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Russian and Soviet Music

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Author Topic: Russian and Soviet Music  (Read 14027 times)
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« on: August 16, 2012, 06:54:31 pm »

Thanks for your feedback, both of you. I now finally come round to reply.

Rakov was quite a conservative composer indeed, even by Soviet standards. He had a short more advanced period in the early 1970s (though even then, his music was still not that modern - some neoclassicist influences, a freer approach to tonality but not really more), but later works indicate he finally returned to his roots.

Indeed, Denisov was one of his students, and so was Schnittke (and others like Boris Tchaikovsky, Andrei Eshpai, Nikolai Peiko or Karen Khatchaturian). As far as I know, Rakov was mainly busy with his music, I mean he was not really a public figure but just did his work, which was composing, teaching and conducting. Most probably, the conservativism of his style was due to his personal preferences, which doesn't necessarily imply consequences for his teaching activities.

I wouldn't call his music too distinctive, but it is definitely very nice, with strong Russian flavour, often rather memorable and always well-written. His First Symphony is one of his finest pieces in my view. Its key is D Major but Rakov really seems to be keen to avoid it. Actually, the first movement is mainly in B Minor, creating an elegiac mood. Also, the slow introduction of the finale is in D Minor - Major is only achieved when the fast main part is reached, though the coda challenges this a little again.

I have many more pieces by him and might provide one or the other for download in the future.
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