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Tatar Music


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cjvinthechair
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« on: April 07, 2013, 09:15:02 pm »

Some fascinating finds, Maris, but what would you - or anyone else - suggest when it comes to filing them under a country ? Does 'Tataristan' exist...and if not, what's the region part of ?
Sorry, my knowledge of geography is almost as bad as my musical ignorance !
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2013, 10:54:43 pm »

Some fascinating finds, Maris, but what would you - or anyone else - suggest when it comes to filing them under a country ? Does 'Tataristan' exist...and if not, what's the region part of ?
Sorry, my knowledge of geography is almost as bad as my musical ignorance !

There is this :
http://tatarstan-symphony.com/engl/afisha/80-2011-09-28-06-46-02.html
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Gauk
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 07:59:07 am »

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As far as distribution of the discs is concerned, Philipp Nedel noticed that 'Distribution of the recorded music is primarily meant for the Russian audience. Yet, regarding the fact that the format of the Anthology with such a unique content as symphony music of a particular region is generally unusual, we would like to make a promotion of the Anthology by portions'.

Worth keeping an eye on!
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Caostotale
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 09:04:14 am »

During the Soviet years, Tatarstan was part of the RFSFR (the giant Russian portion of the USSR). Now, it remains part of the Russian Federation. Their capital is the city of Kazan, which featured a conservatory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatarstan

Tatarstan borders some other interesting ethnic regions that exist under the Russian federal umbrella, including the lands of Mari El, Chuvashiya, and Bashkortostan (Bashkiriya), all of which boasted interesting composers as well. For example, the wonderful Andrei Eshpai was an ethnic Mari composer.

Thanks so much for these links, Latvian.
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Latvian
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 02:05:30 pm »

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Nice find! I'd love to get a copy.
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Latvian
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 02:08:26 pm »

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During the Soviet years, Tatarstan was part of the RFSFR (the giant Russian portion of the USSR). Now, it remains part of the Russian Federation. Their capital is the city of Kazan, which featured a conservatory.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tatarstan

Tatarstan borders some other interesting ethnic regions that exist under the Russian federal umbrella, including the lands of Mari El, Chuvashiya, and Bashkortostan (Bashkiriya), all of which boasted interesting composers as well. For example, the wonderful Andrei Eshpai was an ethnic Mari composer.

Thanks so much for these links, Latvian.

You're welcome! I suppose under the structure of this forum I should have included these files under "Russian and former Soviet." Since it's such a distinct ethnic group, though, I thought it would get lost in the Russian/Soviet folder, and with the possible exception of Albert Leman, these are not really Russian composers.
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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 03:36:30 pm »

Many thanks to all - will file under TAT(RUS) !
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 04:22:38 pm »

The most prominent Tatar composer at the moment, of course, is Gubaidulina.  She emigrated from Tatarstan some time ago, and I believe she has changed her religious beliefs since emigration.  Even so, she is certainly from there Smiley   She is frequently (wrongly) described as a "Russian" composer, but this is as potty as calling Hamish MacCunn an "English" composer Wink

Another more unsung Tatar composer is Rim Khasanov.  He is a very versatile guy, who has written symphonic music, and ballets.  But to keep body and soul together he also does 'EuroVision" style music (after all, someone has to?) which he writes for Tatarstan's female singing star 'Alsu'.  Full disclosure - I know Rim personally, and he is a charmingly eccentric man.  How many other people would release rap records at the age of 60?  He's also quite a believer in writing music for particular circumstances, and he's released a series of stuff in his 'car music' genre - music to listen to on long car journeys.  I was working with him for a while on his ballet project, Bodensee.  It was a ballet about the crash of a plane into the Bodensee Lake, in which everyone died.  It was a plane carrying a large group of top-achieving students from Tartartstan to a month's study in Britain, which they'd won in an academic competition.  Every door we knocked on just closed in front of us, no-one wanted to stage this piece.  A pity - it was excellent music, and in fact it wasn't tragic.  It ended with a surreal scene of the spirits of the students, dancing on the water.



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Caostotale
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 05:15:11 pm »

The most prominent Tatar composer at the moment, of course, is Gubaidulina.  She emigrated from Tatarstan some time ago, and I believe she has changed her religious beliefs since emigration.  Even so, she is certainly from there Smiley   She is frequently (wrongly) described as a "Russian" composer, but this is as potty as calling Hamish MacCunn an "English" composer Wink

I like a good amount of Gubaidulina's work, but often lament the magnitude of how eagerly her total output has been championed in the West, at least compared to other Soviet composers (forget about Tatar composers!). I feel like her music, whether it's great or not, arrives steeped in a favoritism built from a mixture of avant-garde elitism and Cold War rhetoric. This is only further validated when we're inevitably reminded that she was greatly and openly influenced by German baroque and second Viennese School composers like Webern.

Again, I like her work, but there's a part of me that can't help but scoff at how unbalanced her representation is on disc, with sheet music, in conversation with Westerners who think every other Soviet composer was a stooge of the state, etc...
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 05:29:21 pm »

when we're inevitably reminded that she was greatly and openly influenced by German baroque and second Viennese School composers like Webern.

Oh certainly, she was picked-up for her impeccable 'refusenik' credentials and lauded accordingly.  It didn't make the slightest difference what music she wrote.  And she, I'm afraid, has played along willingly with all of that.  Ho-hum.
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Caostotale
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 06:02:16 pm »

Oh certainly, she was picked-up for her impeccable 'refusenik' credentials and lauded accordingly.  It didn't make the slightest difference what music she wrote.  And she, I'm afraid, has played along willingly with all of that.  Ho-hum.

Yeah. I've been sorting through tons of Russian, Georgian, Armenian, etc... sheet music from the 1970s up until 1991 and it's basically total nonsense for anyone to claim that the regime was still putting their foot down on avant-garde musics in the area. In fact, a great many of the scores I've found represent a more difficult and challenging brand of composition from the post-Soviet art which the West has elevated into 'acceptable' (i.e. Schnittke, Gubaidulina, Ustvolskaya, and all those holy minimalists like Part, Kancheli, Silvestrov, etc...). Westerners getting their 'Soviet music' wisdom via those guys and Gubaidulina is about as convincing as them getting a handle on Argentine music from listening to Mauricio Kagel.

Again, I like a lot of her music, but in her practice she's far more similar to other European avant-gardists than she is to any other composers from her homeland. The defensive elitists of that musical milieu are often very talented at letting the composer's story, extra-musical influences, and other non-musical bits of narrative stand in place of the person's actual music.

All that aside, I am definitely curious to learn more about other Tatar composers. I've seen scores for pieces by all of the composers that were shared in the original post, as well as some pieces by Renat Yenikeev and Renat S. Gubaidullin (maybe related to Sofia?)
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2013, 07:50:17 pm »

The defensive elitists of that musical milieu are often very talented at letting the composer's story, extra-musical influences, and other non-musical bits of narrative stand in place of the person's actual music.

They are indeed  Roll Eyes  Most especially when there's nothing to say about the music Sad

However, when the extra-musical influences play along neatly with contemporary political fetishes, they can charm some extra budgetary resources.  It's the old thing about 'my enemy's enemy is my friend'.  I doubt any of the clowns at the CIA ever got further in literature than $0.25 cartoon cowboy comics... but it didn't stop them finding the money to get "Dr Zhivago" into print outside the USSR Sad

But the USSR did just the same. During the 1960s, when the Comrades found themselves unexpectedly short of a Soviet Beatles, they managed to find Dean Reed - the Communist Cowboy.  Dean was an American socialist who played rocky kind of cowboy songs that held the bankers and financiers responsible for all of life's tragedies.  He never had a career of any kind in the USA, but he was a huge hit in the USSR Smiley
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