GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 01:57:45 AM

Title: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 01:57:45 AM
Russian composer, conductor and teacher, born and died in Moscow. He began systematic music studies in 1888 as a private pupil. From 1891 to 1896 he studied law at Moscow University and attended the conservatory (1895–1901), leaving with a gold medal. He conducted at the Mamontov Private Opera, Moscow (1903–5), and organized and conducted the Historic Concerts in the city (1907–17). From 1918 he gave concerts and lecture-concerts in Moscow; in 1925 he participated in the organization of music broadcasting there. He taught orchestration and composition at the Moscow Conservatory (1907–41, 1943–56) where he was appointed professor in 1907 and head of the faculty of orchestration in 1932. In 1938 he worked in Tashkent on the first Uzbek opera, Buran (‘The Snowstorm’).
Vasilenko's early works reflected his enthusiasm for Russian folk music, kryuk (neume notation) and Old Believer song. After 1906 he produced several pieces that show a connection with Russian symbolist poetry, among them the orchestral Sad smerti (‘The Garden of Death’) and Polyot ved'm (‘Flight of the Witches’) and the songs on texts by Blok and Bryusov. Then between 1910 and 1920 he was attracted by eastern exoticism; an interest in oriental folk music, particularly that of central Asia, remained with him in the post-revolutionary period, as is evident from the ballets Noyya and Iosif prekrasnïy (‘Iosif the Beautiful’). His work is distinguished by masterly orchestration. He received the title People’s Artist of the Uzbek SSR in 1939 and the State Prize in 1947.


String Quartet in A, Op.3  (c. 1901)
Four Pieces on Old Lute Music, Op.35
Suite Zodiakus I.A.S. after unknown authors of the 18th century (viola & piano)
Sonata in D minor for viola and piano, Op.46 (1923); version for violin and piano  (1955)
String Quartet in E minor, Op.58  (c. 1928)
Quartet on Turkmenian Themes, for flute, oboe (english horn), clarinet, bassoon and percussion ad lib., Op.65  (1932)
Piano Trio in A, Op.74  (1932)
Japanese Suite for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, xylophone and piano, Op.66a  (1938)
Chinese Sketches, woodwind, Op.78  (1938)
Quartet on American Themes, woodwind, Op.79  (1938)
Four Pieces (1953), for Viola & Piano
Lullaby, for Viola & Piano
Sleeping River, for Viola & Piano
Oriental Dance, Op.47, for Viola & Piano

 Epicheskaya poema [Epic Poem], Op.4, 1903
 Symphony  no.1, g, Op.10, 1906
 Sad smerti [The Garden of Death], after O. Wilde, Op.12, 1908
 Polyot ved'm [Flight of the Witches], after D. Merezhkovsky, Op.15, 1909
 V solnechnïkh luchakh [In the Rays of the Sun], Op.17, 1911
 Symphony  no.2, F, Op.22, 1913
 Violin Conc., Op.25, 1913 rev. 1952
 Violin Conc. no.2, Op. 134, 1952
 Kitayskaya syuita [Chinese Suite] nos.1, 2, opp.60, 70, 1927, 1933
 Balalaika Concerto., Op.63, 1931 (1929?)
 Turkmenskiye kartinï [Turkmen Pictures], Op.68, 1931
 Sovetskiy vostok [The Soviet East], Op.75, 1932
 Symphony  no.3 ‘Ital'yanskaya’ [Italian], A, Op.81, domra and balalaika orch, wind ad lib, 1934
 Symphony  no.4 ‘Arkticheskaya’ [Arctic], d, Op.82, 1934
 Uzbekskaya syuita, Op.104, 1943
 Cello Conc., Op.112, 1944
 Trumpet Concerto in c, Op.113,  1945
 Ukraina, suite, Op.121, 1946
 Symphony  no.5, e, Op.123, 1947
 Harp Conc., Op.126, 1949
 Piano Conc., Op.128, 1949
 Clarinet Conc., Op.135, 1953
 Horn Conc., Op.136, 1953
 Vesnoy [In Spring], Op.138, suite, flute, small orch, 1954
 March of the Red Army, Op. 64 (1929), for military band
 Fantasy on Revolutionary Songs of the West, Op. 71 (1931), for military band

  Stage Works
Skazaniye o velikom grade Kitezhe i tikhom ozere Svetoyare [Legend of the Great City of Kitezh and the Quiet Lake Svetoyar] (op-cant., 1, N. Manïkin-Nevstroyev), 1902
Sïn solntsa [Son of the Sun] (op, 4, M. Gal'perin), op.62, 1929
Khristofor Kolumb (op, 4, A. Argo and S. Antimonov), op.80, 1933
Buran (op, 4, K. Yashen), 1938
Velikiy kanal [The Grand Canal] (op, 4, Yashen and M. Rakhmanov), 1940
Suvorov (op, 4, S. Krzhizhanovsky), op.101, 1941
Ballets: Noyya (ballet-pantomime), A. Arapov, 1923
Iosif prekrasnïy [Iosif the Beautiful] (K. Goleyzovsky), 1925;
V solnechnïkh luchakh [In the Rays of the Sun] (Goleyzovsky), 1926,
Lola (Goleyzovsky), 1926;
Treugolka [The Tricorn] (M. Galperin), 1935, 
Tsïganï [Gypsies] (P. Markov and N. Kholfin, after A.S. Pushkin), 1936
Ak–bilyak (V. Smirnov), 1942
Mirandolina (P. Abolisimov and V. Varkovitsky), 1946
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 02:07:08 AM
     Original Russian 1960 LP and the American 1973 re-issue.

^ click to zoom

Liner Notes:

The composer S. N. Vasilenko (1872-1956), worked in many different musical forms. He is the composer of symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music ensembles, vocal cycles and scores for theatre and movies. He puts special emphasis on folk music. His work is filled with songs and instruments of his native land. He is interested in finding ways to apply folk-music to new works for folk instruments.

In 1929, S. N. Vasilenko wrote a concerto for balalaika and symphony orchestra, it was acclaimed with enthusiasm by the listeners.

The most significant trait of this three-part work is, its national character: the music is saturated with Russian songs and motives of Russian musical folklore. It contains the folk-tune "Oh, you little night, little dark night", "Against the bright sun", "Our street is wide", also dance songs. The beauty of the Russian melodies and the mastery of the composer, which is obvious in his concerto, drew a wide circle of listeners. The concerto for balalaika and orchestra was the start to create many works dedicated to folk instruments.

In the late part of the last century, the talented musician Vasili Andreyev introduced to the public, the strange, and until then little known instrument, the Russian balalaika. Its rich, artistic possibilities, achieved very soon the conquest of the widest audience.

Andreyev's Orchestra of national instruments, performed with the greatest success in Russia and abroad.

Andreyev's tradition survives and develops in the art of excellent national ensembles and soloists. One of the foremost is Pavel Necheporenko, outstanding master, virtuoso balalaika player.
Upon graduation from the Leningrad Concervatory (1949) in conducting, Necheporenko became permanent conductor of the National instruments Orchestra, named after Andreyev. Simultaneously he performs as balalaika-soloist, he performs often in soviet cities and also abroad. The listeners, warmly applaud the art of Pavel Necheporenko.

He has a complete mastery of the virtuoso technique, the musician is also extremely sensitive and delivers the melodious span of the folksongs beautifully. The sound of his instrument is distinguished by its softness and harmony.

In Necheporenko's repertoire can be found—adaptations of various national and contemporary songs, works, written specially for the balalaika, by Russian composers: (Concerto for balalaika and orchestra by S. Vasilenko, variations by P. Kulikov and N. Budashkin, his own variation on the theme of Paganini etc.)
Necheporenko's adaptations of classical works are extremely exciting.

The mastery of Pavel Necheporenko has received wide acclaim. He is an award winner of the All union competition for performers of national instruments, he has been honored with a State prize and honorable mention as an artist of the RSFSR.

The concert suite by S. N. Vasilenko "In Springtime" is a repertoire piece. It conveys the poetry of spring, awakening of nature, light feeling of happiness and love.

There are five parts in the suite: 1—Prelude; 2—Valse caprice; 3—Across the desert; 4—In the forest; 5—Spring streams.

In the prelude we find a picture of the arrival of spring. You can hear the voices of its messengers—the voices of birds.

The rainbow colored sunshine is painted in an elegant and gracious "Waltz caprice". The procession of a caravan is pictured in the part entitled "Across the desert", the melody of an oriental song is played by a flute.

The poetic picture of "In the forest" whose music evokes the awakening of nature, is bathed in the beams of a rejoicing spring sun. The finale—"Spring streams" is written in an ever accelerating tempo. The music conveys the first murmurs of new brooks, flowing into the rushing waters of the streams.

The suite "Spring time" belongs to the most outstanding works in the literature of flute music. It was dedicated to its first performer, Alexandre Korneyev. Pupil of the Moscow Conservatory, Korneyev is the winner of many national and international competitions, he is the first flute player in the great Symphony Orchestra of the all union Radio and Television.

The mastery of his performance, is marked by great expressiveness and a fine artistic taste. These qualities permit him to perform with great success, a large and diversified repertoire.

Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 02:14:35 AM
He's somewhat under-recorded, unfortunately.


Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 02:57:40 AM
1979 Russian LP (shared with two other composers):  conductor: Nekrasov  orchestra: Academic Orchestra of Russian Folk Instruments of the Central Television & All-Union Radio


Symphony № 3 "Italian" for Domra and Balalaika Orchestra in A Major, Op. 81
Composed By - S.Vasilenko

A1    Allegro Con Brio    5:40
A2    Nocturne. Andante Con Moto    6:22
A3    Serenade. Allegro    3:50
A4    Tarantella. Energico E Maestoso    4:11
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 05:11:03 AM
Have only heard a few pieces by this guy - all are conservatively Romantic.  But others may have heard more - especially the chamber pieces, where he might have pursued more abstract directions ... ?
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 12, 2016, 05:27:19 AM
I'm not sure Вий means what you think it means...
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 09:23:02 AM
I know exactly what it means.
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 09:39:43 AM

I only have a radio broadcast of this piece.

Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: mc ukrneal on June 12, 2016, 10:20:34 AM
I know exactly what it means.
And what is that?

IS it this?

If it is, then perhaps you could explain the reference connected to the composer.
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 12, 2016, 10:53:51 AM
roughly translated, it is "King/Master of the Elves/Fairies" -

His work often relates to Russian folklore - as in "Flight of the Witches."
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 13, 2016, 10:39:10 AM
Wind Quartet Op. 65


Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Mirror Image on June 13, 2016, 03:18:10 PM
Never heard of this composer. What would be some points of comparison?
Title: Re: Sergey Vasilenko's Вий [1872-1956]
Post by: Scion7 on June 14, 2016, 09:37:04 PM
Hard to say because his style changed as he matured, although always being thoroughly tonal and more or less Romantic.
He 'escaped' Stalin's regime, being in danger only once from what I've read - he was not a trouble-making type of spirit.

The recorded available music is somewhat scarce, but a couple lp's/cd's survive, as well as YouTube for both studio posts and several school tapings (and there is a professional  live performance of one of the violin concertos, the violinist being a Vasilenko grandson, I think?), and other shadowy places.   ;)

So, only one symphony hath I done heard, for example.

The Toccata disc and the Marco Polo are both available and are excellent starting points.
The "Indian Suite" and "Chinese Suite" are very nice and Vasilenko's orchestration is impressive.

The radio broadcast of the piano concerto is of so-so quality.

Another composer needing discovery by Naxos and CPO and Chandos.