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Leonid Polovinkin (1894-1949)

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Author Topic: Leonid Polovinkin (1894-1949)  (Read 327 times)
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« on: May 30, 2019, 11:52:38 am »

I have been listening with interest to the 7th symphony of Leonid Polovinkin. Particularly notable is the slow movement, which is one long unfolding melody. There doesn't seem to be much internet biographical information about the composer, a contemporary of Prokofiev, but it seems he wrote nine (!) symphonies of which only #7 and #9 have been recorded. It seems he went through the typical stages for a composer of his generation - influence of Scriabin, then experimentalist in the 1920s, and then moving to a social realist phase in the Stalin era.

It seems to me to be very surprising he is not better known. His works apparently include an opera based on JM Synge's "Playboy of the Western World", which would be interesting to hear. He is not even mentioned in SD Krebs's study of Soviet composers, though he does get an article in the 1953 Groves.
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 04:36:47 pm »

I don't know if you have been listening to the work online. The Northern Flowers cd has a good deal of information about the composer in its booklet notes.

I must say that I find the Symphony No.7 an extremely attractive piece but also very "old-fashioned" and not what one would necessarily expect of a wartime Soviet symphony. It would certainly not have scared Borodin, Tchaikovsky or Glazunov and yet at the same time there seems actually nothing particularly "Russian" about it. Polovinkin was certainly no Prokofiev! Enjoyable on its own terms-which is of course how it should be enjoyed!
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