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Russian and Soviet Music


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Author Topic: Russian and Soviet Music  (Read 8749 times)
cjvinthechair
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 12:26:48 pm »

Bogoslovsky - new & very welcome name; bit concerned on seeing the dates that the music would be too 'challenging', but it's delightful, thanks !
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Clive
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2012, 06:54:59 pm »

Sir,

Cannot find Akhiyan here, (where the search feature seems imperfect), nor on UC.

SBookman
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peeknocker
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2012, 12:07:07 am »

You need a Swede I think. 

Evidently I am not the only one seeking help from a Swede!

http://artmusic.smfforfree.com/index.php/topic,628.msg3414.html#msg3414

 Grin
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fr8nks
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 04:11:47 am »

Sir,

Cannot find Akhiyan here, (where the search feature seems imperfect), nor on UC.

SBookman

Here you must first click on "Downloads" then type Akhinyan in search block. Be sure to spell it as I just did. On UC you can search from the home page but be sure you select "Search entire forum" and you must spell it Akhinian. Both of these spelling are different than the one you used in the quote above.
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SBookman
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2012, 10:57:15 am »

Sir,

Thankyou; my spelling error.
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2012, 10:30:58 am »

We were recently discussing soviet-era music, and whether music written in praise of the prevailing Soviet Government between 1917 and 1990 deserves the label of 'soiled goods'?

I was thinking of that this morning when Mr Dundonnell posted a request for a piece by Schedrin. The Schedrin work in question is from 2000. Yet I find Schedrin's music, if anything, more offensive than Knipper's, and I asked myself why that was?  I think it's because I find the vacuity of Schedrin's music annoying. He has become famous due to two extra-musical circumstances. The first is his former toadying support of the Communist Party - whose ex-leaders continue to govern post-soviet Russia. The second is by dint of being the husband of legendary Bolshoi Theatre ballerina Maya Plisetskaya. [This second merits some explanation. In many countries elsewhere, few people along a shopping street could name a ballerina of any nationality, let alone their own. But in Russia, ballet has been prized to such a degree that ballet stars are household names - even among those who hate the genre. Not only are their performances endlessly televised, but they turn up on daytime tv, promoting everything from their autobiographies, to ranges of dancewear or cranky diets.]

I struggle in vain to applaud or enjoy Schedrin's music... and his latter compositions I find especially bare of interest. I heard his opera LOLITA a few years ago (in fact I saw the only Moscow performance, in which a friend of mine played the title role) and I was looking at my watch after the first hour... to find that only 19 minutes had actually passed. The second act consists of a sequence of clusters, which I found remarkable only because the soloists managed to pick their cue-note out of them.

We can blame Knipper all we please...  but I find music written upon the cynically voyeuristic and vicarious theme of Lolita considerably more suspect than anything written in praise of the Red Army in 1945 Wink

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Gerard
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2012, 10:57:22 am »

. . . in Russia, ballet has been prized to such a degree that ballet stars are household names - even among those who hate the genre. Not only are their performances endlessly televised, but they turn up on daytime tv, promoting everything from their autobiographies, to ranges of dancewear or cranky diets. . . .

Whereas in Britain it is ice-skaters and snooker players who perform that function, is it not.
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Appreciative, or investigatory, that is the question . . .
Neil McGowan
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 11:02:38 am »

Whereas in Britain it is ice-skaters and snooker players who perform that function, is it not.

 Wink
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Holger
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 01:26:26 pm »

Very interesting, because my feelings regarding Shchedrin's music do not differ much.

In fact, I really like Shchedrin's earliest pieces a lot, e.g. the Humpbacked Horse or the First Piano Concerto. These may be conformist pieces and examples of Socialist Realism, but for me, this music is very charming and attractive, nothing sophisticated at all but just nice, tuneful and pleasant.

However, Shchedrin's music written after 1960 fails to leave a lasting impression on me at all. Though the reasons may differ from piece to piece, a main feature is that in many Shchedrin pieces, I miss a sort of clear intention, an inner drive within the music. It somehow starts, takes a while, some things may happen but when it's over I fail to remember much of it, not do I have the feeling of any consequence or organic process. It's somehow empty.

Other pieces are too glaring for my taste (I am thinking of the Seagull, for example). Also, when Shchedrin intends to create tension it often sounds a little strained, anyway not very attractive in my view.

In any case, I have not found any piece in Shchedrin's later output so far which really impressed me.

Of course, these are only personal statements, but I found it remarkable to read Neil's statement in comparison to my own experiences.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2012, 01:35:26 pm »

I don't know anything about ballet dancing,but I know who Darcey Bussell is & I've seen enough newspaper & glossy photos of her,over the last few years,to paper my wall....if I wanted to! Grin
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2012, 03:12:21 pm »

I miss a sort of clear intention, an inner drive within the music. It somehow starts, takes a while, some things may happen but when it's over I fail to remember much of it

I recognise that feeling very well Smiley

He's clearly a well-schooled composer, and he has the technical facility at his disposal to write well - his orchestration is imagninative. But he appears to have lost the creative spark that enlivened his early work... as though he's just 'going through the motions'?  The score for LOLITA is very peculiar in that regard. Apparently he wrote the second act much later than the first, having put it in a drawer for a while in the interim. A completely different style dominates in the second act, and it appears to be going nowhere.

I wonder if it is too fanciful to imagine that he was brought up and trained during the soviet period - which then rapidly and rather unexpectedly ended, leaving him unequipped to write for a post-soviet age?  Or perhaps just unsure what kind of music that age might want or need?  I'm reminded of the hero of Viktor Pelevin's novel "Generation P" [mysteriously released under different titles in English translation, where it's been called both "Homo Zapiens" (Penguin) and "Babylon" (Faber & Faber). The "P" in the title stands for "Pepsi" - the text tells us explicitly - so I can't understand why that title couldn't be used?]. "Vavilen Tatarsky" is trained and schooled from his earliest years in the finest elite soviet schools and universities as a "Soviet Poet". On the day of his graduation from University, the Soviet Union falls to pieces, and he is a Soviet Poet without a Soviet Union to write for. Thus begins his nightmarish journey....

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« Reply #26 on: September 03, 2012, 06:40:24 pm »

Any chance of adding to your Peiko uploads, Holger Huh

Symphonies Nos. 3, 5 and 6 are not available on classical-music online.net for download so if you........... Grin
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Holger
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« Reply #27 on: September 03, 2012, 07:17:56 pm »

Colin,

I'll see what I can do. Smiley
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MVS
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« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2012, 03:05:52 am »

Wellll, now... as for Shchedrin, I would suggest that his "Russian Photographs" is a wonderful, deeply felt, work... and The Lady with the Lapdog is a fine work too. 
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Malito
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« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2012, 05:22:41 pm »

I have always been a big fan of his Symphony No. 1 which, as far as I know has not been on CD...it should be.  I agree that most of the music of Shchedrin is not that memorable byut the 1st symphony and his "Anna Karenina" ballet are my favorites by him.  Malito
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