Overtones

1) Prokofiev


2) Shostakovic
3) Stravinskij
4) Shnitke
5) Chajkovskij


6) Rachmaninov


7) Borodin
8 ) Skrjabin
9) Rimskij-Korsakov
10) Glazunov

Florestan

(crosspost from the "What are you currently reading?" thread; too much fun to let it be buried there.)



This must be the most defamatory book I've ever read about anything and anyone.

What does one learn from it? Well, many lovely things such as:

1. All along the 19th century, but with roots in its deepest history, the Russian society was a stultifying, soul-poisoning mixture of madhouse and prison, marked by extreme vicioussness, depravity and perversion of both mind and body in all social strata.

2. All Russian composers from Glinka to Medtner, with the possible but improbable exception of Borodin but including Scriabin, were:

(a) emotionally repressed / immature / unstable;

(b) unable or unwilling to initiate, nurture and preserve healthy relationships with women, be it as wives, mistresses or friends;

(b) either very effeminate or aggresively mysoginistic, both instances betokening either latent / repressed / inveterate homosexuality or impotence, in many cases probably both;

(c) heavy drinkers (all things considered, though, this appears as their lesser, even endearing, vice) and heavy masturbators;

(c) damned if they did, damned if they didn't: Mussorgsky was freakish for drinking himself to death, but so was Balakirev for being a teetotaller; Mussorgsky (again; for Bowers he is clearly the poster boy for everything that was physically repugnant and morally repulsive in Imperial Russia) is chastised for willingly mingling with, and greatly enjoying the company of, the lowest scums, while Taneyev is reprimanded for being austere, polite and pudic.

3. The famous piano teacher Nikolai Zverev was actually an inveterate pederast for whom the piano lessons were only so many opportunities to pervert his innocent pupils (among his victims, Scriabin himself but also Rachmaninoff, Igumnov and Goldenweiser).

And all this marvelous stuff is scattered through the introductory chapters only. I guess, and expect, that the chapters dedicated to Scriabin proper will reveal more information.  ;D

One cannot help but wonder: how could such miserable, wretched and (depending on the readers' own moral stance) either despicable or pitiful human beings, fit rather for the mental asylum than for the salons, social circles and concert halls where they spent their lives,  have composed at all, let alone compose such music as they have composed.  :o

Seriously now, the book is funny (pun) in its own peculiar way.  :laugh:
"Art is no excuse for boring people." - Jules Renard

You did it

Scriabin
Stravinsky (duh  ::) )
Obukhov
Korndorf
Avraamov
Roslavets
Schnittke (though my interest in him kinda died out over the years)
Denisov

kyjo

Rachmaninoff
Shostakovich
Prokofiev
Tchaikovsky
Scriabin
Rimsky-Korsakov
Borodin
Glazunov
Miaskovsky
Weinberg (if he's considered Polish, then Kalinnikov instead)
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

ComposerOfAvantGarde

#45
Stravinsky
Kourliandski
Dorokhov
Khubeev
Roslavets
Firsova
Wyschnegradsky
Ustvolskaya
Denisov
Gubaidulina

ComposerOfAvantGarde

Quote from: Le Moderniste on November 06, 2017, 05:23:39 AM
Scriabin
Stravinsky (duh  ::) )
Obukhov
Korndorf
Avraamov
Roslavets
Schnittke (though my interest in him kinda died out over the years)
Denisov

Only eight this time? You have two more. :p
Avraamov is a good choice but didn't make it into my top ten (and neither did Smirnov, oh well)

You did it

Quote from: jessop on November 06, 2017, 05:44:47 PM
Only eight this time? You have two more. :p
Avraamov is a good choice but didn't make it into my top ten (and neither did Smirnov, oh well)

Anyone writing for sirens and cannons and the lot gets my instant respect  :D

The recreations (I haven't seen the score, so I can't judge it's accuracy) of the Siren Symphony is alone extraordinary!

You did it


vandermolen

New List:

Miaskovsky
Gliere
Roslavets
Shostakovich
Liadov
Salmanov
Rachmaninov
Glazunov
Ippolitov-Ivanov
Shebalin
"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).

schnittkease

Borodin
Gubaidulina
Myaskovsky
Prokofiev
Roslavets
Schnittke
Shostakovich
Stravinsky
Ustvolskaya
Weinberg

vandermolen

Quote from: schnittkease on November 07, 2017, 03:49:45 PM
Borodin
Gubaidulina
Myaskovsky
Prokofiev
Roslavets
Schnittke
Shostakovich
Stravinsky
Ustvolskaya
Weinberg
I should have included Weinberg - great composer.
"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).

North Star

Needed to update this since I've discovered Medtner and  Weinberg...


Stravinsky
Rachmaninov
Prokofiev
Shostakovich
Schnittke
Medtner
Weinberg
Scriabin
Mussorgsky
Tchaikovsky
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Mirror Image

Quote from: San Antonio on November 08, 2017, 07:32:02 AM
Weinberg is indeed a great composer, but I am not sure if he would want to be considered a Russian composer. 

As a Polish Jew, he was not considered Russian by Russians and was the victim of anti-Semitism while living there (not by Shostakovich, who was his friend and advocate/supporter).  A friend of mine said that he had to come to the US to be called Russian; there he was Jew.

But I guess for the purposes of this thread, it is not objectionable for Weinberg to be a Russian composer.

Sometimes the whole 'what is this composer's nationality' game gets a bit tiring. I've suggested that Honegger was a French composer, but he's recognized as a Swiss composer since his parents were, but he lived in France most of his life, so I've given up battling with other people over this.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


vandermolen

Quote from: San Antonio on November 08, 2017, 07:32:02 AM
Weinberg is indeed a great composer, but I am not sure if he would want to be considered a Russian composer. 

As a Polish Jew, he was not considered Russian by Russians and was the victim of anti-Semitism while living there (not by Shostakovich, who was his friend and advocate/supporter).  A friend of mine said that he had to come to the US to be called Russian; there he was Jew.

But I guess for the purposes of this thread, it is not objectionable for Weinberg to be a Russian composer.

Shostakovich was indeed no anti-Semite and faced some criticism from the soviet authorities over the Jewish references in 'Babi-Yar' (Symphony 13). Prokofiev, of course, wrote an Overture on Hebrew Themes. Weinberg spoke very highly of Miaskovsky. Glazunov refused to tell the tsarist authorities how many Jewish students there were at the conservatory where he was Director stating 'we don't count them.'

All this rather pleases me.
"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).

André

Quote from: Mirror Image on November 08, 2017, 07:37:07 AM
Sometimes the whole 'what is this composer's nationality' game gets a bit tiring. I've suggested that Honegger was a French composer, but he's recognized as a Swiss composer since his parents were, but he lived in France most of his life, so I've given up battling with other people over this.

Tiring and vexing, certainly. But hard to escape. Many love nothing more than pinning labels or making neat little boxes of things and people. It's human nature. Taxonomy is the basis of many scientific disciplines. With real people though the exercise has its limits. Some do not identify with a culture, land, religion, national or even family history, etc. Some claim to be « citizens of the world » and resist such attempts .

Was Varèse a Frenchman or an American ? Was von Klenau Danish or German ? Was Tansman Polish or French ? The case of Delius or Weinberg are particularly interesting, with at least three national influences intersecting. Is a composer's national identity to be defined by where he was born, or where he settled and felt at home ? As for european jewish composers, their jewish heritage is as much a component of their very being than any other 'national' characteristic.

This is clearly different from others whose nationality was paramount to their very being (« Claude Debussy, french composer » as he insisted on being referred to). The subject is interesting because it covers many layers of influence that sometimes conflict: history, politics, language, cultural heritage etc.

Symphonic Addict

Right now:

Alexander Glazunov
Reinhold Glière
Dmitry Kabalevsky
Nikolai Myaskovsky
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Rachmaninov
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Alfred Schnittke
Dmitry Shostakovich
Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky

Honorable mention to: Weinberg, Borodin, Mili Balakirev, Boris Tchaikovsky, and Sergei Taneyev ( :o yes, it was too hard to decide myself :-\ ) !
Music is life, and like it, inextinguishable.

I love the vast surface of silence; and it is my chief delight to break it.

Carl Nielsen

Mirror Image

#57
I think I'll give this a shot:

Shostakovich
Prokofiev
Weinberg

Rachmaninov
Glazunov
Borodin
Schnittke
Rimsky-Korsakov
Myaskovsky
Lyadov

Honorable mentions: Popov, B. Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Scriabin, Kalinnikov, Balakirev and Shchedrin
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


vandermolen

I need to hear more Schnittke

Current thoughts:

Miaskovsky
Shostakovich
Glazunov
Gliere
Eshpai
Shebalin
Popov
Weinberg (if he counts)
Lyatoshinsky (I guess he counts as a Soviet composer)
Rimsky-Korsakov

If Lyatoshinsky doesnt count I'd chose Lyadov or Lyapunov or Kabalevsky
"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).

kyjo

#59
In some sort of order of preference:

Rachmaninoff
Prokofiev
(My undisputed top two)

Kabalevsky
Taneyev
Glazunov
Shostakovich
Borodin
Scriabin
Medtner
Tchaikovsky (P.I.)

With, of course, many runner-ups! Had Kalinnikov written more, he would've certainly made it onto my list. Schnittke is certainly a "rising star" for me and I've really enjoyed getting to know some of his works recently. Overall, he's a more approachable composer than I expected (though some of his works definitely aren't "easy"!).

Much to Jeffrey's dismay, and certainly with due respect to his striking new avatar, I must admit that I have mixed feelings about Miaskovsky. :-[ A lot of his music is rather too subdued and somber for my taste - I keep longing for more color and outward emotion in his music. I think part of it has to do with his rather thick and heavy-handed (IMHO, of course) orchestration. That said, there are certain movements/sections within his works that I really enjoy (e.g. the finale of Symphony 15, slow movement of 24, the outer sections of the Cello Concerto, and most of the 22nd Symphony, 13th string quartet, and 2nd cello sonata). Also, I think a lot of his works are still waiting to receive ideal recordings. Svetlanov's recordings are generally good, but I feel like a more variegated (mood- and color-wise) and detail-oriented approach with a really first-rate modern orchestra would do wonders with some of the symphonies.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff