Author Topic: the Volga - sad neglect in music  (Read 323 times)

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Offline Scion7

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the Volga - sad neglect in music
« on: September 29, 2020, 05:15:37 AM »


Taken this afternoon by one of my Russian female friends.  At some points it is narrower, at others 4 kilometers across.

An early freeze allowed the Mongols recon-in-force under Subatai and Jebe to invade Ukraine/Russian principalities by surprise in the 1220's and do enormous physical and military damage.

The longest river in Europe - by far.  [strike]And all we have[/strike] is the 'Volga Boatman' song, often parodied in cartoons.
One of the great Russian composers should have written something in tribute, as it is the most important waterway in Russia.
 :-X
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 06:12:23 AM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Online vandermolen

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2020, 05:25:44 AM »
Balakirev's 'Russia' makes use of folk songs collected on an expedition up the River Volga and there is Prokofiev's 'The Meeting of the Volga and the Don'.
https://youtu.be/B3YEfdfUpp0
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 05:28:10 AM 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 Scion7

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2020, 05:29:49 AM »
oh, I had forgotten the Prokofiev piece - doh! 

« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 09:49:14 AM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2020, 06:14:32 AM »
I found this on youtube:  beautiful!

I don't know who the composer is though.  Is this the same as the one that Jeffrey mentioned?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASdrFjo2ka4

PD

Online vandermolen

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2020, 07:32:04 AM »
I found this on youtube:  beautiful!

I don't know who the composer is though.  Is this the same as the one that Jeffrey mentioned?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASdrFjo2ka4

PD

No, It's completely different - very soulful.
"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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2020, 07:39:05 AM »
No, It's completely different - very soulful.
Looking around a bit further, it's listed as a traditional Russian folk song.  It's called:  "Down the Volga river" [that version was with Nicolai Gedda and Slovenski oktet] (Vniz po matuške po Volge).  Wish I knew what the words were in English.

PD

Offline Scion7

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2020, 09:49:56 AM »
"Where the Volga meets the Don" is not a symphony. It is one of those things usually referred to as a "tone poem."
I know. It is my second flub on this thread. Fingers went out of control..
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline some guy

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2020, 12:30:48 PM »
No worries. Fingers flub alla time. Sometimes mine--how I do not know--will delete my entire post.

Some will argue that that is a good thing.

[I did delete my original post, but I did so on purpose as you had changed "symphony" to "piece." Editing is good!]
« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 02:57:55 PM by some guy »

Offline pjme

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2020, 01:20:17 PM »
Igor and Alexander, Wolga boatmen!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/cJfRBE2EEMg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/cJfRBE2EEMg</a>
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Bph4UVq6jAw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Bph4UVq6jAw</a>

Aram sees a Cliff on the Wolga: https://youtu.be/y7AGCqYhEKk

Dancing a polka-mazurka on the Wolga banks!
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/_oR3yNlMFSo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/_oR3yNlMFSo</a>

Anton Arensky : Dream on the Volga, Overture to the opera Op. 16 (1888): https://youtu.be/7ulKMrySQVk
Nikolai Afanasiev - String Quartet "Volga" - https://youtu.be/Bw4QCRCUirM



« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 01:23:13 PM by pjme »

Offline Scion7

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2020, 02:04:16 PM »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline pjme

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2020, 11:21:46 PM »
 :) :) :)

"One of the great Russian composers should have written something in tribute, as it is the most important waterway in Russia."
Indeed, I couldn't find a big Volga-symphony/large symphonic poem/piano and/or song cycle/ oratorio/ cantata singing the might and beauty of the Volga.
 
However, Rotislav Boiko did write a Volga rhapsody
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/pH5HTsDe-ak" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/pH5HTsDe-ak</a>
and Yuri Shaporin's oratorio "The Battle For Russia" has a "On the banks of the Volga" part....

I leave the subject with more bonbons piroshki:
Leo Fall: Die Dollar Prinzessin . "Ich bin Olga von der Wolga": https://youtu.be/ldPnmP8KxtY
Joan Davis in "Thin ice" (1937) : https://youtu.be/C0qvU4YlpSE
The monumental Lyudmila Zykina in 1962 : https://youtu.be/_Qy1BWI-zic (nostalgia galore)
and in 2010 : https://youtu.be/dYz5c8KphJQ (kitsch à volonté).
Alla Solenkova, the mighty nightingale, sings a "Rossian volksong": https://youtu.be/gzFjpu0wf0s
Thé folksong: https://youtu.be/1Pw6aMzJ0B8

Enjoy, with some vodka and blini.



« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 12:28:43 AM by pjme »

Offline Dima

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2020, 01:05:23 PM »
The most famous song about Volga in Russia - "The river Volga flows":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt3AwWRN9tA

Offline pjme

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2020, 09:55:53 PM »
I had a good listen at Afanasievs quartet and enjoyed it. It isn't "great/profound/troubled" music, but it held my attention by its quite dark, melancholy tone.

From Musicweb's Michael Cookson:
"I actually thought the captivatingly lyrical opening movement Moderato reminded me of an English pastoral scene even though it was written some forty plus years before Vaughan Williams; Butterworth et al were becoming known."

Read more: http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2012/Dec12/Russian_quartets_30717582.htm#ixzz6Zh6gduha


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Bw4QCRCUirM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Bw4QCRCUirM</a>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolay_Afanasyev_(composer)

Writing in his "Handbook for String Quartet Players",  the famous chamber music scholar Wilhelm Altmann has this to say about Afanasiev's Volga Quartet:

“Afanasiev's Prize-winning Volga Quartet of 1860 (first published in 1866) makes frequent use of Russian folk melody and from the title, it is clear we are to imagine the life and tribulations of the Volga boatmen on the river. Certainly, the rhythms often conjure up the motion of waves. The work is written in true quartet style and each instrument is given ample opportunities with the thematic material. While the harmonic structure is straight forward, the rhythms are at times complicated. Even today (writing in 1936) this quartet is certain to make a strong impression and is enjoyable to play. The opening movement, Moderato, has for its main theme a heavy folk song of the Volga Boatmen. The voice leading is quite engrossing and sounds quite good. The five-beat meter of the second movement, Allegretto, is dance-like. It serves as a scherzo. An atmospheric Adagio full of ripe melody follows. The finale, Allegro non troppo, combines lyricism with further dance-like rhythms."

If you are looking for a really Russian-sounding work from the Romantic era, here is a work which will fill the bill. It is sure to be a hit in the concert hall, but is also bound to give great pleasure to amateurs. Those who make its acquaintance, be they professional or amateur, will be glad that they have.

Nikolai Afanasiev (1821-1898) (also spelled Afanassiev, Afanasyev et. al.) was born in the Siberian city of Tobolsk. Other than violin and piano lessons which he received from his father, he had no formal musical training as none was to be had within Russia at that time. In his memoirs, he wrote that he learned the art of composition by studying the works of famous composers such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. He excelled as a violinist and at the age of 17 was appointed concertmaster of the Moscow Opera Orchestra. He subsequently toured Russia and Western Europe as a soloist before settling in St. Petersburg where he spent the rest of his life. Of the major Russian composers, only Alyabiev and Glinka predate him. While such composers as Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin later became known for establishing the so-called Russian National School of composition, i.e. using Russian folk melody, they were hardly the first. Afanasiev's music, and he wrote in virtually every genre, is filled with the melodies of Russian folk songs and the rhythms of Russian folk dances. Though he and his music are, to some extent, still known within Russian, today he is virtually unknown elsewhere, although his Quartet "The Volga" enjoyed a modicum of popularity for some decades during the last part of the 19th century, especially in Germany.

Some sources say that Afanasiev composed as many as 12 string quartets. However, the only one which seems to have survived is the string quartet he composed for the 1860 competition held by The Russian Muscial Society. He subtitled it "The Volga" and it went on to win the First Prize.

Source: https://www.earsense.org/chamber-music/Nikolay-Afanasyev-String-Quartet-in-a-minor-The-Volga/

Offline pjme

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Re: the Volga - sad neglect in music
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2020, 09:24:26 AM »
More Afanasiev, a recent (2019) CD by RocTet



https://www.nporadio4.nl/cds/roctet-novoselye-housewarming