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Evgeny Bukke (1877-1920) - aria from "Destiny"


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christopher
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« on: August 22, 2016, 04:15:12 pm »

I am searching for a VERY old, and apparently rare, recording of an aria from the opera "Fate" ("Sud'ba" in Russian) by the Russian composer Evgeny Bukke (1877-1920). "Fate" (or "Destiny") was reportedly a version of "Der Müller und sein Kind", a story by the German dramatist Ernst Raupach.

The CHARM catalogue lists it as having been recorded in 1903 (!) by Alexander Matveev, a tenor, as follows:

Composer: Bukke, Work: Ariya iz operi “Sudba” Bukke, na polskom yazike[Fate: Aria, sung in Polish], Performer: A M MATVEEV, Date: -03
Catalogue: Kelly
Performer: A M MATVEEV
Venue: Moscow
CatNum: 022068
Num: 129
Date: -03
Title: Ariya iz operi “Sudba”
Composer: Bukke
Title: , na polskom yazike
Trans: [Fate: Aria, sung in Polish]

http://www.charm.rhul.ac.uk/discography/search/search_advanced?operatorSel_0=and&parameterSel_0=composer&parameterKey_0=compo_004039&parameterKeyTxt_0=Bukke

I think the entry "sung in Polish" might be an error, as Bukke, Matveev and the opera were all Russian.

Possibly it might be on a 78 LP or other format now out of use.  If anyone knows anything about it and feels they could share, I would be most grateful!

The online Russian encyclopaedia "AKADEMIK" notes that Matveev sung in the role of Henrikh in an opera called "Sud'ba" - it doesn't name the composer though I presume this is Bukke. The same entry says he later sung under Bukke's baton.  It then goes on to say he recorded under various record labels, including Gramafon, Rebikov, Pathe and Omokord.


I am aware of two works of Bukke's which have been recorded:

His song "Sosna" ("A Pine Tree") was recorded by the tenor Petr Slovtsov with piano accompaniment. It's available on a Russian CD called "Petr Slovtsov - Siberian Nightingale" which looks like this - http://oleg-pogudin.elegos.ru/_fr/26/5599284.jpg

He also wrote the soundtrack to a 1918 Russian silent movie called "Father Sergius", after a tale by Leo Tolstoy - it's for solo piano - you can listen to it here -   (Schnittke later wrote his own music for a film of the same name.)
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 10:24:16 pm »

Actually, "Evgeny Bukke" is a Latvian composer named Eižens Buke. Latvia only gained its independence shortly before this composer died, and he spent his professional career outside the borders of what would eventually be independent Latvia, hence Russian sources claim him as Russian.

He was born in 1877 in Rīga, Latvia, and performed publicly for the first time at the age of seven, on violin, and was considered a child prodigy. He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1891, graduating in 1899, and then pursued further studies with Sergey Taneyev. His first opera, "Destiny" (or "Fate"), premiered in 1904. However, his second opera, "Tsar Fyodor Ivanovich," was banned from performance by the tsar's censors. He also composed various orchestral and chamber works, though many of those scores are now lost.

From 1904 to 1917 he was active primarily in and around Moscow as a conductor, choirmaster, accompanist, and composer, and also organized concerts in other parts of Russia. Later, he spent time in Kursk pursuing various musical activities and founded the local conservatory.

After Latvia gained its independence in 1918, he was invited to return to Riga and conduct at the Latvian National Opera. In 1920, while preparing to leave Kursk to accept this engagement, he fell victim to the typhoid epidemic and died.

He is a little-known figure in Latvian musical history due to spending his entire musical career outside Latvia, and there has never been a significant revival of his music in Latvia (or anywhere else, really). I have no recordings of his music and would also be very interested in hearing whatever archival sources any forum members can provide.
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 02:00:24 pm »

This is very interesting, thank you Latvian. The only source material I read about him was Russian, and not one mentions that he was Latvian (...). If you do come across any recordings of his music, please share! I wonder if there might be some in some Latvian archive somewhere.

About the youtube link which I posted - the audio is very high quality, doesn't sound like something recorded in 1918 at all.  So am wondering if it is Bukke's original music or something else. Or maybe it's the original re-mastered.  If you listen to it, it's often a medley of well-known pieces by other composers, arranged for the piano.
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 12:41:43 am »

By the way, apparently Buke made a number of recordings as conductor of others' works during his time in Moscow in the 1910s:

http://www.russian-records.com/search.php?search_keywords=Bukke
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 04:19:43 pm »

I'm still searching for this recording.  But meanwhile someone has sent me the score of the whole opera (though with piano rather than orchestra). 

It's here - http://www.mediafire.com/file/9n8a6utxsszq886/Bukke_-_Sud%27ba_-_score.pdf

I can read a single line of music ok, but this would be beyond me, so I have no idea if it's any good!
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