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Rodion Shchedrin talking about Tikhon Khrennikov


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Author Topic: Rodion Shchedrin talking about Tikhon Khrennikov  (Read 220 times)
Neil McGowan
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2015, 08:47:16 pm »

it was Gerald Abraham


Gerald who?
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2015, 09:05:18 pm »

surely one of the greatest Russian composers since Tchaikovsky

Hmmm, I saw what you did there  Wink

Quite a few rather important composers have slipped through the cracks there, haven't they?

Both Taneyevs (although primarily Sergey), Rimsky-Korsakov, Gliere, Glazunov, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Medtner, Prokofiev, and a chap called Stravinsky?  Not to mention a host of piano-soloist-composers, and other composers from the non-Russian parts of the USSR, and even further afield.

I think there are strong grounds for naming Prokofiev as another worthy carrier of Tchaikovsky's mantle?  He lovingly pastiches his beloved master in so many of his works, WAR & PEACE not being the least of them (which opens with a clear homage to THE QUEEN OF SPADES)

Of course in our house we are unrepentant evangelists and activists for both
and


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ahinton
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2015, 07:42:20 am »

surely one of the greatest Russian composers since Tchaikovsky

The irony being, of course, that Dmitry Dmitrievich lived to write 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets, after the naughty old USSR treated him free of charge. He was, it's true, pressured by another composer (Khrennikov) to withdraw and denounce LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK, and certain other works [astonishingly even the Socialist Realist comedy THE BRIGHT STREAM (SVETLIE RUCHEI)].  And he was chucked out of the Composer's Union, and wasn't allowed the Composer's Villa on the Black Sea.  He died of old age.

Meanwhile Pyotr Ilyich was abducted in broad daylight by Tsarist ultra-conservative loonies, who put him on trial in a kangaroo court made up of extremist Freemasons - and then locked in a room with a loaded pistol.  He had, it's true, been pressured by another composer (Balakirev) to withdraw his opera THE SECRET AGENT (OPRICHNIK) despite its whirlwind success - he then denounced the work in a newspaper article, and even asked the Jurgenson printing house to destroy the plates. Allegedly it was an 'anti-Russian' opera?  Exactly what would later be said about LADY MACBETH. 

But the difference was that Tchaikovsky was done in by lovely capitalist Imperialist nutters, whereas Shostakovich was banned from the composer's villa by saucy Stalinists   Wink
Huh
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ahinton
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2015, 07:43:10 am »

Quite. I realise, as no doubt you also do, that Gerard provided a Wiki link, but the question remains...
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ahinton
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2015, 07:54:50 am »

surely one of the greatest Russian composers since Tchaikovsky

Hmmm, I saw what you did there  Wink

Quite a few rather important composers have slipped through the cracks there, haven't they?

Both Taneyevs (although primarily Sergey), Rimsky-Korsakov, Gliere, Glazunov, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Medtner, Prokofiev, and a chap called Stravinsky?  Not to mention a host of piano-soloist-composers, and other composers from the non-Russian parts of the USSR, and even further afield.

I think there are strong grounds for naming Prokofiev as another worthy carrier of Tchaikovsky's mantle?  He lovingly pastiches his beloved master in so many of his works, WAR & PEACE not being the least of them (which opens with a clear homage to THE QUEEN OF SPADES)
Ah, well - as long as you saw what I did there(!). No, none of those composers has slipped through any cracks, of course (and, speaking of cracks, perhaps the joke backfired somewhat, but at least the statement got a reaction!) - and even then, I did write "one of"(!) and it hardly needs saying that Tikhon Tikhov falls far short of meriting includion therewith. There's Gretchaninov, Roslavets, Weinberg and others too..

The serious point behind that statement was, of course, that Shostakovich is one of the 20th century Russian luminaries (even the egregious Abraham mentions "common consent" and is not without his compliments about Shostakovich - yes, I made myself trawl through as much as I could stand of his essay on the composer) - but that, among British music critics, Abraham is (deservedly) hardly remembered today, even in his own country. What Abraham he forgot (or more likely didn't know) is that Shostakovich's first symphony was not just a conservatoire student piece; he began working on it a good 2 years before he completed it.

That said, I see little point in dignifying his ill-considered statements about Shostakovich with further discussion of his essay, except to mention en passant that even he seems to have a considerably more positive view of the composer than does Gerard.
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #20 on: February 17, 2015, 08:59:24 am »

Huh

In the light of what might be called COMPOSERS VARIOUSLY SLATED above...

... it seemed worth pointing out that back in the Imperial Russian days of yore, composers such as Tchaikovsky (who, just like Shostakovich, didn't hesitate at putting his ability at the service of the State) didn't just get their wrists slapped...

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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2015, 09:08:00 am »

There's Gretchaninov, Roslavets, Weinberg and others too..

Weinberg was born in Poland.  We don't talk of Rachmaninov 'the American composer", do we?   Wink   

Unfortunately this discussion has slumped downhill so rapidly that it really doesn't deserve further attention - so I am out of this topic now.

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ahinton
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« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2015, 01:27:14 pm »

Huh

In the light of what might be called COMPOSERS VARIOUSLY SLATED above...

... it seemed worth pointing out that back in the Imperial Russian days of yore, composers such as Tchaikovsky (who, just like Shostakovich, didn't hesitate at putting his ability at the service of the State) didn't just get their wrists slapped...
That's not for me to answer.

Anyway, it was not with anything of the kind in mind that I wrote as I did in my first response here, my motivation on the contrary being that Shchedrin's attempts to rehabilitate a composer who was once in an official position of power and who even at the age of around 90 continued to defend what have been widely described as some of the less favourable of his actions vis--vis certain of his compatriots ring rather hollow if for no better reason than that TK was a minor figure among 20th century Russian composers and the entire exercise risks descending into special pleading.
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ahinton
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« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2015, 01:43:10 pm »

There's Gretchaninov, Roslavets, Weinberg and others too..
Weinberg was born in Poland.  We don't talk of Rachmaninov 'the American composer", do we?   Wink
Er, no, "we" don't (and please, not that "we" again!) - not least, perhaps, because Rachmaninov was born in Russia. Yes, Weinberg was born in Poland but lived in Russia for almost the last six decades of his life and, for that matter, Szymanowski was born in what is now part of Ukraine but we don't think of him as Ukrainian. That said, of the origins of Grechaninov and Roslavets thee would appar to be little doubt.

Unfortunately this discussion has slumped downhill so rapidly that it really doesn't deserve further attention - so I am out of this topic now.
I suspect that this may in large part be due to the fact the it has wandered off topic very rapidly, which is indeed unfortunate. That said, had it not done so, one might reasonably have anticipated reading posts about Shchedrin and Khrennikov and their works and, inevitably and necessarily, some commentary on the former's defensive statements about the latter and his conduct as shown in the video . . .
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« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2015, 08:54:09 am »

Shchedrin is re-writing history as is the norm these days.  It makes my disrespect for Shchedrin even greater.

Makes one wonder who is really rewriting history and who has been manufacturing it to fit their agenda.
I have a similar disdain for Henze's misguided mindset, but I do respect his musical contributions..hmm..maybe that should change..
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