Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov (b. 1936, Voronezh, USSR) was one of the major composers of the Soviet cinema in the 1960’s and 70’s. A graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, he scored the first several films of young directors Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky and Andrei Tarkovsky, including the highly-acclaimed Ivan’s Childhood (1962) and Andrei Rublev (1966). Tarkovsky once said, “I cannot imagine a better composer for myself than Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov.” While still in his 20’s, Ovchinnikov was selected to compose and conduct the music for Sergei Bondarchuk’s seven-hour epic War and Peace (1965-1967), which earned an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Between 1971 and 1973, he created new scores for three silent films of Alexander Dovzhenko on the occasion of their restoration by Mosfilm: Earth (1930), Arsenal (1929), and Zvenigora (1927). These large-scale choral and orchestral scores could be considered among his greatest achievements, a powerful marriage of contemporary music and silent cinema.
In honor of his 70th birthday (May 29), we present a selection of the many films which feature music by Ovchinnikov. They include literary adaptations (Sholokhov, Turgenev, Bogomolov), war films (First and Second World Wars, 1918 Ukrainian Bolshevik Revolution), and historical epics (Andrei Rublev). Many of the composer’s scores employ a wide range of musical styles; as Ovchinnikov himself stated, “I had to know how to do it all.”
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Heorhiy Ilarionovych Maiboroda, sometimes transcribed in English as Georgiy or Heorhy Maiboroda or Mayboroda (Ukrainian: Георгій Іларіонович Майборода, b. Pelekhivshchyna khutir, Kremenchuk county, Poltava oblast, Ukraine, 18 November 1913 - d. Kiev, 6 December 1992), was a Ukrainian composer.
Maiboroda, whose brother Platon Maiboroda was also a composer (mainly of songs), studied at the Glière College of Music in Kiev., where he studied under Levko Revutsky, graduating in 1941 and teaching there from 1952-1958. In 1967-68 he was head of the Composers Union of Ukraine.
His musical career was based in Ukraine, and he set several operas to Ukrainian librettos, including Yaroslav the Wise, (1973, pub. 1975), Arsenal (published 1961), Mylana (published 1960), and Taras Shevchenko (1964, published 1968), (based on the life of the Ukrainian artist and poet of that name), all of which were produced at the Kiev Opera House. He also prepared a performing edition of Semen Hulak-Artemovsky's opera, Zaporozhets za Dunayem.
Amongst other works, Maiboroda wrote a suite of incidental music to Shakespeare's King Lear, three symphonies, two piano concertos and a violin concerto, as well as numerous songs and romances.
In 1963 he was awarded a Shevchenko Prize for his work by the Ukrainian SSR
YouTube>Fyrexia Channel>Maiboroda - Maiboroda - Symphony No.3 (I-II)>
Andrei Yakovlevich Eshpai (Russian: Андре́й Я́ковлевич Эшпа́й; born 15 May 1925) is an ethnic Mari (Russian and Soviet) composer.
Eshpai was born at Kozmodemyansk, Mari El. A Red Army World War II veteran, he studied piano at Moscow Conservatory from 1948 to 1953 under Vladimir Sofronitsky, and composition under Nikolai Rakov, Nikolai Myaskovsky and Evgeny Golubev. He performed his postgraduate study under Aram Khachaturian from 1953 to 1956.
He is the son of the composer Yakov Andreyevich Eshpai, and the father of the filmmaker Andrei Andreyevich Eshpai.
Monday, December 27, 2010
In 1935 Sviridov's composed a cycle of lyrical romances based on the poetry of Alexander Pushkin which brought him first critical acclaim. During his studies in Leningrad Conservatory, 1936–1941, Sviridov experimented with different genres and different types of musical composition. He completed Piano Concerto No. 1 (1936–1939), Symphony No. 1 and the Chamber Symphony for Strings (1940). Later Sviridov would turn to the rich Russian musical heritage, including the folk songs, for inspiration.
Among Sviridov's most popular orchestral pieces are the Romance and the Waltz from his The Blizzard, musical illustrations after Pushkin (1975), that were originally written for the eponymous 1964 film based on the short story from Pushkin's The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin. A short segment from his score for the 1967 film Time, Forward!Время, вперёд!) was selected as the opening theme for the main evening TV news program Vremya (Время, 'time') and became the staple of Soviet life for several generations. The music he scored in 1974 to Alexander Pushkin's short story "Metel" (specifically Track 9, "The Finale") is undoubtedly the inspiration behind the main theme to the very successful Metal Gear Solid games. (
Poetry always occupied an important place in Sviridov's artistic universe. He wrote songs and romances to the lyrics of Mikhail Lermontov (1938, 1957), Alexander Blok (1941), William Shakespeare (1944–1960), Robert Burns (in Russian translation, 1955). Despite the popularity of Sviridov's instrumental works, both the composer himself and the music critics regarded vocal and choral music to be his main strengths. Pathetic Oratorio (1959) after Vladimir Mayakovsky has been called a masterful musical rendering of one of the most popular Russian revolution poet. Sviridov's prolific vocal chamber and vocal symphonic output includes Oratorio To the memory of Sergei Yesenin (1956), Little Cantata Wooden Russia (1964) after Yesenin, Cantata Songs of KurskSpring Cantata (1972) after Nikolai Nekrasov, songs, romances, and cantatas after Fyodor Tyutchev, Sergei Yesenin, Alexander Blok, Boris Pasternak, Alexander Prokofiev, Robert Rozhdestvensky. He also wrote one opera, Twinkling Lights (1951). (1964),
While Sviridov's music remains little known in the West, his works received high praise in his homeland for their memorable lyrical melodies, national flavor and mainly for great expression of Russia and Russian soul in his music.
Sergei Bortkiewicz (Russian: Серге́й Эдуа́рдович Бортке́вич,Sergéj Eduárdovič Bortkévič; Ukrainian: Сергі́й Едуа́рдович Бортке́вич, Serhíj Eduárdovyč Bortkévyč; 28 February 1877 [O.S. 16 February] – 25 October 1952) was a Ukrainian-born Russian Romantic composer and pianist.
Bortkiewicz's piano style was very much based on Liszt and Chopin, nurtured by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, early Scriabin, Wagner and Russian folklore. He was unaffected by the music trends of the 20th century – the composer never saw himself as a "modernist" as can be seen from his Künstlerisches Glaubensbekenntnis, written in 1923. His workmanship is meticulous, his imagination colourful and sensitive, his piano writing idiomatic; a lush instrumentation underlines the essential sentimentality of the melodic invention. But Bortkiewicz was not merely an imitator– he very much had his own style that drew upon all the influences of his life and that can be immediately recognised as a typically Bortkiewicz tone: lyrical and nostalgic.
With much thanks to Hugo van Dalen, his close friend, we can still enjoy Bortkiewicz's music and learn much about his life from the many letters he sent to the Dutch pianist. When van Dalen died in 1967 his family bequeathed the manuscripts of several compositions (such as the 12 Etudes, Op. 29, dedicated to van Dalen); a written autobiography Erinnerungen (published in German in Musik des Ostens, 1971 p. 136-169, in Dutch by Hugo van Dalen in July/August 1939 in De Zevende Dag and in English by B. N. Thadani Recollections 2nd edition, Cantext, 2001); plus a number of letters and printed music to the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, which recently passed it on to the Netherlands Music Institute (NMI). The NMI has the only existing copy of the manuscript of the Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 60, and of two of the Preludes, Op. 66.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Eino Tamberg (27 May 1930, Tallinn – 24 December 2010, Tallinn) was an Estonian composer.Tamberg's most notable works are the ballet Johanna tentate (1971) and the Trumpet Concerto No. 1 (1972). The trumpet concerto remains one of his most popular works and was performed not only in Europe, but also in Hong Kong and Singapore, and was recorded by Håkan Hardenberger. Tamberg also wrote concerti for violin (1981), saxophone (1987), clarinet(1996), bassoon (2000), cello (2001) and a second trumpet concerto (1997).
His second opera Cyrano de Bergerac premiered in 1976. This romantic opera, which consists of three acts and an epilogue (Op. 45), was written in 1974 using a libretto by Jaan Kross, based on the play by Edmond Rostand and following the structure of early baroque opera's.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations (1995) he wrote his Celebration Fanfaresse which was premiered in New York City under Neeme Järvi.