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 31 
 on: May 12, 2019, 10:34:57 pm 
Started by Dundonnell - Last post by Dundonnell
The more Sutermeister I hear the more I am impressed by him as a composer!

The new Toccata disc is a delight from start to finish. "Die Alpen" could do without the spoken narration but the orchestral writing is sumptuous. The last movement contains a magnificent depiction of the mountains in all their fabulous glory but closes with wonderful horns evoking alpenhorns at dusk.

Sutermeister's music is entirely tonal and actually remarkably beautiful. Above all it is distinguished by its sensibilities to a 20th century romanticism which reminds me of composers like RVW (although Sutermeister is not a Swiss Vaughan Williams the "Aubade pour Morges" would be enjoyed by any lovers of the English composer!) or Ravel. The Divertimento No.2 is exceptionally fine- yes, influenced by Poulenc and Honegger but with a refined, stateliness which I find incredibly appealing. There are no "rough edges", there is no asperity, just music of genuine taste, beauty and distinction. It does not relapse into any kind of self-indulgent, "easy romanticism", but confidently asserts a mid-20th century version which entitles Sutermeister to be rescued from neglect, indeed almost total anonymity outside his native Switzerland.

 32 
 on: May 12, 2019, 09:27:07 pm 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by Holger
I heard about this composer for the first time quite a couple of years ago when I got a symphony which was supposed to be his First. However, it quickly came out that this was a misattribution and what I had got was in fact the First Symphony by Gennady Chernov (* 1937). By then, I did some research on whether any music by Mikhail Chernov was available but nothing could be found, and the situation does not seem to have changed. His Third Symphony seems to have have been written for the 1928 Schubert competition which was finally won by Atterberg. Anyhow, getting something by him might be nice, though personally I neither think it is very likely nor do I really expect a major discovery.

By the way, the Ovchinnikov whom Chernov taught is not the famous Vyacheslav who died earlier this year (and who was only two years old when Chernov died) but some Evgeny who is pretty much forgotten today.

 33 
 on: May 12, 2019, 08:30:01 pm 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by dhibbard
There is no information about his symphonies being recorded on that page. for sure.  But the Russian version of Wikipedia is even less reliable than its English-language counterpart, so there could still be an outside chance that recordings exist, somewhere?   

Personally I am more intrigued by the idea of early-20th Russian operettas....  but sadly Wikipedia doesn't even give their titles, let alone any deeper detail Sad   I wonder if they were ever performed, and if so, where and when?  One imagines SPb  (since he was living and working there), but perhaps in other cities in the Russian Empire or the USSR?   He certainly made an adept leap from posh societiy musical comedies to writing the Komsomol Anthem... so he knew which side his bread was buttered Wink  But who can blame him?

I am looking in the Ho/Feofanov Dictionary of Soviet Composers and they state his pupils include Gauk, Kamensky, Kreek, Ovchinnikov, and Prokofiev.   His 3 symphonies were written 1907, 1924 and 1928.   No references to any Melodiya recordings.

I did find that his symphonies were published by Jurgenson in Moscow and Leipzig..... chances are they may have been performed somewhere but known recordings are not found.

 34 
 on: May 12, 2019, 04:57:07 am 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by dhibbard
There is no information about his symphonies being recorded on that page. for sure.  But the Russian version of Wikipedia is even less reliable than its English-language counterpart, so there could still be an outside chance that recordings exist, somewhere?   

Personally I am more intrigued by the idea of early-20th Russian operettas....  but sadly Wikipedia doesn't even give their titles, let alone any deeper detail Sad   I wonder if they were ever performed, and if so, where and when?  One imagines SPb  (since he was living and working there), but perhaps in other cities in the Russian Empire or the USSR?   He certainly made an adept leap from posh societiy musical comedies to writing the Komsomol Anthem... so he knew which side his bread was buttered Wink  But who can blame him?

I am looking in the Ho/Feofanov Dictionary of Soviet Composers and they state his pupils include Gauk, Kamensky, Kreek, Ovchinnikov, and Prokofiev.   His 3 symphonies were written 1907, 1924 and 1928.   No references to any Melodiya recordings.

 35 
 on: May 12, 2019, 01:05:19 am 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by Neil McGowan
There is no information about his symphonies being recorded on that page. for sure.  But the Russian version of Wikipedia is even less reliable than its English-language counterpart, so there could still be an outside chance that recordings exist, somewhere?   

Personally I am more intrigued by the idea of early-20th Russian operettas....  but sadly Wikipedia doesn't even give their titles, let alone any deeper detail Sad   I wonder if they were ever performed, and if so, where and when?  One imagines SPb  (since he was living and working there), but perhaps in other cities in the Russian Empire or the USSR?   He certainly made an adept leap from posh societiy musical comedies to writing the Komsomol Anthem... so he knew which side his bread was buttered Wink  But who can blame him?

 36 
 on: May 11, 2019, 11:07:34 pm 
Started by britishcomposer - Last post by Dundonnell
Tecwyn Evans was the conductor of the performance broadcast in March 2016.

This is his full response to those questioning the decision not to release the performance commercially:

"It would be wonderful to have a recording. Knowing people who knew Grace and were there at the premiere, I think if it had not been the disaster it was, she would have revisited the piece and made some revisions. She was extremely critical of herself and her work so the problems from the premiere probably made this an impossible task for her to consider. But still a proper record of the piece should be done. We tried but illness with some of singers on the night of this performance made it not an option to release. One day I hope!"

So, according to the conductor, the premiere in 1971 was a disaster-which it may well have been.

I find Mr. Evans's comments puzzling. He seems in the same breath to be attributing the 2016 "debacle" to both the composer-who might have revised the piece in the light of the "disaster" of the premiere performance back in 1971 but did not/could not-and to the "illness with some of the singers" in 2016.

So....are we to conclude from this BOTH that the work itself is seriously flawed and requires revision (but by whom one wonders) AND that the recent performance was inadequate? And if the former reason applies surely this would have been obvious to those studying the score or listening to the recording of the premiere; in which case, why try to revive a seriously flawed composition?

Well...we had better "enjoy" what we have because it is extremely unlikely that anyone will ever try again Sad

 37 
 on: May 11, 2019, 11:04:57 pm 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by dhibbard
thank you !!!    I don't in the documentation that any of his symphonic works were ever recorded...  esp. his 3 symphonies.    Another lost and unrecorded student of Rimsky.

 38 
 on: May 11, 2019, 09:10:12 pm 
Started by dhibbard - Last post by Neil McGowan
His biography is available in Russian on the Russian 'side' of Wikipedia

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Чернов,_Михаил_Михайлович

If anyone badly needs it, I can knock out a quick English tranlation of that page. In essence, his biography was study at the Physics & Maths faculty of SPbniv until 1903.  Subseqently studied composition and orchestration at the SPb Conservatoire with RImsky-Korsakov and Lyadov.  From 1910 until his death in 1938 he himself taught the same two topics at the SPb Conservatoire (where his pupils included Mravinsky).

His output appears to have covered a number of gences, including 3 symphonies, piano music, and a number of comic operas and operettas, along with incidental music for theatre productions. He also composed the music for the Anthem of the Young Communists (Komsomol) in 1928.

 39 
 on: May 11, 2019, 02:08:28 pm 
Started by britishcomposer - Last post by cilgwyn
I am generally opposed to narration in music as being distracting and a bad idea, but here it is not too bad. I did listen to the broadcast, but with distractions. What helps here is that the narration is in Welsh, so for a non-Welsh speaker like me (and I suspect most of us) the effect is one of a quiet, not unmusical burbling of sounds from Rowan Williams with the strings beneath.

It is a great shame that this was only the second public performance of such a major work in 45 years - partly due to the difficulty of the choral writing. I have to say, though, that making allowances for the fact that I was not giving the work my full attention, there are other pieces by Williams I would look forward to re-hearing first.
I was thinking,Martinu's,Epic of Gilgamesh,is another choral work with narration. I usually like Martinu;but every time I put it on,it ends up getting switched off!! My loss,I know!! Roll Eyes Sad

 40 
 on: May 11, 2019, 01:44:31 pm 
Started by britishcomposer - Last post by cilgwyn
I was going to make a cd-r from the file here,this week;then discovered,I'd already made one!! Shocked Grin  I was just reading (albeit,belatedly! Roll Eyes Grin)  Tecwyn Evans' reply,on Youtube,to the posts,bemoaning the lack of performances and recordings,of this work! Tecwyn Evans stating,"One day,I hope!" This seems one of those works that just,are,bedevilled by bad luck! Sad

Third time lucky,as they say?!! One can only hope?!!

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