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Gennady Rozhdestvensky (1931-2018): R.I.P.


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Author Topic: Gennady Rozhdestvensky (1931-2018): R.I.P.  (Read 234 times)
Dundonnell
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« on: June 16, 2018, 10:01:18 pm »

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2018/jun/16/russian-conductor-gennady-rozhdestvensky-dead-at-87

No doubt there will be fulsome obituaries to follow. A magnificent conductor with a broad repertoire but obviously a particularly fine Shostakovich interpreter.
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Hattoff
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 07:53:33 am »

Sad news. From the 1960s onwards I always looked forward to his recordings of the less well known works of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. R.I.P.
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 12:34:30 pm »

And in addition all of that, a marvellous teacher who has brought on an entire generation of young Russian conductors  (Osetrov, Bogorad, and particularly Maxim Emelyanichev).  We will have cause to be grateful to Rozhdestvensky for decades to come.
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jimmatt
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 03:55:26 pm »

Had the privilege of seeing him conduct Lourie's Concerto Spirituale and Schnittke's Gogol Suite on a visit to Berlin back in the nineties, still have scenes and sensations vividly in my head. It is odd, just yesterday I was listening to a piece conducted by him and wondered if he was still alive. Well, guess he always will be in that way. Thanks and Peace to him.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 04:09:38 pm »

For a Russian conductor of his generation and his eminence Rozhdestvensky had an astonishingly enquiring and enterprising approach to repertoire which might usually be regarded as well outside the norm. This was a conductor who recorded Rued Langgaard's "Music of the Spheres" for Chandos and performed all the Vaughan Williams symphonies in St.Petersburg.
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ahinton
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 03:46:43 pm »

Yes, a very sad loss indeed; there seemed to be little or no repertoire to which he couldn't bring new insights. A remerkable conductor in every way!
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 07:01:20 pm »

RIP
IMHO less talented than Svetlanov .However a prominent conductor and essential for XX Century russian repertoire.
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ahinton
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2018, 04:43:11 pm »

RIP
IMHO less talented than Svetlanov .However a prominent conductor and essential for XX Century russian repertoire.
Talented in different ways. Svetlanov was a fine pianist and recorded the Medtner violin and piano sonatas whose parts are anything but "accompaniments"; he also gave one of the finest performances of Elgar's Second Symphony that it's ever been my good fortune to hear.
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Toby Esterhase
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2018, 04:55:06 pm »

RIP
IMHO less talented than Svetlanov .However a prominent conductor and essential for XX Century russian repertoire.
Talented in different ways. Svetlanov was a fine pianist and recorded the Medtner violin and piano sonatas whose parts are anything but "accompaniments"; he also gave one of the finest performances of Elgar's Second Symphony that it's ever been my good fortune to hear.
Dear Ahinton
Also Rozhdestvensky was a pianist.IMHO  Ministry of Culture Orchestra was not at height of State Symphony and Rozhdestvensky was more oriented towards modernists composers.However i don't  want deny his skills
Best
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Holger
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 06:47:43 pm »

Yes, exactly, Svetlanov and Rozhdestvensky were interested in different stuff at least in parts. For sure, Rozhdestvensky's merits with respect to 20th century composers are enormous (and here, he actually did a lot more than Svetlanov), and his repertoire was truly vast. A great conductor has left us, a real loss.
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Elroel
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2018, 09:51:22 pm »

Sad indeed,

He was most of all, IMHO, a very fine conductor, who was able to bring is the essence of many compositions. Almost oppostie to Swetlanov.
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dhibbard
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 06:06:31 am »

I just read about this... and saw something on NPR about his passing.   He was a great conductor.  ( guess that happens when you are out of the country)

Here is an article from NPR:

https://www.npr.org/sections/deceptivecadence/2018/06/18/621090499/gennady-rozhdestvensky-an-influential-russian-conductor-has-died


Gennady Rozhdestvensky, An Influential Russian Conductor, Has Died

June 18, 20184:34 PM ET


Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, rehearsing in 1966 at an unknown location. He died Saturday at age 87.
Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

The conductor Gennady Nikolayevich Rozhdestvensky, an immense presence in Russian musical life during much of the Soviet era and an artist who championed the likes of composers Dmitri Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina, died Saturday at age 87. His son, violinist Sasha Rozhdestvensky, told the New York Times that his father had battled heart issues, diabetes and something, but did not confirm to NPR the location or further details of his death.

Rozhdestvensky was the former principal conductor of the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2000, he was named general artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre. In addition, he was a guest conductor at several other prominent podiums, including at the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Rozhdestvensky often communicated with his musicians not with a baton or hand gestures, but with facial expressions a raised eyebrow here, an elaborate shrug there.
YouTube

"If one could explain conducting," he said in a 2003 documentary by Bruno Monsaingeon, "There wouldn't be 1000 conductors, but 10,000. We'd put them in a class and tell them how to spin their arms. Fortunately, some things can't be explained ... in my opinion, the worst approach you can take is to limit teaching to the gestures. Moving your arms is hardly something you have to learn. You have to have a viewpoint, learn how to communicate a musical idea to the orchestra and through it, to the listener."

Although he was best known internationally for his work within the Russian repertoire, and most especially with the living Russian composers of his prime, including Shostakovich, Gubaidulina and Schnittke, Rozhdestvensky also brought foreign works to his home audience, including the first performance in Russia of Benjamin Britten's opera A Midsummer Night's Dream and the first complete cycle of Ralph Vaughan Williams' symphonies. With the Soviet orchestra, he recorded the complete symphonies of Shostakovich, Alexander Glazunov and Alfred Schnittke and also Anton Bruckner and Arthur Honegger for Melodiya, the Soviet state-owned record label for which he was one of the earliest and most prolific recording artists.

Rozhdestvensky often chafed at the artistic limitations that the Soviet government placed on him, and his performances sometimes skirted the lines of what the Soviet system found sanctionable. Among the works that the conductor championed was Dmitri Shostakovich's 1921 opera The Nose a wry, bracing and absurdist satire inspired by a Gogol short story, which Rozhdestvensky daringly revived in the then-Soviet Union in 1974. That same year, he led the world premiere of Schnittke's brash and densely populated First Symphony in Gorky, far away from Moscow's ears.
YouTube

At the same time, he was put forth and promoted as a model Soviet artist, being awarded the People's Artist of the USSR prize in 1976 and named a Hero of Socialist Labor in 1990. He was also allowed to travel abroad for work, including to serve his posts in Stockholm and Vienna during the 1970s and '80s.

As the Soviet system crumbled, however, Rozhdestvensky felt comfortable enough to complain to the New York Times about the state's stranglehold on cultural life: "I want to be able to work freely," he told the paper in 1988, when the visiting New York Philharmonic played side-by-side with the Soviet State Symphony Orchestra for a landmark concert in Moscow's Gorky Park. Referring to the state-controlled concert agency, which at the time held the sole right to arrange his concerts both domestically and abroad, the conductor said: "It is too difficult for me to work with such a bureaucratic machine. It interferes with my creativity and with my art. I love working here, but not with them. In Russian we have a saying: 'A spoonful of asphalt in a cask of honey.'"

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