Author Topic: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)  (Read 4080 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Location: Wales
  • Currently Listening to:
    Myaskovsky, Schnittke, Pettersson and others
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2022, 07:43:00 AM »
Trying the 5th Symphony. I keep feeling like the first movement is trying to quote the Dies Irae but without fully committing to it.

Offline Symphonic Addict

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 6195
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2022, 05:23:21 PM »
Predictable cross post today from WAYLT. Release day has been long overdue and much anticipated!

Emil Tabakov
Complete Symphonies Volume 7
Concerto for 15 Strings
Symphony 9
Emil Tabakov
Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra


I have only listened to the Symphony 9 so far, but here are some initial thoughts.

This is as outstanding as I hoped it might be. Fraught and frantic, atmospheric and funereal (those bells in the Presto!), edgy and anxious, ponderous and reflective... it has lots of the nails on chalkboard that Tabakov does so well. This is 3am music, when the darkness feels deepest and the emotions feel most fragile. Edvard Munch would be proud. I wish I understood the technicalities of the music well enough to be able to analyse, comment and add value to your decision whether or not to invest time in listening, but you will have to make do with an effusive endorsement from an enthusiastic amateur. No feel-good factor in this, but lots of painful human experience and raw honesty. There was a metal band some years ago who carried as their strapline, 'Grim Northern Bastards' - mere amateurs compared to Tabakov. It is a live recording, but clearly the recording values are high quality and the players do a real number on this performance. No hints of background noise or audience intrusions - they wouldn't dare, I suspect.

Tabakov continues to be the emotional successor to all that I have heard by Pettersson, and long may his composing reign as an utter force of nature and skill. 5 stars for me.

Cool, yet another new symphony cycle I want to hear this year.
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

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Location: Wales
  • Currently Listening to:
    Myaskovsky, Schnittke, Pettersson and others
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2022, 10:36:53 PM »
So the only ones we're missing now are 3, 10 and 11.

Offline relm1

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1891
  • Location: California
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2022, 04:43:13 AM »
So the only ones we're missing now are 3, 10 and 11.

Why 3?

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 25224
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2022, 11:58:55 AM »
The only one I have is No.1. I enjoyed it but it didn't make a huge impression on me so I should listen to it again ASAP.
"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 relm1

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1891
  • Location: California
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2022, 03:36:32 PM »
The only one I have is No.1. I enjoyed it but it didn't make a huge impression on me so I should listen to it again ASAP.

I haven't heard No. 1 but all the ones I've heard from the Toccata Classics releases (plus No. 3 which was referenced in this thread but not a Toccata release) have been very intense and fine works.  I just listened to the newly released No. 9 and to me, it commands attention.  Unlike Allan Pettersson who has a similar sound world, Tabakov has more variety.  Pettersson is like a long, dark agitated adagio in sound space but Tabakov will have more a Shostakovich approach - you'll get the adagio but the presto and allegro too.  So, more variation in the sound while still being dire.  To me, that's more interesting.  You won't want to see a play where everyone is a tragic character but also need a villain, heroin, romantic interest, maybe comic too.  That's why Shakespeare was so brilliant.  If you only focus on the villain, that can be very uninteresting and is one of the flaws of Pettersson and advantages of Mahler or Shostakovich.  Darkness also has satire thereby heightening the wonderful brilliance of the transformation we'll experience.  If you only get darkness, it actually gets boring.  Tabakov is a more varied version of Pettersson and to me, that's more satisfying.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 25224
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2022, 11:38:24 PM »
I haven't heard No. 1 but all the ones I've heard from the Toccata Classics releases (plus No. 3 which was referenced in this thread but not a Toccata release) have been very intense and fine works.  I just listened to the newly released No. 9 and to me, it commands attention.  Unlike Allan Pettersson who has a similar sound world, Tabakov has more variety.  Pettersson is like a long, dark agitated adagio in sound space but Tabakov will have more a Shostakovich approach - you'll get the adagio but the presto and allegro too.  So, more variation in the sound while still being dire.  To me, that's more interesting.  You won't want to see a play where everyone is a tragic character but also need a villain, heroin, romantic interest, maybe comic too.  That's why Shakespeare was so brilliant.  If you only focus on the villain, that can be very uninteresting and is one of the flaws of Pettersson and advantages of Mahler or Shostakovich.  Darkness also has satire thereby heightening the wonderful brilliance of the transformation we'll experience.  If you only get darkness, it actually gets boring.  Tabakov is a more varied version of Pettersson and to me, that's more satisfying.
Interesting points Karim. May I ask which Tabakov symphonies you would recommend. I do find glimpses of light in Pettersson which are all the more affecting because of the pervasive darkness from which they emerge - in particular I'm thinking of 'the long struggle towards the sunrise' at the end of No.6 and moments of tranquil beauty in No.7 and, most of all, the last few minutes of the Violin Concerto No.2.
"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 relm1

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1891
  • Location: California
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2022, 05:38:42 AM »
Interesting points Karim. May I ask which Tabakov symphonies you would recommend. I do find glimpses of light in Pettersson which are all the more affecting because of the pervasive darkness from which they emerge - in particular I'm thinking of 'the long struggle towards the sunrise' at the end of No.6 and moments of tranquil beauty in No.7 and, most of all, the last few minutes of the Violin Concerto No.2.

I quite liked the Symphony No. 7.  No. 9 is good too.  No. 3, I like the intense violence and presto ending.  Another composer he reminds me a little bit of is Giya Kancheli.  Maybe No. 7 is a place you'd like to start with.  When first hearing it, I remember thinking this looks like a long slog, but it was over before I knew it and never really felt the passage of time if you know what I mean...it held my attention throughout.

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Location: Wales
  • Currently Listening to:
    Myaskovsky, Schnittke, Pettersson and others
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2022, 08:44:14 AM »
Listened to the first two symphonies today and blown away by both of them, along with No. 5 which I heard the other day. One thing I've picked up on is his use of contrasts. Usually loud and fast music interrupted by quieter, stiller passages. Kind of reminds me of the end of Tippett's symphonies 1, 3 & 4.

Offline relm1

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1891
  • Location: California
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2022, 04:58:43 AM »
Listened to the first two symphonies today and blown away by both of them, along with No. 5 which I heard the other day. One thing I've picked up on is his use of contrasts. Usually loud and fast music interrupted by quieter, stiller passages. Kind of reminds me of the end of Tippett's symphonies 1, 3 & 4.

That's also why I think he reminds me of Kancheli - super quiet and slow suddenly smashed by loud and panicked without a transition.  Like in this section of Kancheli for example: https://youtu.be/0YmvKMqV4Pg?t=61

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 25224
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2022, 06:00:07 AM »
I quite liked the Symphony No. 7.  No. 9 is good too.  No. 3, I like the intense violence and presto ending.  Another composer he reminds me a little bit of is Giya Kancheli.  Maybe No. 7 is a place you'd like to start with.  When first hearing it, I remember thinking this looks like a long slog, but it was over before I knew it and never really felt the passage of time if you know what I mean...it held my attention throughout.
Thank you! I'm going to listen to No.1 again later.
"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 foxandpeng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1258
  • Location: Cheshire, UK
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mostly post-1900. Brits. Northern Europeans. Others.
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2022, 06:31:27 AM »
Ah, it is good to read some positive responses to Tabakov :)

Also calling out Symphony 4 as a less fractious introduction to the symphonies - the opening largo builds on the initial somewhat menacing motif with a slow burn which never fully expresses the arrival of doom, and until the movement moves toward its conclusion it never erupts into a fully realised presence. Even this ominous fades into quiet!

The Allegro vivace is a really enjoyable, whirling Bulgarian dance speeding to an exhausted conclusion, before the second largo takes up that same slow burn found in the first, but this time without the menacing expectation of some sort of approaching spectre (until about halfway through, that is  :) ). There is never rest in Tabakov without the ghost of something anticipated...  the hint of birdsong never really dispels the note of gloom, for me. One reviewer describes the first and third movements as glacial, which doesn't really cut it for me, but I know what he means. Ominous doesn't either, but it is a bit closer, I think :). It is only when we get to the final movement that everything feels a little more Tabakovian crisis-laden!

Not as tormented as 7, but as good a starting point as any. In my playlist it runs straight into Symphony 1, which is always an emotional ride!
“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

Offline Maestro267

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2741
  • Location: Wales
  • Currently Listening to:
    Myaskovsky, Schnittke, Pettersson and others
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2022, 06:32:41 AM »
I've done the first five symphonies now. To me the first movement of No. 4 gave off the same energy as some of Shostakovich's slow first movements (8th & 10th Symphonies, Cello Concerto No. 2 to name a few.)

Offline hvbias

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2022, 03:05:33 PM »
I haven't heard No. 1 but all the ones I've heard from the Toccata Classics releases (plus No. 3 which was referenced in this thread but not a Toccata release) have been very intense and fine works.  I just listened to the newly released No. 9 and to me, it commands attention.  Unlike Allan Pettersson who has a similar sound world, Tabakov has more variety.  Pettersson is like a long, dark agitated adagio in sound space but Tabakov will have more a Shostakovich approach - you'll get the adagio but the presto and allegro too.  So, more variation in the sound while still being dire.  To me, that's more interesting.  You won't want to see a play where everyone is a tragic character but also need a villain, heroin, romantic interest, maybe comic too.  That's why Shakespeare was so brilliant.  If you only focus on the villain, that can be very uninteresting and is one of the flaws of Pettersson and advantages of Mahler or Shostakovich.  Darkness also has satire thereby heightening the wonderful brilliance of the transformation we'll experience.  If you only get darkness, it actually gets boring.  Tabakov is a more varied version of Pettersson and to me, that's more satisfying.

I am glad to read this. On my repeat listenings of symphony 1 I was able to make out some of the themes in the first movement instead of it sounding like pure chaos, but it was still an overall one sided work, this is the same reason I only listen to Pettersson a handful of times a year.
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong

Offline hvbias

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1152
Re: Emil Tabakov (born August 21, 1947)
« Reply #34 on: September 23, 2022, 03:56:45 AM »
Symphony 2 is excellent. Tabakov really likes his extreme contrasts.
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong