Thursday, June 29, 2017

May 2017 #ClassicsaDay #SovietaDay annotated list - Part 4


One of the ongoing Twitter hashtag groups I participate with is #ClassicsaDay. The idea’s pretty simple: post a link to a classical work, and – in the body of the tweet – provide a little info about it.

For May 2017, some of the participants decided to use the theme #SovietaDay. Part 1 fills in the background behind my selections.

Below is the final group of composers, born after 1931. Many of these composers out-lived the Soviet Era, and enjoy a greater freedom of musical expression. Some became important and influential composers not only in their own country, but internationally.

Soviet composers born after 1931

Rodion Shchedrin (1932 - ) 
Shchedrin is the winner of the Lenin Prize, and the USSR State Prize. Shchedrin has a strong sense of humor and irony that often comes through in his music. Even before travel restrictions were lifted in the USSR, Shchedrin's music was often performed in the West, thanks to champions like Mstislav Rostropovich and Leonard Bernstein.

Sergei Mikhailovich Slonimsky (1932 - ) 
Slonimsky (nephew of Nicoals Slonimsky) began writing in a somewhat conservative style. As political restrictions loosened, he became more adventurous, and is known for his experiments with new notation, 12-tone technique, and other politically dangerous musical ideas.

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Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998) 
Schnittke was a student of Shostakovich. His polystylistic approach to music very quickly put him at odds with the Union of Soviet Composers. His 1969 Symphony No. 1 was banned by the Union. With the loosening of political oversight, Schnittke's music reached wider audiences, and he's acknowledged as one of the masters of late 20th Century music.

Giya Kancheli (1935-) 
Kancheli is a Georgian composer who found great success in the West after Glasnost. His music is often deeply spiritual, with long, sustained chord punctuated by violent outbursts. Rodion Shchedrin called Kancheli "an ascetic with the temperament of a maximalist -- a restrained Vesuvius."

Boris Tischenko (1939-2010) 
Tischenko did post-graduate work in composition under Shostakovich. His style had experimental elements in it, such as twelve-tone rows and aleatoric passages. His music has a marked originality about it, in both conception and orchestration.

Yevhen Stankovych (1942 - ) 
Stankovych studied with Lyatoshynksy in Kiev. He served as the chair of the Ukrainian Composer's Union. H won the USSR's "For Labour Valour" Medal for his Symphony No. 7.

Vyacheslav Artyomov (1940 - )
Artyomov's music is deeply spiritual, and shares some similarities with that of Arvo Part and John Tavener. Artyomov has had many champions, especially in the West. In 1979 he was part of Khrennkiv's Seven - blacklisted by the Union of Composers for unauthorized participation in music festivals in the West.

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