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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: schweitzeralan on April 17, 2009, 08:19:40 AM

Title: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: schweitzeralan on April 17, 2009, 08:19:40 AM
About a year ago I acquired on the Campion CD a recording of the first two symphonies by Latvian composer Ivanovs.  It wasn't until recently that I listened to them somewhat more intently.  Both works are generally conceived in a musical language that suggest certain Nordic, or even Russian influences:  Rosenberg, (early) Egge, Nielsson, or Scriabin come to mind.  From what I've read about Ivanov's work is thart his later style becomes considerably more dissident and dodecaphonic.  He's composed several symphonies along with other orchestral tone poems.  The tone, or mode of expression in his two early symphonies suggest a neo-romantic, quasi impressionistic quality.  The disc was a good buy for me, as Ivanov is a serious and convincing symphonic artist.  Recommended.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on April 17, 2009, 11:36:50 AM
I nearly started an Ivanovs thread myself and have contributed some recent comments to the Latvian Composers thread. I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD. The Naxos release with symphonies 8 and 20 is excellent. No 20 is the last completed symphony and is a powerful and gripping work, which has grown on me. No 8 has a wonderful tune in the slow movement, so the Naxos release would be my recommendation for investigating Ivanovs. Apart from that Nos 2 and 3 on Marco Polo and No 4 'Atlantis' are recommended as is the charming film score 'Late Frost in Spring' (Campion). Symphony No 11, which I have on LP is one of the best but it has never been released on CD.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Bulldog on April 17, 2009, 12:18:19 PM
I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD. The Naxos release with symphonies 8 and 20 is excellent. No 20 is the last completed symphony and is a powerful and gripping work, which has grown on me. No 8 has a wonderful tune in the slow movement, so the Naxos release would be my recommendation for investigating Ivanovs.

Given the superior sound quality of the Naxos release over the Campion issues, the Naxos is probably the best bet.  However, its blemish is the rather dour conducting of Yablonsky, a trait that usually follows him from one recording to the next.  The wonderful symphonies of Ivanovs need great conducting and sound; I hope that this problem will be adressed at some future date.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: schweitzeralan on April 17, 2009, 12:42:38 PM
I nearly started an Ivanovs thread myself and have contributed some recent comments to the Latvian Composers thread. I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD. The Naxos release with symphonies 8 and 20 is excellent. No 20 is the last completed symphony and is a powerful and gripping work, which has grown on me. No 8 has a wonderful tune in the slow movement, so the Naxos release would be my recommendation for investigating Ivanovs. Apart from that Nos 2 and 3 on Marco Polo and No 4 'Atlantis' are recommended as is the charming film score 'Late Frost in Spring' (Campion). Symphony No 11, which I have on LP is one of the best but it has never been released on CD.

I thought there was a thread but couldn't locate it.  You are quite well informed.  I have only the one recording.  I put in a request for the 4th plus the "Rainbow Symphonic Poem."  This might be interesting to me personally as I am drawn to impressionism.  The following post also recommends Naxos. Thanks for your acknowledgement to my post.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: schweitzeralan on April 17, 2009, 12:44:15 PM
Given the superior sound quality of the Naxos release over the Campion issues, the Naxos is probably the best bet.  However, its blemish is the rather dour conducting of Yablonsky, a trait that usually follows him from one recording to the next.  The wonderful symphonies of Ivanovs need great conducting and sound; I hope that this problem will be adressed at some future date.

Ivanovs seems to have been quite prolific in his many orchestral works.  If I decide to acquire further works by him, I'll check out Naxos.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on April 17, 2009, 10:46:10 PM
Ivanovs seems to have been quite prolific in his many orchestral works.  If I decide to acquire further works by him, I'll check out Naxos.

I am listening to Symphony No 4 at the moment - 'Atlantis' - well worth investigation. If you don't have the Naxos, I would certainly go for that as both symphonies are strong.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: J on April 19, 2009, 02:37:10 PM
I nearly started an Ivanovs thread myself and have contributed some recent comments to the Latvian Composers thread. I have all the Campion Ivanovs symphony releases (like the Olympia Miaskovsky series it dried up in the middle) and have just ordered the Violin Concerto in a 'Baltic Violin Concertos' CD.

That's my favorite Ivanovs work (the violin concerto).  I hear alot of family resemblance to Miaskovsky's vc in it.
You'll be happy.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on April 20, 2009, 04:22:48 AM
That's my favorite Ivanovs work (the violin concerto).  I hear alot of family resemblance to Miaskovsky's vc in it.
You'll be happy.

Thank you! Very pleased to hear it.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: schweitzeralan on May 24, 2009, 02:18:36 AM
I am listening to Symphony No 4 at the moment - 'Atlantis' - well worth investigation. If you don't have the Naxos, I would certainly go for that as both symphonies are strong.

After several weeks I finally acquired the 4th Symphony.  Exscellent.  I particularly like "Rainbow." Exquisitely impressionist with Scriabinist influences.  ArchivMusic had it; Amazon didn't.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on May 24, 2009, 02:46:12 AM
After several weeks I finally acquired the 4th Symphony.  Exscellent.  I particularly like "Rainbow." Exquisitely impressionist with Scriabinist influences.  ArchivMusic had it; Amazon didn't.

I am listening a lot to Symphony No 11 - one of the best I think - a dark, lyrical score. Sadly not on CD, I received a copy from someone on a different forum. I am becoming more appreciative of Ivanovs's music. Francis Wilson, the former MD of Olympia responded to my suggestion that he release some of Ivanovs's music by telling me that he'd considered it but found the music to be rather boring. This is not my experience at all and I regret that Campion never completed their cycle of the symphonies and other orchestral works.

Rainbow and Symphony No 4 are listed as 'Masterworks' (as is Symphony 11) in the useful page below.

http://home.wanadoo.nl/ovar/ivanovs.htm

Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on December 23, 2009, 02:55:34 AM
Have been listening to Symphony 3 (Marco Polo, Latvian NRSO, Yablonsky).  This is a memorable score, rather in the spirit of Miaskovsky - I think that it is one of the best Ivanovs works.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: just Jeff on November 17, 2010, 03:51:59 AM
I'm doing my own CD-R transfers from the original Melodiya LP records.  I don't want sluggish conducting on this stuff.

Here is Ivanovs' 6th "Latgale" USSR Radio Symphony Orch., Leonids Vigners conducting.  An original 10" in this case.  Sometimes called his best Symphony.

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/BIG%2010%20INCH%20RECORDS/JANISIVANOVS10IN.jpg)

Sym. No. 5, L. Reiters conducting The Latvian Radio Symphony Orchestra

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/MIVANOS5REALFT.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/MIVANOS5FT.jpg)

Rainbow Symphony Picture, Sym No. 16, Sinaisky conducting

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/ivanovs16ft.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/ivanovs16bk.jpg)

Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Mirror Image on November 17, 2010, 11:59:26 AM
The problem I have with Ivanovs is that his music just isn't that individual. It's as if he was trying too hard to find his musical style when the reality was he had nothing musically interesting to say. A Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Scriabin, or even a Myaskovsky he is not.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on November 17, 2010, 01:38:44 PM
Nice to see those nostalgic old LP sleeves. I think that Ivanovs does have an individual style - the Naxos CD is the one to start with with symphonies 8 and 20. He reminds me a bit of Lyatoshinsky (a Ukrainian composer) whose work I really like.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: calyptorhynchus on October 01, 2013, 06:38:34 PM
I’ve been having an Ivanovs phase for the past couple of weeks.

As has been noted Naxos/Marco Polo have recorded the Symphonies 2, 3, 5, 8, 12 and 20. MP3s of old Melodya recordings or Latvian radio recordings of all the remaining symphonies and many other works are available at the Arts Music Forum.
The early symphonies remind me of Allan Peterson, there’s the same sort of declamatory style and relentless momentum, though Ivanovs usually writes his symphonies in the familiar four movement pattern (scherzo usually second), instead of one span. The orchestration is very good and you get really exciting moments, for example where the strings are giving out a thrilling rhythmic figure and the brass are blasting away underneath with threatening or heroic figures (the strong brass is a strong point of the Naxos/Marco Polo recordings). The mood is very like Peterson as well, enigmatic, with joy and sorrow both wrapped up in the music, and the music ultimately being hopeful because it does progress towards a conclusions. Ivanovs does very effective quiet and slow endings to otherwise loud and brusque movements.

Each symphony is quite different from the previous, for example in one or two the harp is prominent, in others piano, Symphony 5 is consciously folkloric &c.

In the later symphonies there is more breadth, and the declamatory style gives way to one with more contrapuntal work and motivic development, thought here are still exciting moments of declamatory drama. In all the symphonies there are slower interludes in the fast movements (and usually the slow movements are ABA with a faster central section). In the later ones these changes in tempi become more marked but they don’t hold the music up, instead they make for dynamic contrast. In these later symphonies the slow movements are almost Brucknerian in their solemnity.

Symphonies 17, 18 and 19 are his masterpieces and are as good as any symphonies written in the C20. Of all the symphonies my favourites are 7, 8, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21 (completed by Karlsons).

Of the other works I haven’t listened to his choral and keyboard works, but his orchestral music (tone-poems) are very good and are more Sibelian than his symphonies. His Concertos (piano, cello and violin) are in the Romantic lyrical tradition and are full of beautiful moments. The Violin Concerto reminds me of the Rubbra Violin Concerto with its beautiful themes and light dancing rhythms. His string quartets and other chamber works are very good too.

I think he is a major composer.

Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on October 03, 2013, 09:51:43 AM
2,3,4,8,11 and 20 are the ones I especially like, plus the charming film score 'Late Frost in Spring'. He deserves to be better known I believe.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: calyptorhynchus on October 05, 2013, 06:01:28 PM
Oops, it's No.6 that is consciously folkloric.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: kyjo on October 06, 2013, 05:45:38 AM
Ivanovs' VC is a wonderful work in the romantic tradition: http://youtu.be/y-7P69Twtb0
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Mirror Image on October 06, 2013, 06:28:39 AM
Ivanovs' VC is a wonderful work in the romantic tradition: http://youtu.be/y-7P69Twtb0

Horrible audio quality!
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: kyjo on October 06, 2013, 06:38:45 AM
Horrible audio quality!

Yikes! I own the CD recording of the VC and hadn't checked the audio quality on the YT upload. :-[ In the meantime, check out Ivanovs' magically beautiful symphonic poem Rainbow: http://youtu.be/sIXqoUfcokM
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: kyjo on October 06, 2013, 06:46:22 AM
The problem I have with Ivanovs is that his music just isn't that individual. It's as if he was trying too hard to find his musical style when the reality was he had nothing musically interesting to say. A Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Scriabin, or even a Myaskovsky he is not.

Just saw this post of yours, John. I enjoy all of Ivanovs' compositions I've heard so far, but one work of his I would encourage you to revisit is his Symphony no. 20 (if you own the Naxos CD which contains it). It's a haunting, dramatic work that would appeal to you more than the more late-romantic earlier works, I would think.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Mirror Image on October 06, 2013, 07:04:16 AM
Ivanovs just isn't memorable enough for me, Kyle. Nothing sticks out in my mind as being worth listening to again IMHO. I also don't really hear an individual compositional voice either.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: dhibbard on January 25, 2014, 07:13:54 PM
thank you for mentioning the Art Music Forum... I just posted a ton of Estonian Music there also... its on mediafire  for downloading.... enjoy !!
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on January 26, 2014, 08:02:54 AM
I remember asking the late Francis Wilson of the lamented Olympia label why he didn't issue any Ivanovs to which he replied that he didn't find it memorable enough. However, I am with Kyle on this one and think that symphonies 2,3,4,11 and 20 are fine scores.
 
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: calyptorhynchus on January 27, 2014, 02:43:30 PM
I'm very keen on Ivanovs and last year, when I listened to ll the symphonies one after the other I wrote down some notes. If there are any mistakes here, please let me know. You'll see I like different symphonies to other contributors here.

1   One longish movement, quite lush and lyrical but with backbone, beginning with lyrical passages and ending in dance measures.
2   Three slow movements, beautiful, but not much go.
3   Moving away from earlier style to middle style, more forceful, four-movement (with scherzo 3rd), remarkably limpid slow movement.
4   His longest symphony, the Atlantis Symphony. First movement (‘Wrath of the God – Legend’), begins angrily and then carries on with a portrait of Atlantis at the height of its arrogance and power; long slow movement with women’s voices (Nereids) shows Poseidon’s underwater realm; scherzo (‘Sacred Temple’) is a depiction of a gathering storm on a mountain, with a quiet interlude; Finale continues with this stormy music to the catastrophe that overwhelms Atlantis, ending with a return to Poseidon’s underwater music (minus the voices).
5   Longish, end of war, stressful type symphony with mixed moods of fear and triumph.
6   ‘Latgale Symphony’, folkloric, relaxed, longish.
7   Longish, brilliant, declamatory, Nielsen-like delicacy in trio of scherzo, Bruckernian slow movement with faster stretches; brilliant, short and vigorous finale
8   Brilliant, fast, dramatic, use of harp as flowing and twirling instrument; limpid, flowing slow movement with faster passages, finale with brass chorale.
9   Harsher in mood (like 5), dramatic; plangent slow movement with slow lyric coda; exciting finale also with slow coda.
10   Brusque and forceful throughout.
11   Even more savage than 10; slow movement second, funereal but with instrumental solos; violent scherzo; finale slower and more consolatory with slower and quieter coda.
12   A symphonia brevis, two outer movements vigorous and short, short intense slow movement second, intermezzo style third movement (longest in work) with muted close.
13   A three movement symphony with prologue, epilogue and interludes of spoken commentary (Paean to Lenin). Music intense with three medium fastish movements.
14   Symphony for strings, three movements slow-fast-slow, intense.
15   Back to a long vigorous first movement and savage scherzo second pattern. However style less declamatory, more motivic, more reflective passages. Slow movement odd, grotesque fragments and figurations build to a genuinely impressive climax. Finale not too long, vigorous, but with reflective passages, ends quietly.
16   Slow introduction to first movement, first movement faster section as in previous symphonies but more relaxed with lyrical and reflective episodes; short vigorous scherzo; serious slow movement; noble finale.
17   As 16 but first movement has more slower and reflective passages as does the scherzo; the slow movement is warm and sensitive, the finale is tumultuous and magnificent, ending quietly.
18   Much as 17; first movement ends quietly after moment of triumph. Wonderful long Brucknerian slow movement. Finale takes up hopeful mood of climax of first movement
19   As 17 and 18 but even broader, magnificent long slow movement, finale attains Brucknerian breadth but ends quietly.
20   First movement as 17-19, ending quietly with soft bells. Shorter slow movement second, but still very solemn. Retrospective minuet third (sounding like Respighi). Fourth movement with an air of retrospective on early symphonies, but modulates towards the style of the end of the first movement (bells reappear).
21   Three movement work completed by Karlsons. First movement vigorous and clear, second a grave slow movement with alternating slower/faster sections, final a set of variations? Including a waltz! Ends defiantly. [Revised version of completion differs in finale, ending quietly].
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: calyptorhynchus on January 27, 2014, 03:21:24 PM
Should have added that 2,3,5,8,12 and 20 are available on Marco Polo/Naxos, the remainder (and other versions of some of those) can be downloaded from the Art Music forum (old Melodya recordings and/or Latvian Radio broadcasts). Not sure which featured on the old Campion label.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on January 29, 2014, 01:28:25 PM
Should have added that 2,3,5,8,12 and 20 are available on Marco Polo/Naxos, the remainder (and other versions of some of those) can be downloaded from the Art Music forum (old Melodya recordings and/or Latvian Radio broadcasts). Not sure which featured on the old Campion label.

Thanks for the synopsis of the symphonies.
I have the following Campion releases:

Music for the film 'Late Frost in Spring' with Symphony No 8 and Lacplesis Symphonic Poem. Possibly my favourite disc in their series. The film music is charming and memorable.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oCoZ6d73rVA

Symphony No 10 and Piano Concerto and 'Andante'

Symphony No 4 'Atlantis' with 'Rainbow' Symphonic Poem

Symphony No 3, 'The Cloudy Mountain' Symphonic Poem and Cello Concerto

Symphony No 1, Latgalian Landscape and Symphony No 2.

I think that the Violin Concerto is on a CD of 'Baltic Violin Concertos'.

I regret that Symphony 11 was never issued commercially on CD.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Scion7 on July 09, 2014, 01:20:49 AM
" His string quartets and other chamber works are very good too. " -

besides the Piano Trio, what else is there?
I can't find any other listing besides what's in the Grove.

Good 3rd-tier composer. Very interesting to have a Latvian serious composer that is substantial, if not groundbreaking.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: J on July 09, 2014, 06:41:44 AM

Good 3rd-tier composer.


How nice to have your imprimatur in this regard, - and a relief you didn't drop him to level 4 (or even "bad" 3rd-tier).
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on July 09, 2014, 08:12:36 AM
I rate Ivanovs highly and find many of his works thought-provoking and moving. Especially symphonies 8 and 20 (coupled together on a Naxos), 11, and 2-4.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: J on July 09, 2014, 10:22:50 AM
Yes, - at his best Ivanovs was a very fine composer.  Those Symphonies which speak most strongly to me are Nos.4, 6-8, 11, 14-16, & 20.  Nothing "3rd tier" about them.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Scion7 on July 09, 2014, 12:29:26 PM
I'm with you in that they are good, and he incorporated Latvian folk melodies into the music, which is also good.

But as far as importance and so on, well, he's not First-tier (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven ...) or Second (Shostakovich*, Rachmaninov) so ...

This is how musicologists rate things.  He's no doubt very famous in Latvia, but he didn't grab the world-tree and shake it, and a great majority of classical music enthusiasts won't even know who he is. 

Whether good or bad fortune, that's just life.

*really hope MI's taken his meds this afternoon  ???
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: calyptorhynchus on January 08, 2017, 06:05:28 PM
Jut listening to the seventh symphony atm. That ominous theme in the slow movement... What work by Sibelius does it allude to? (Possibly unconsciously).
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: relm1 on April 15, 2018, 05:31:48 AM
There is a new recording of Ivanovs Symphony No. 5 that I think is very fine.  I like it better than the previous versions.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/519lp4NfgqL._SS500.jpg)
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: SymphonicAddict on April 15, 2018, 10:31:49 AM
There is a new recording of Ivanovs Symphony No. 5 that I think is very fine.  I like it better than the previous versions.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/519lp4NfgqL._SS500.jpg)

Great news. Nevertheless, this label and others concerned should record the symphonies that are not on CD (e.g. 6, 7, 9, 11, etc. ) Fortunately, there are recordings of the complete symphonies, though some of them leave much to be desired in terms of audio quality.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on April 15, 2018, 10:38:24 AM
There is a new recording of Ivanovs Symphony No. 5 that I think is very fine.  I like it better than the previous versions.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/519lp4NfgqL._SS500.jpg)
Have ordered this one. Great to see a new Ivanovs CD but I'd have preferred to see the excellent Symphony 11 issued on CD for the first time.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on November 12, 2020, 07:06:50 PM
7th is on fire 🔥
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on November 12, 2020, 11:07:58 PM
7th is on fire 🔥

I think that it can be found here as well:
(http://)
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on November 13, 2020, 06:44:09 AM
I think that it can be found here as well:
(http://)

Thank you, Jeffrey!
Both the Vol.1 and Vol.2 look very interesting  :)
I will order the 2 sets.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on November 13, 2020, 11:03:31 AM
Thank you, Jeffrey!
Both the Vol.1 and Vol.2 look very interesting  :)
I will order the 2 sets.

They are both of great interest with fine performances of Miaskovsky's 17th Symphony (best version IMO), Khachaturian's 1st Symphony and much else. I'm sure that you'll enjoy them DBK.
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: Roy Bland on January 10, 2021, 07:47:18 PM
Excellent disc and package,particularly lyrical playing of violin concerto
http://veikalsupe.lv/cd-1?product_id=500
Title: Re: Janis Ivanovs
Post by: vandermolen on January 12, 2021, 02:17:54 AM
We really need a CD of the excellent 11th Symphony.