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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: vandermolen on May 31, 2011, 12:26:03 PM

Title: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on May 31, 2011, 12:26:03 PM
Was Tikhon Khrennikov (1913-2007) that bad? Does he deserve his terrible reputation as Stalin's puppet and as the scourge of Shostakovich etc.  Oddly, he kept his position in the Russian musical establishment after the collapse of the USSR and he pointed out that no composer died in the purges (is this true?). I actually saw him - New Year's Day 1986 at a concert at the Bolshoi ballet - a rather inoffensive and bland ballet was being performed - at the end of which a spotlight lit up a box in the theatre to reveal the lugubrious figure of Khrennikov, whom I recognised immediately. I like his Second Symphony - a work of some depth I think - the end of the slow movement is eloquent - it is a wartime work which I often listen to.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on May 31, 2011, 12:46:14 PM
Not a profound,original or particularly subtle composer or a very nice person by the sound of it! At the same time I must admit to rather enjoying my cd of Khrennikov symphonies,particularly the one that you mention here,Vandermolen. There are some spicy harmonies here and imaginative orchestration that linger in the mind a little bit longer than,perhaps,they should. As a matter of fact I think I prefer Khrennikov to Kabalevsky in some ways,although I wouldn't care to compare him with Prokofiev or Shostakovich (What's the point?).
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on May 31, 2011, 08:47:21 PM
Not a profound,original or particularly subtle composer or a very nice person by the sound of it! At the same time I must admit to rather enjoying my cd of Khrennikov symphonies,particularly the one that you mention here,Vandermolen. There are some spicy harmonies here and imaginative orchestration that linger in the mind a little bit longer than,perhaps,they should. As a matter of fact I think I prefer Khrennikov to Kabalevsky in some ways,although I wouldn't care to compare him with Prokofiev or Shostakovich (What's the point?).

Yes, I largely agree with you. I think that Kabalevsky's 2nd Cello Concerto has more depth than anything I have heard by Khrennikov and I think that Kabalevsky's 4th Symphony is very underrated. But Khrennikov's Second Symphony I also enjoy, perhaps more than I should! Thanks for the response.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Hattoff on May 31, 2011, 10:45:25 PM
They were hard times and Khrennikov has been made a scapegoat for the ills that were not his fault. Prokofiev's wife, Lina, thought highly of him and she was incarcerated in a gulag for seven years (1948-1955) for some trumped up crimes. Khrennikov helped her when Prokofiev was too ill and out of political favour to help her himself. That said, my opinion of his music is that it has immediate appeal but does not bear repeated listening. It is too repetitive and bland although there are occasional good ideas.
Many composers were unpleasant people but some fans still hero worship them because they wrote great music, that is not the case with poor old Khrennikov.

No composers were murdered while Khrennikov was in charge but, if I remember correctly, Popov was sent to the gulags as well. Now, Popov was a good composer.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on May 31, 2011, 11:39:37 PM
They were hard times and Khrennikov has been made a scapegoat for the ills that were not his fault. Prokofiev's wife, Lina, thought highly of him and she was incarcerated in a gulag for seven years (1948-1955) for some trumped up crimes. Khrennikov helped her when Prokofiev was too ill and out of political favour to help her himself. That said, my opinion of his music is that it has immediate appeal but does not bear repeated listening. It is too repetitive and bland although there are occasional good ideas.
Many composers were unpleasant people but some fans still hero worship them because they wrote great music, that is not the case with poor old Khrennikov.

No composers were murdered while Khrennikov was in charge but, if I remember correctly, Popov was sent to the gulags as well. Now, Popov was a good composer.

Thanks - the one work I do repeatedly play is Symphony No 2 - the last movement has a rather banal theme that is repeated endlessly but it has a kind of ghastly appeal and the close of the slow movement is eloquent. I agree about Popov - a genuinely great composer - especially symphonies 1, 2 and the valedictory 6.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on June 01, 2011, 08:31:48 AM
I don't exactly have Khrennikov on rotation! In my opinion Khrennikov is a good-bad composer,a bit like Daphne du Maurier is a good-bad writer. I don't think many people who have enjoyed 'Jamaica Inn' would care to go around telling everyone what a great novelist she is,and I meant 'great' as in Dickens or Hemingway,not 'grrrrrreat' as in the Frosties tv ad! Music is subjective anyway,to some degree,and we all like different things (except at my local where everyone mysteriously seems to like football). At the same time Khrennikov is never going to be on everyone's favorite list,primarily because I don't think his music is original or distinctive enough. Yet at his best it does have something and I can perfectly understand why Vandermolen would enjoy it,and perhaps to some degree his enjoyment is enhanced by the playing of the orchestra which is at times,quite phenomenol. I must admit to quite enjoying some of the kitsch-y 'Himalayan' music in parts of the third symphony. Not exactly subtle but good fun,now and again,if you fancy a change from the aknowledged masters. Khrennikov certainly had an ear for some ear tickling orchestration when he put his mind to it. A new cd recording of Khrennikov's Second symphony would be fun to have and a change from Kabalevsky his less wiry,acerbic contemporary but hardly essential. It would also be rather nice to see the cd of his Piano Concerto's reissued,the rotters deleted it before I got my mitts on it! Incidentally,the cpo set of the Kabalevsky symphonies is rather nice,the performance of No 2 striking me as having a good deal more 'oomph' than the rather stodgy Chandos alternative. Kudo's also to CPO for their imaginative choice of a lurid soviet painting for the front cover.
Who knows,maybe,just maybe there IS some good Lev Knipper or Vano Muradeli out there somewhere!!!!!
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on June 01, 2011, 08:41:24 AM
PS:If anyone HAS heard ALL twenty symphonies by Lev Knipper and lived to tell the tale we'd all love to hear from you!
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Lethevich on June 01, 2011, 09:01:07 AM
I've tried to enjoy his music, but it does come across as sub-Kabalevsky most of the time. Everything is short and polite, ticking along nicely - his technique feels hectoring in its lack of ambition or risk. There is no respite from this in any area of his output - symphonies, piano concertos (I haven't heard the ones for violin) or chamber music. His songs are okay, I suppose...

Perhaps the ballets might find him on more relaxed form?

Edit: I suppose with the interest expressed here I need to give the second symphony another audition too!

No composers were murdered while Khrennikov was in charge but, if I remember correctly, Popov was sent to the gulags as well.

It's a poor argument too - you can take a mortal life, but you can also take an intellectual one - some composers like Popov became cripples as much as if their legs were chopped off.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on June 01, 2011, 09:13:51 AM
I don't exactly have Khrennikov on rotation! In my opinion Khrennikov is a good-bad composer,a bit like Daphne du Maurier is a good-bad writer. I don't think many people who have enjoyed 'Jamaica Inn' would care to go around telling everyone what a great novelist she is,and I meant 'great' as in Dickens or Hemingway,not 'grrrrrreat' as in the Frosties tv ad! Music is subjective anyway,to some degree,and we all like different things (except at my local where everyone mysteriously seems to like football). At the same time Khrennikov is never going to be on everyone's favorite list,primarily because I don't think his music is original or distinctive enough. Yet at his best it does have something and I can perfectly understand why Vandermolen would enjoy it,and perhaps to some degree his enjoyment is enhanced by the playing of the orchestra which is at times,quite phenomenol. I must admit to quite enjoying some of the kitsch-y 'Himalayan' music in parts of the third symphony. Not exactly subtle but good fun,now and again,if you fancy a change from the aknowledged masters. Khrennikov certainly had an ear for some ear tickling orchestration when he put his mind to it. A new cd recording of Khrennikov's Second symphony would be fun to have and a change from Kabalevsky his less wiry,acerbic contemporary but hardly essential. It would also be rather nice to see the cd of his Piano Concerto's reissued,the rotters deleted it before I got my mitts on it! Incidentally,the cpo set of the Kabalevsky symphonies is rather nice,the performance of No 2 striking me as having a good deal more 'oomph' than the rather stodgy Chandos alternative. Kudo's also to CPO for their imaginative choice of a lurid soviet painting for the front cover.
Who knows,maybe,just maybe there IS some good Lev Knipper or Vano Muradeli out there somewhere!!!!!

Nice entertaining post. I don't play Khrennikov all the time and it is cerainly not great (in the Frosties TV advert sense) music - but, as I say, it has a kind of ghastly appeal. I like the CPO Kabalevsky set and have always felt that his Symphony No 4 is underrated although the Cello Concerto No 2 is his masterpiece.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on June 01, 2011, 10:58:22 AM
Regarding you're comment about Popov,'Lethe'. I recall some reviewer describing Rued Langgaard's being cold shouldered by the Danish musical establishment (if that's the right term for it) as 'psychological torture'. Now,okay Langgaard was a difficult character,to say the least,but whatever you think of his music,for someone whose life was devoted to expressing himself through his music,he must have gone through his own private version of hell. I wouldn't like to compare the two,but it must have felt like being in the Danish equivalent of the 'Gulags' at times.
Of course,unlike Popov & his Soviet compatriots,Langgaard did have a choice. 
  Regarding Kabalevsky's Fourth. The old MK Lp put me for a long time,although I had to admit that there was 'something' appealing there. The 'scratchy','thin' sound didn't help! So it was nice to hear the cpo recording,which is sounds very good. It's not Shostakovich,but cruel and pointless comparisons aside I think it is a more impressive work than the Second,fun as that undoubtedly is. The quiet,reflective music has a haunted,poignant quality & shows that there was a bit more to Kabalevsky than  'The Comedians' and  'Colas Breugnon' overture.
(Off topic a bit:Lyatoshinsky's Symphonies are pretty good too,come to think of it).
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Klaze on June 01, 2011, 11:08:04 AM
Just wanted to mention the ...interesting Wikipedia entry for Mr. Khrennikov (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khrennikov)

Quote
Some critics in their fight with totalitarian past tried to criticize Khrennikov for his speech back to 1947 and show him as a watchdog of Stalinism and dictatorship. Khrennikov withstood it with all possible serenity, courage and dignity. “The time will put everything in order, - he used to say. – My music will get back to the audience some time”. Other writers emphasized Khrennikov’s wisdom and humanistic leadership, that helped all Soviet composers to avoid Stalin’s GULAG. They praised for his unique melodic talent, which makes him the outstanding contemporary composer of world recognition.

and

Quote
The composer was blessed with a bright and long life in music. His pieces form the musical portrait of the XXth century, always being young, strong and optimistic, sincere and inspirational, warm, humorous and energetic. Tikhon Khrennikov had never betrayed his ideals in life and art.

Also check out the discussion on this Wikipedia entry. Forever a controversial figure i guess ;]
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on June 04, 2011, 04:59:43 AM
Come on folks! Khrenninkov's got to be more interesting than Henry Cowell!!!!
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Maestro267 on September 18, 2016, 01:23:28 AM
Last week I picked up a disc of Khrennikov's music, Violin Concertos 1 & 2, and Piano Concertos 2 & 3. As you say, it's not exactly revolutionary, but it certainly belongs in the 20th century (ie. it's more interesting than Mozart et al.)

Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Turner on September 18, 2016, 01:30:45 AM
I´ve got most of his major works but don´t feel much need to listen to them - IMO, better to explore composers with a less unattractive image, and there are tons of them from Russia/the former USSR - also less experimenting ones of the Khrennikov sort, such as Peiko, Kabalalevsky, K.Khachaturian, Shebalin, Mansurian, Weinberg, Glonti, Nosyrev, Lokshin, Nasidze, Levitin etc. etc.

It´s a pity that Onno van Rijen´s website of Soviet Composers has been deprived of the forum section - but it stil contains tons of information.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Maestro267 on September 18, 2016, 01:38:04 AM
As I'd never heard of the man until I took a gamble on the disc (being interested generally in Soviet orchestral music), I was unaware of his activities in other areas. Regardless, the music itself is enjoyable enough.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on September 18, 2016, 03:04:25 AM
Come on folks! Khrenninkov's got to be more interesting than Henry Cowell!!!!
??? Hm! ::) I've actually begun to enjoy Cowell's music allot more recently! In fact,I think I might revive his thread before long?!
Anyway,back to Khrennikov. I've got nothing new to add really;except to reiterate that I DO enjoy his music. I think my favourites are his Symphonies 2,3 and the Piano Concertos 1-3 (I haven't heard No 4). After listening to the utterly fantastic Cpo set of Kabalevsky's Piano Concertos (a recent purchase) I can't help wishing Cpo would do Khrennikov's. I think they would make a terrific follow up. Although,I do think Kabalevsky is the finer composer. Unfortunately,I think politics might get in the way? Some people get really worked up about Khrennikov. I've known threads being locked!! Me? I just try and separate the music from the man;and I like what I hear!
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Maestro267 on September 18, 2016, 06:40:50 AM
Me? I just try and separate the music from the man;and I like what I hear!

Absolutely this. More people should have this attitude. We shouldn't have to justify listening to certain composers' music. If you wanna listen, listen.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 18, 2016, 06:55:32 AM
??? Hm! ::) I've actually begun to enjoy Cowell's music allot more recently! In fact,I think I might revive his thread before long?!

Well, I am glad to see you repent of that monstrous assertion ("Come on folks! Khrennikov's got to be more interesting than Henry Cowell!!!")

8)
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Scion7 on September 20, 2016, 03:24:08 AM
Had he had his back striped during the Yeltsin years, all would be atoned for!   0:)
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Scion7 on September 20, 2016, 03:27:29 AM
(ie. it's more interesting than Mozart et al.)

i.e., you are in need of deep, deep emotional therapy!!!!   $:)
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Androcles on September 22, 2016, 11:34:22 AM
Wrt Khrennikov's claim that no composers were purged, Zaderatsky was sent to Magadan in 1937 and stayed for three years where he wrote his most important piece, the 24 Prelides and Fugues with a borrowed pencil, Mossolov was also sent to the gulag, and Weinberg was imprisoned and would almost certainly have been executed if Stalin had not died when he did. Roslavets was destroyed and broken by masses of disgusting propaganda (including by Khrennikov) aimed at him and would almost certainly have been executed if he had not been paralysed by a stroke.

I remember reading somewhere that there was also a bloody purge of students at Moscow Conservatoire in 1937, which led to some promising composing talents being shot.

Basically, Khrennikov's claim is nonsense, and if composers fared better than some others (eg army officers) in the Stalin years, it wasn't because of anything he did. The only thing he has to his credit in my eyes is permitting the first performance of Schnittke's 1st Symphony in Nizhny Novgorod in 1973, if I remember correctly. He clearly wasn't bothered by all the nasty stuff he had done and lived way into his nineties.

His music, as far as I can tell is unfailingly banale. There is a lot of Soviet music I would listen to in preference - all of Miaskovsky, Weinberg, Roslavets, Mossolov, Zaderatsky, Popov, Shebalin, Golubev, Lyatoshinsky, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian and many others.... and thats without mentioning P and S.

So to sum up he was an abhorrent liar with no conscience who wrote bad music. Deserves to be forgotten.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on September 22, 2016, 12:11:12 PM
Wrt Khrennikov's claim that no composers were purged, Zaderatsky was sent to Magadan in 1937 and stayed for three years where he wrote his most important piece, the 24 Prelides and Fugues with a borrowed pencil, Mossolov was also sent to the gulag, and Weinberg was imprisoned and would almost certainly have been executed if Stalin had not died when he did. Roslavets was destroyed and broken by masses of disgusting propaganda (including by Khrennikov) aimed at him and would almost certainly have been executed if he had not been paralysed by a stroke.

I remember reading somewhere that there was also a bloody purge of students at Moscow Conservatoire in 1937, which led to some promising composing talents being shot.

Basically, Khrennikov's claim is nonsense, and if composers fared better than some others (eg army officers) in the Stalin years, it wasn't because of anything he did. The only thing he has to his credit in my eyes is permitting the first performance of Schnittke's 1st Symphony in Nizhny Novgorod in 1973, if I remember correctly. He clearly wasn't bothered by all the nasty stuff he had done and lived way into his nineties.

His music, as far as I can tell is unfailingly banale. There is a lot of Soviet music I would listen to in preference - all of Miaskovsky, Weinberg, Roslavets, Mossolov, Zaderatsky, Popov, Shebalin, Golubev, Lyatoshinsky, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian and many others.... and thats without mentioning P and S.

So to sum up he was an abhorrent liar with no conscience who wrote bad music. Deserves to be forgotten.
Interesting post and you may well be right. I'm curious why he wasn't replaced after the collapse of the USSR. I agree that all those composers you mention are more deserving of our attention although I'm not especially familiar with Zaderatsky and Golubev and don't know much Roslavets either. Shebalin and Popov are especially underrated as is Salmanov. Interesting point about Schnittke's First Symphony.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Androcles on September 22, 2016, 01:42:27 PM
Interesting post and you may well be right. I'm curious why he wasn't replaced after the collapse of the USSR. I agree that all those composers you mention are more deserving of our attention although I'm not especially familiar with Zaderatsky and Golubev and don't know much Roslavets either. Shebalin and Popov are especially underrated as is Salmanov. Interesting point about Schnittke's First Symphony.

Apologies for being a bit forceful in my first post.  Rant over. Golubev wrote some perfectly respectable symphonies in the Miaskovsky - Shebalin kind of mould. Zaderatsky is very interesting an well worth the acquaintance, particularly if you like piano music. The 24 Preludes and Fugues from his third imprisonment (he had a hellish life in the Soviet Union, due to having been music tutor to the son of the Tsar) have just been released on disc, played by Jascha Nemtsov. They predate similar works by Hindemith and Shostakovich, and bear comparison with them. There are 5 piano sonatas, the second is available on disc. He has an unplayed, unrecorded Symphony and Violin Concerto to his name.

Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on September 22, 2016, 09:25:18 PM
Apologies for being a bit forceful in my first post.  Rant over. Golubev wrote some perfectly respectable symphonies in the Miaskovsky - Shebalin kind of mould. Zaderatsky is very interesting an well worth the acquaintance, particularly if you like piano music. The 24 Preludes and Fugues from his third imprisonment (he had a hellish life in the Soviet Union, due to having been music tutor to the son of the Tsar) have just been released on disc, played by Jascha Nemtsov. They predate similar works by Hindemith and Shostakovich, and bear comparison with them. There are 5 piano sonatas, the second is available on disc. He has an unplayed, unrecorded Symphony and Violin Concerto to his name.
Thanks very much - will look out for them. Miaskovsky, as revealed by my GMG avatar is one of my very favourite composers - I listened to Symphony 6 (Polyansky) yesterday with much pleasure and find it very moving, especially the choral conclusion.. Now, he was a man of great integrity. I'll give Khrenninkov's Second Symphony a listen from time to time as I do enjoy it and find the end of the slow movement rather moving.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on September 23, 2016, 02:05:37 AM
A different opinion:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm)

and here:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm)

Thank you for you very interesting posts,Androcles (and vandermolen). I think he was quite a talented composer,in his own way. Everyone has composers they like,dislike or don't think much of. Khrennikov is too much of a musical magpie to be regarded as a major composer;but then lots of other second league,third league (whatever you want to call them) composers are! The difference with Khrennikov is in his political activities and the stance he took. I can't think of another composer where any attempt to discuss his music always ends in a furious rant or a locked thread! I like his Second and third symphonies and his Piano concertos; putting on Shostakovich and Prokofiev rather brutally exposes their failings,in more ways than one! I think the main problem I have with Khrennikov's music is not so much that it is derivative in any way,but that,unlike say Kabalevsky,he doesn't assimilate his influences as succesfully. Whatever you say about Kabalevsky;at his best,however obvious his influences are,he does have an identifiable sound world,that I can relate to his name. Khrennikov tends to wear his influences like a veneer;as if they are grafted on. One stretch of music seems to sound like Shostakovich,the next Prokofiev. It sometimes feels like a game of spot the influence. Yet,he has a nice gift for spicy harmony and ear tickling,if not truly memorable,tunes that I do find appealing. Also,as in the third symphony,and parts of the Piano concertos,a certain Soviet kitsch,which I do rather like. Of course,he composed allot of film scores,so this is hardly surprising. The Piano concertos are a case in point. A mish-mash of influences;but,imho,all the more enjoyable for that. One things for sure. If Khrennikov hadn't taken the political stance he did;he would just be another minor composer on these boards (and others like this one). There probably wouldn't be many posts;but they wouldn't end in 'rants' or locked threads;as happened to the Tikhon Khrennikov thread at the Art Music Forum! As you say;there are obviously allot of far more interesting,and eminently worthwhile,composers from the soviet era. Khrennikov's political activities have the unfortunate effect of granting him a little more attention than he deserves. At the same time,in terms of any purely musical merit his music might,arguably,possess;it surely is the kiss of death! (outside Russia,anyway!).

Now to put on some Shostakovich on,eh?!! ;D
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Androcles on September 26, 2016, 12:03:55 PM
Thanks very much - will look out for them. Miaskovsky, as revealed by my GMG avatar is one of my very favourite composers - I listened to Symphony 6 (Polyansky) yesterday with much pleasure and find it very moving, especially the choral conclusion.. Now, he was a man of great integrity. I'll give Khrenninkov's Second Symphony a listen from time to time as I do enjoy it and find the end of the slow movement rather moving.

Yes - I like Miaskovsky too. He has the reputation of an extreme musical conservative, but I'm not convinced its true. Not long ago I worked through the Svetlanov set of the 27 Symphonies several times to get a picture of them. A lot of them have great depth. I particularly liked Symphonies 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 21, 25 and 27. I thought they could probably stand alongside more famous offerings by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, given the chance. What is your favourite recording of Symphony No. 6? I have Svetlanov and Jarvi. I heard Kondrashin online. I like Svetlanov in this piece, but its a shame about the lack of a choir....Maybe I should find a Miaskovsky thread... ?
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Androcles on September 26, 2016, 12:11:57 PM
A different opinion:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm)

and here:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/Apr06/KHRENNIKOV_KAP008.htm)

Thank you for you very interesting posts,Androcles (and vandermolen). I think he was quite a talented composer,in his own way. Everyone has composers they like,dislike or don't think much of. Khrennikov is too much of a musical magpie to be regarded as a major composer;but then lots of other second league,third league (whatever you want to call them) composers are! The difference with Khrennikov is in his political activities and the stance he took. I can't think of another composer where any attempt to discuss his music always ends in a furious rant or a locked thread! I like his Second and third symphonies and his Piano concertos; putting on Shostakovich and Prokofiev rather brutally exposes their failings,in more ways than one! I think the main problem I have with Khrennikov's music is not so much that it is derivative in any way,but that,unlike say Kabalevsky,he doesn't assimilate his influences as succesfully. Whatever you say about Kabalevsky;at his best,however obvious his influences are,he does have an identifiable sound world,that I can relate to his name. Khrennikov tends to wear his influences like a veneer;as if they are grafted on. One stretch of music seems to sound like Shostakovich,the next Prokofiev. It sometimes feels like a game of spot the influence. Yet,he has a nice gift for spicy harmony and ear tickling,if not truly memorable,tunes that I do find appealing. Also,as in the third symphony,and parts of the Piano concertos,a certain Soviet kitsch,which I do rather like. Of course,he composed allot of film scores,so this is hardly surprising. The Piano concertos are a case in point. A mish-mash of influences;but,imho,all the more enjoyable for that. One things for sure. If Khrennikov hadn't taken the political stance he did;he would just be another minor composer on these boards (and others like this one). There probably wouldn't be many posts;but they wouldn't end in 'rants' or locked threads;as happened to the Tikhon Khrennikov thread at the Art Music Forum! As you say;there are obviously allot of far more interesting,and eminently worthwhile,composers from the soviet era. Khrennikov's political activities have the unfortunate effect of granting him a little more attention than he deserves. At the same time,in terms of any purely musical merit his music might,arguably,possess;it surely is the kiss of death! (outside Russia,anyway!).

Now to put on some Shostakovich on,eh?!! ;D

Thanks for the link. The writer makes an interesting point of course - if you listen to the music blind, you have no idea of the composer's controversial reputation. And as you say, people are only generally likely to get curious about Khrennikov if they've read a bit about Soviet musical history.

I just had a quick look at a Russian classical music forum to see what they say about Khrennikov. They seem to see him as a sort of grand old man of the Russian musical establishment, but concerning his music, most of the comments aren't particularly complimentary.

http://classic-online.ru/ru/composer/Khrennikov/44
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on September 26, 2016, 12:14:46 PM
Yes - I like Miaskovsky too. He has the reputation of an extreme musical conservative, but I'm not convinced its true. Not long ago I worked through the Svetlanov set of the 27 Symphonies several times to get a picture of them. A lot of them have great depth. I particularly liked Symphonies 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 21, 25 and 27. I thought they could probably stand alongside more famous offerings by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, given the chance. What is your favourite recording of Symphony No. 6? I have Svetlanov and Jarvi. I heard Kondrashin online. I like Svetlanov in this piece, but its a shame about the lack of a choir....Maybe I should find a Miaskovsky thread... ?

Here's the Miaskovsky thread:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1523.0.html

I like Kondrashin's Russian Disc recording best of all. There is a later Kondrashin recording on Melodiya but he rushes the beautiful flute passage in the trio of the scherzo and the earlier version gets it just right. For a more modern recording I'd recommend Dmitri Liss with the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra on Warner and you get Symphony 10 thrown in as well. My favourites are 3,6,8,11,12,15,16,17,21,23,25,27.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 13, 2019, 02:55:00 PM
I've discovered the Cello Concerto No. 1 from this set:

(https://img.cdandlp.com/2015/05/imgL/117512747.jpg)

Whoahh, what a stunning piece! A very succinct work with two heartfelt slow movements followed by a very spicy one, just fun. Khrennikov was polemic in his time, but it doesn't mean that his music has to lie into oblivion. This concerto is a real treat, very balanced regarding profoundity and exuberance.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: cilgwyn on July 13, 2019, 03:56:53 PM
I quite like his music! I just wish you could say you,quite like his music,without being made to feel guilty by people,because of who he is,and the terrible things he's supposed to have done. I suppose if you like any of his music you have to keep quiet about it,or join an 'underground',Khrennikov appreciation society,of some kind;just in case you get 'called out' for liking any of the music of such a horrible man! A sort of inverse censorship,which really doesn't help any of the people who 'suffered' under Khrennikov,anyway;because they're all dead and gone,by now!
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: JBS on July 13, 2019, 06:04:10 PM
I have one CD of Khrennikov's music


Live recording from 1988. Of the four soloists, only the composer himself did not later  "defect" from the Soviet Union.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81%2BdkRRPF1L.jpg)
I recall them as pleasant, even virtuoso, but nothing at all out of the tonal mainstream. Although Repin and Khrennikov appear among the soloists in the set posted by Symphonic Addict, those are different performances (different orchestra and conductor).
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2019, 10:09:11 PM
I've discovered the Cello Concerto No. 1 from this set:

(https://img.cdandlp.com/2015/05/imgL/117512747.jpg)

Whoahh, what a stunning piece! A very succinct work with two heartfelt slow movements followed by a very spicy one, just fun. Khrennikov was polemic in his time, but it doesn't mean that his music has to lie into oblivion. This concerto is a real treat, very balanced regarding profoundity and exuberance.
Very interesting Cesar. I've never heard the Cello Concerto so must look out for it. I love the cover of that CD set but it is a bit pricey.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 14, 2019, 04:24:31 PM
I have one CD of Khrennikov's music


Live recording from 1988. Of the four soloists, only the composer himself did not later  "defect" from the Soviet Union.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81%2BdkRRPF1L.jpg)
I recall them as pleasant, even virtuoso, but nothing at all out of the tonal mainstream. Although Repin and Khrennikov appear among the soloists in the set posted by Symphonic Addict, those are different performances (different orchestra and conductor).

The set brings together all the concertos and symphonies, hence the reason I acquired it long time ago and just now I'm exploring it. These works can be conservative in idiom, but it's undeniable the fun they convey! Fun with lyricism, not as empty as many would think.

Very interesting Cesar. I've never heard the Cello Concerto so must look out for it. I love the cover of that CD set but it is a bit pricey.

I wasn't aware of the price right now because I have had it for long. It's a shame that the CD JBS posted only have some PCs and VCs.
Title: Re: Khrennikov's Kremlin
Post by: Maestro267 on July 16, 2019, 09:35:37 AM
I disposed of that disc I mentioned about a year or so ago, and I have absolutely zero desire to listen to another note. Let's hope next time I gamble on a composer and go in blind, a more glowing recommendation is offered, if at all possible.