Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dimitar Nenov - Symphony No.1 (I-II)

Fyrexia Channel>

Dimitar Nenov (Bulgarian: Димитър Ненов), (December 19, 1901 in Razgrad – August 30, 1953 in Sofia) was a Bulgarian classical pianist, composer, music pedagogue and architect. He studied music and architecture in Dresden; he also studied with the noted pianist Egon Petri (himself a student of Ferruccio Busoni). Nenov went on to become a professor of piano at the Sofia Conservatoire, where he taught piano to the Bulgarian pianists Genko Genov, Svetla Protich, Lazar Nikolov, Trifon Silyanovski, and many others.

A communist regime was installed in Bulgaria on September 9, 1944, a date that marked the end of World War II in Bulgaria. It was tough time then for Bulgarian culture. Prof. Nenov was fired abruptly from the Conservatoire, due to allegations of "having performed piano compositions by 'Nazi' composer Richard Wagner". Following a strong public outcry, he was reluctantly restored back to his position.

In 1953, when Prof. Nenov was already very sick and dying, one of his rivals- a communist protege- was appointed to Director of the Bulgarian National Radio, and soon afterwards he ordered to have all of Prof. Nenov's musical recordings erased and destroyed. Because of such ruthless hate crime that remained unpunished, only one single live recording of Prof. Nenov remains available today, in the archives of the Hungarian National Radio.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Liu Shueh-Shuan

Liu Shueh-Shuan (4 March 1969 in Chang-hua, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese composer. He has written works for the Erhu and his music combines elements of traditional and modern cultures in eclectic musical styles. His recent composition, “Gui-Ze”, was awarded the Gold Medal in the Council for Cultural Affairs 2003 Traditional Music Composition Contest (ensemble category); meanwhile, his “Second Erhu Concerto” awarded the Silver Medal (concerto category), and “Busia 1930” won him the Bronze Medal (orchestra category) in the 2002 Contest.
Liu’s works include “Painting of Li Mei-Shu – for Orchestral suite” and “Stone-Lion of San-Shia-Zu-Shi Temple – for Orchestra”. In Paris, The National Chinese Orchestra premiered Liu’s “Mulakuna”, a piece innovatively composed through morse code, with the creative combination of eastern and western instruments to highlight the destruction and impact brought by civilization, mesmerizing all audiences and was greeted by standing ovation.
Upon invitation by The National Chinese Orchestra under the Ministry of Education, Liu composed “Song of the Tsou Tribe” based on Taiwanese aboriginal folk music and toured throughout Europe. At the end of 2000, he was invited to write “The Wish” for the “New Century Concert”. The piece depicts the mixture of anxiety and pleasure with the advent of the New Year, reflected by the 300 audience attendees singing out the optimism and spirit of the Taiwanese people. In addition, his “First Erhu Concerto”, composed for the International Erhu Competition, is highly acclaimed by Erhu players due to its adoption of groundbreaking Erhu techniques and original musical language. Other accomplishments range from his participation in the Golden Melody winning children’s album “Red Dragonfly” and “Firebug”, to the commission of Taipei’s Lantern Festival’s musical themes of 2001 and 2002.
Liu's recent works include “Song of the Yami Tribe” for The Taipei Municipal Chinese Classical Orchestra, “Kavalan-Fantasia Overture” for The National Chinese Orchestra, and “Hugupuo Music Theater”. Liu was also invited to be the producer and musical director for the opening ceremony of 2001 National Olympics, and compose the soundtrack for “The Masters in Chinese History” series for the Public Television Service Foundation.

Youtube>Fyrexia Channel > Liu Shueh-Shuan >

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bessarion Ya Shabalin

Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin (Russian: Виссарион Яковлевич Шебалин, June 11, 1902, Omsk–May 29, 1963) was a Soviet composer.

His parents were school teachers. He studied in the musical college in Omsk. He was 20 years old when following the advice of his professor went to MoscowGlière and Myaskovsky. Both composers thought very highly of his compositions. Shebalin graduated from Moscow Conservatory in 1928. His diploma work was the 1st Symphony which the author dedicated to his professor Nikolai Myaskovsky. Many years later his fifth and last symphony was dedicated to Myaskovsky's memory.

In the 1920s Shebalin was a member of the ACM - Association for Contemporary Music; he was a participant of the informal circle of Moscow musicians — “Lamm’s group”, who gathered in the apartment of Pavel Lamm, a professor from the Moscow Conservatory. 

Shebalin was a close friend of Dmitri Shostakovich, who dedicated a string quartet (No. 2) to Shebalin.
After graduating from Moscow Conservatory, he worked there as a professor, and in 1935 became also a head of the composition class in Gnessin State Musical College. In the very difficult years of 1942-1948 he was a director of the Moscow Conservatory and the art director of the Central Musical School in Moscow. 

He fell victim to the Zhdanov purge of artists in 1948 and fell into obscurity afterwards. Among his students were L. Auster, Edison Denisov[1], Grigory Frid[2], Tikhon Khrennikov, Karen Khachaturian, Aleksandra Pakhmutova, and others. Shebalin was one of the founders of and the chairman of the board (1941-1942) of the Moscow Union of Composers.

Shebalin was one of the most cultured and erudite composers of his generation; his serious intellectual style and a certain academic approach to composition make him close to Myaskovsky. In 1951, he was awarded the Stalin Prize.

In 1953, Shebalin suffered a stroke which followed by another stroke in 1959 impaired most of his language capabilities.[3] Despite that, just a few months before his death from a third stroke in 1963, he completed his fifth symphony, described by Dmitri Shostakovich as "a brilliant creative work, filled with highest emotions, optimistic and full of life."

Shebalin died on May 29, 1963. He was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery near his professors and colleagues.

Youtube> Fyrexia Channel > Bessarion Shebalin - String Quartet No.1 Op.2 >

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hauer - 16 Piano Pieces after Holderlin Op.25

Hauer was born in Wiener Neustadt and died in Vienna. He had an early musical training in zithercellochoral conducting, and organ, but evidently did not include theory and composition, for he claimed that he was self-taught. In 1918 he published his first work on music theory (a tone-color theory based on Goethe's), and in August 1919 discovered his "law of the twelve tones", requiring that all twelve chromatic notes be sounded before any is repeated. This he developed and first articulated theoretically in Vom Wesen der Musikalischen(1920), before Schoenberg’s earliest writings on twelve-tone technique.[4] Hauer's compositional techniques of composition are extraordinarily various and range from building-block techniques to methods using a chord series that is generated out of the twelve-tone row ("Melos"). In fact, his compositional techniques change almost from each piece to the next. The so-called 44 "tropes" and their compositional usage ("trope-technique") are essential to Hauer's twelve-tone techniques. In contrast to a twelve-tone row that contains a fixed succession of twelve tones, a trope consists of two complementary hexachords in which there is no fixed tone sequence. The tropes are used for structural and intervallic views on the twelve-tone system. Every trope offers certain symmetries that can be used by the composer.
Hauer wrote prolifically, both music and prose describing his methods, until 1938, when his music was added by the Nazis to the touring "degenerate art" (Entartete Kunst) exhibit.[4]Wisely keeping a low profile, he stayed in Austria through the war, publishing nothing; but even after the war he published little more, although he probably wrote several hundreds of pieces which remain in manuscript.
From the 1920s Hauer has been a model for literature several times, e.g., in Otto Stoessl's "Die Sonnenmelodie", Franz Werfel's "Verdi" (Matthias Fischboeck). Late in life Hauer spoke about Mann, as well as Theodor W. Adorno, with great bitterness, for he felt that both men had misunderstood him. Adorno had written about Hauer, but only disparagingly. Because of his later achievements and developments it has also been assumed by many scholars that Hauer is also a model for the "Joculator Basiliensis" in Hermann Hesse's "Glass-bead Game".
After 1940, Hauer wrote exclusively Zwölftonspiele ("Twelve-tone Games" or "Twelve-tone Playing"), designated sometimes by number, sometimes by date; he wrote about one thousand such pieces, most of them lost.[1]

YouTube> fyrexia channel>

Friday, January 21, 2011

Carlos Chávez

Born 13 June 1899 in Mexico City, Carlos Chávez was a renowned composer, conductor, and educator whose distinctive, often highly percussive music synthesized elements of Mexican, Indian, and Spanish-Mexican influence. A prolific writer of music and music criticism, Chávez's oeuvre includes five ballets, seven symphonies, four concertos, a cantata and opera, and innumerable pieces for voice, piano, and chamber ensemble; he wrote two books (of which Toward A New Music: Music and Electricity became a major contribution and fundamental document of new musical thought) and more than 200 articles on music.

Chávez was trained primarily as a pianist and developed much of his compositional skills independent of instructors. Coming of age at the close of the Mexican revolution and during a time of renewed cultural nationalism, Chávez's investigation of indigenous Indian cultures, native folk elements, and dance forms brought an unprecedented vigor and visibility to 20th-century Mexican music. A master of orchestration, Chávez's use of native instruments was inimitable with polyrhythms, cross-rhythms, syncopation, and numerous irregular meters often significant elements of compositonal structure. Works such as the Sinfonía de Antígona, Sinfonia India, and a ballet for Martha Graham (La Hija de Cólquide, "The Dark Meadow") were celebrated for their remarkably distinctive and original sound.

YouTube>fyrexia>Carlos Chavez>

Deshevov : Ice and Steel

Ice and Steel by Deshevov

In March 1921, Russian sailors, soldiers, workers, and other citizens stood up to the Bolshevik government, then in disarray, in an uprising known as the Kronstadt Rebellion, named for the island fortress outside of Petrograd (St. Petersburg) where it began. The Rebellion was driven by harsh economic conditions, and by dissatisfaction with Bolshevik policies and practices, such as the seizure of land formerly belonging to peasants. Factory strikes and general unrest were the result, and demands were made of the Bolsheviks – demands that they found unreasonable. It seems that the Rebellion even may have had a degree of international support, although to what extent is unclear. Bolshevik forces quickly put down the Rebellion, and the remaining rebels were dealt with harshly. The loss of life, and the significance of the Rebellion (and with the reluctance of many soldiers in the Red Army to quell it) were not lost on Lenin, however, who moved to mitigate some of the economic factors that had given rise to the Rebellion in the first place.
Ice and Steel (Eis und Stahl) is an almost forgotten opera based on the Kronstadt Rebellion. Composed in 1929, it was intended to be a new kind of "Soviet opera" – ideologically acceptable, yet modern enough to prove that the Soviet Union was progressive. Deshevov, whose background was in theater, succeeded in composing a forward-looking score, but was (arguably) unable to hide, if not sympathy for the rebels, then at least a certain amount of ambivalence towards the subject. As a result, Ice and Steel did not have a long performance history in the Soviet Union. This production from 2007, probably its first in more than seven decades, goes even farther. Director Immo Karaman ends Ice and Steel not with the ultimate triumph of the Bolsheviks, but with what appears to be a representation of the end of the Soviet Union. It's too bad, in a way, that our first look at Ice and Steel has to be to revisionist's look, but the temptation to present the opera in this way must have been overwhelming.
Don't expect arias and love duets, and the other trappings of traditional opera. Instead, expect 96 minutes of drama, as boldly and starkly represented with music as the words on a propaganda poster. The music is very effective, and, if you adjust your expectations, quite enjoyable. Deshevov aimed for realism here, and he achieved it with music that is gripping and current even though it is nearly eight decades old. From the intrigue-filled (and intriguing) opening scene in Kronstadt's black market to the patriotic ending (given a bitter, ironic twist by director Karaman), the action sweeps along like a well-edited piece of cinema.
Similarly, don't expect opera stars standing in the footlights and pouring out high notes. The huge cast has been chosen to put across the flares and semaphores of Deshevov's score and Boris Lavrenjov's libretto, and they do it well. Beautiful singing is not the point here. The point is communication, so what we are given instead are large, interesting voices in the possession of singers who can create a character in two or three broad brush strokes.
Karaman's production sometimes confuses, but it is visually effective, and it has an appropriate "commando spirit," if you will. It seems to have made the transition to my television screen well, thanks to the fluid direction of Brooks Riley. The sound (in the three usual formats) and the 16:9 visual format are impressive, and the subtitles – so important in a work like this – are easy to read and seem idiomatic.
Ice and Steel won't be for everyone, but for those with an interest in, say, the young Shostakovich's more outré experiments, or in 20th-century Soviet history, it is well worth exploring.

YouTube>Deshevov - Rails + Meditations (selection)>

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anatoly Nikolayevich Alexandrov

Anatoly Nikolayevich Alexandrov (Russian: Анато́лий Никола́евич Алекса́ндров) (May 25 1888 [O.S. May 13]–April 16, 1982) was a Russian composer of works for piano and for other instruments, and pianist. His initial works had a mystical element, but he downplayed this to better fit Socialist realism. He led a somewhat retiring life, but received several honors. Alexandrov was the son of a Professor of Tomsk University. He attended the Moscow Conservatory (which he left in 1915), where he was a pupil of Nikolai Zhilyayev, S.I. Taneief and Sergey Vasilenko (theory), and Konstantin Igumnov (pianoforte). His early music revealed the influence of Nikolai Medtner and Alexander Scriabin. He was appointed Professor at the Moscow Conservatory in 1923.

Boris Blacher

Boris Blacher was one of the central figures in Berlin musical life after the 2nd World War * Important as a composer of vivid stage and orchestral works and as a teacher * Music noted for its colourful French-inspired instrumentation and its irreverence towards Austro-German tradition * Experimented with 'variable metrics' in works like Piano Concerto No.2, where serial procedures are applied to metrical units * Many stageworks based on classic texts including ballets HamletLysistrataDer Mohr von Venedig and Tristan *Paganini Variations is a repertoire piece in German orchestral world and has been recently recorded by Solti* Blacher's pupils included KlebeEinem, Erbse, Burt, Reimann, Yun and Klaus Huber 

YouTube>fyrexia channel> Boris Blacher>

Tigran Mansurian

Tigran Mansurian was born in Beirut in 1939. In 1947 his family moved to Armenia, finally settling in the capital Yerevan in 1956. Mansurian studied at the Yerevan Music Academy and completed his PhD at the Komitas State Conservatory where he later taught contemporary music analysis. 

In a short time he became one of Armenia's leading composers, establishing strong creative relationships with international performers and composers such as Valentin Silvestrov, Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, André Volkonsky and Edison Denisov as well as Kim Kashkashian, Jan Garbarek, and the Hilliard Ensemble. Mansurian was the director of the Komitas Conservatory in the 1990s. He has recently retired as an administrator and teacher, and concentrates exclusively on composition. Mansurian's musical style is characterized mainly by the organic synthesis of ancient Armenian musical traditions and contemporary European composition methods. 

His oeuvre comprises orchestral works, seven concerti for strings and orchestra, sonatas for cello and piano, three string quartets, madrigals, chamber music and works for solo instruments.

YouTube>fyrexia Channel>Tigran Mansurian>

Alexander Vasilyevich Mosolov

Mosolov's earliest music implies that Mosolov was influenced by German romanticism, but this influence waned as he began studying under Myaskovsky and Glière. In an early piece, "Four Songs," Op. 1, Mosolov explored the use of ostinato. 

Widespread use of ostinato became the defining signature of Mosolov's music: Iron Foundry is built of many ostinati working in tandem to create the sound of a factory, it is used in the Second and Fifth Piano Sonatas, etc.

Dissonance "in the extreme" and chromaticism are also Mosolov's signatures, though he stops short of the structured twelve-tone technique of Schoenberg. Instead of tone rows, Mosolov uses thickly-clustered, heavily chromatic chords to make his point. Folk music also saw use by Mosolov. As the first composer of a symphonic suite on a Turkmen folk song, Mosolov adopted the use of folk music before it was mandated under Socialist realism. His Second Piano Sonata incorporated Kyrgyz melodies, and his "Three Children's Scenes" utilized a city street song. However, instead of carefully setting the music for orchestra, Mosolov handled the music "like thematic grist for his compositional mill." This use of folk tunes continued after his Stalinist "rehabilitation." However, Mosolov's early works were marked by dense textures and polytonality that was lost after his expulsion and persecution.

YouTube>Fyrexia Channel>Mosolov Deux Nocturnes>
YouTube>OneQuietLife Channel> Mosolov: Machine Music "Zavod">

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Englund - Cello Concerto (I-II)

Kalsons - Cello Concerto (1970) (I-II)

Jan Maklakiewicz

Jan Maklakiewicz was born on November 24, 1899 at Chojnata in the Mazowsze region of Poland; he died on February 7, 1954 in Warsaw. Maklakiewicz was a composer, conductor, teacher, critic and publicist. After initial studies with his father, a country organist, he went to Warsaw to study, first at the Chopin Music School with Biernacki (harmony), Szopski (counterpoint) and Binental (violin) and later at the Conservatory of Music (1922-25) with Statkowski (composition). In the years 1926-27 he completed his composer's studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris under Paul Dukas. After his return to Poland he became engaged in composition and was also active as an organizer of musical events, having founded a number of choral ensembles. He was also engaged in teaching, as well as in musical journalism. In the years 1927-29 at the conservatory in Łódz he was in charge of the school choir and lectured on theory of music. From 1929 until his death he was a teacher at the Conservatory in Warsaw. In 1932 he was appointed organist of the Holly Cross, Warsaw, where he also worked as a choirmaster and music critic. After the Second World War, as a musical publicist he contributed reviews and articles to some newspapers and magazines, such as "Daily Morning," "Music," "Choir" and "Polish Daily." In the years 1945-47 he was director of the State Philharmonic in Cracow and then, from 1947-48, he occupied the same position in Warsaw, also lecturing on composition and instrumentation at the State Higher School of Music. He wrote a great deal of church music in the 1930s and a number of mass songs after the war. Many of his works are based on folk themes. Maklakiewicz received the State Music Award in 1932 for his Cello Concerto, the First Prize at the Kronenberg Competition in 1933 for his violin Concerto No. 1 and - posthumously - the Officer's Cross of the Order of Poland's Revival (Polonia Restituta).

YouTube>Fyrexia Channel>Jan Maklakiewicz

Leo Smit

Leo Smit was a Dutch composer of Portuguese-Jewish descent. He was born in 1900 and studied piano at the Amsterdam Conservatory, followed by composition studies with Bernard Zweers and Sem Dresden. Some years later the Concertgebouw Orchestra performed his work Silhouetten. Critics noted ‘the use of peculiar African jazz band sound combinations’. In 1927, Smit moved to Paris, at that time the bustling musical centre of the world. Here, he allowed compositions by colleagues like Ravel and Stravinsky to affect his own music - with audible results. Halfway through the nineteen thirties he discovered his own unique style: a harmonic combination of lyricism, impulsiveness, spirituality and intellect. Leo Smit returned to Amsterdam in 1937 and during the war continued his work as a composer. On 12th February 1943 he completed an exquisite sonata for the flute and piano. On 27th April 1943, Leo Smit was transported to Sobibor, where he was killed three days later.

YouTube> Fyrexia Channel> Leo Smit>


Gernsheim was a prolific composer, especially of orchestral, chamber and instrumental music, and songs. Some of his works tend to Jewish subject-matter, notably the Third Symphony on the legend of the Song of Miriam. His earlier works show the influence ofSchumann, and from 1868, when he first became friendly with Brahms, a Brahmsian influence is very palpable. Gernsheim's four symphonies (the first of which was written before the publication of Brahms' First Symphony) are an interesting example of the reception of Brahmsian style by a sympathetic and talented contemporary. Gernsheim's last works, most notably his Zu einem Drama (1902), show him moving away from that into something more personal. He died in Berlin.

YouTube>Fyrexia Channel>Gemshheim>


Hovounts has written works for solo instruments and duets, set to chamber music , choirs and orchestras for.
Some of his works are published by the Russian producer фирма Меподия ("Melodia Firma"), while others have been performed by soloists of the Symphony Orchestra of the USSR In France , Hovounts was notably played chamber music festival "The Musicimes" Courchevel (2006 - X th edition) .

YouTube> Fyrexia Channel>Hovounts>

SoEduard Khagagortian

Valery Gergiev - Armenian SoEduard Khagagortian (1930 - 1983)He learnt the violin in Tbilisi music schools before he studied composition with Egiazarian at the Yerevan Conservatory (graduating in 1954) and then with Aram Khachaturian at the Moscow Conservatory (graduating in 1964). He was later Khachaturian's assistant at the conservatory and the Gnesin Institute. He became a board member of the Composers' Union in 1964 and was deputy to the chairman of the board of the Moscow branch in 1970. In 1973 he became deputy editor of the publishers Sovetskiy kompozitor and was nominated Honoured Representative of the Arts of the RSFSR in 1979. He is considered to have made a signifcant contribution to the musical culture of the former USSR. He is a composer with an outstanding lyrical and dramatic gift, and this, coupled with his expertise in the area of folk music (of which he made several recordings) defined his compositional style. His ability to think on the broadest scale and his mastery of orchestral colour attracted him to the writing of symphonic works and music for the theatre and for film.

Youtube> Fyrexia Channel > Khagagortian >

Nikolai Andreevich Roslavets

While still a student, Roslavets had been engaged in vigorous artistic debates provoked by Russian Futurism, and was close to artists such as Kasimir MalevichAristarkh Lentulov,Vasily KamenskyDavid Burlyuk and others. Deeply influenced by the later works of Alexander Scriabin and his mystic chord, Roslavets' quest for a personal language began not later than in 1907; it led to his propounding a "new system of sound organisation" based on "synthetic chords" that contain both the horizontal and vertical sound-material for a work (a concept close to that of Schoenberg's twelve-tone serialism). Following an article of Vyacheslav Karatygin, published in February 1915, Roslavets was sometimes referred to as "the Russian Schoenberg," but in 1914 Nikolay Myaskovsky had already stressed the original nature of Roslavets' style. In an article published in 1925 the critic Yevgeni Braudo pointed out that this was no more helpful than calling Schoenberg "the German Debussy." Although in the 1920s Roslavets criticized Scriabin because of his "over-simplification", the “new system of sound organisation” was first of all inspired by Scriabin's ideas and concepts were transmitted by Leonid Sabaneyev, a close friend of both Scriabin and Roslavets.
Though the "new system of sound organisation" regulates the whole twelve-tone chromatic scale, most of Roslavets’ "synthetic chords" consist of six to nine tones. In the 1920s Roslavets developed his system, expanding it to encompass counterpoint, rhythm, and musical form while elaborating new principles of teaching. In Roslavets' earlier romances and chamber instrumental compositions those sets were already elaborated side by side with expanded tonality and free atonality. The mature forms of this "new system of sound organization" are typical for the pieces composed between 1913 and 1917, such as Sad Landscapes (1913), Three Compositions for Voice and Piano (1913), String Quartet No.1 (1913),Four Compositions for Voice and Piano (1913–14), and the Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 (1914) and 2 (1916, reconstructed by Eduard Babasian), etc.
After the Bolshevik revolution, Roslavets made an important contribution to the "revolutionary propaganda in music" in such compositions as the cantata October (1927) and numerous songs. However, his symphonic poem Komsomoliya (1928), demonstrates an extraordinary mastership, a very complex and highly modern compositional technique, far from the simplification typical for "propaganda works".
In Tashkent, he turned for a while to working with folk material, producing among other works the first Uzbek ballet, Pakhta (Cotton). The works of his last years in Moscow show a simplification of his characteristic language to admit an expanded conception of tonality (for instance in the 24 Preludes for violin and piano), but are still highly professional.  Among Roslavets' later compositions, the Chamber symphony (1934–35) demonstrates one of the peaks of his "new system of sound organisation" in its later phase.

YouTube>fyrexia Channel> Roslavets >

Tikotsky - Symphony No.6 (I)

Born in St. Petersburg. His music education was limited to private studies of the piano and theory in St Petersburg but in composition he was essentially self-taught. With the advice of his friend, the composer Vladimir Deshevov (1889-1955), he composed a symphony and some operas at age of 14. After war service, he found himself in Belarus, where he taught in a music school and absorbed himself with Belorussian folk music. At this point his serious career in composition began and, moving to Minsk, he taught at the music school and worked as a staff composer for Belorussian radio. He composed operas, orchestral, chamber, choral and vocal works as well as folksong arrangements, incididental music and film scores.

YouTube>fyrexia channel>Tikotsky>