Pushkin in Music
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Label: Intergroove Classics
Cat No: IGC82
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 20th January 2014
WorksSymphony no.10 in F minor, op.30 'The bronze horseman'
The Snowstorm (The Blizzard)
Eugene Onegin, op.24
ArtistsSt Petersburg Camerata
Pushkin's literary influence went beyond his contemporaries, with his work having a remarkable effect on the budding Russian romantic music scene at the time. His poems and various proses became central to many symphonic and operatic works such as 'Ruslan and Ludmila' (set to music by Michail Glinka), 'Boris Godunow' (set to music by Modest Mussorgsky), 'The Stone Guest' (commenced by Alexander Dargomyschsky, completed by CÚsar Cui and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakow), and 'Pique Dame' and 'Evgeni Onegin' (set to music by Tchaikovsky).
This collection offers musical transcriptions of Pushkin's works which are largely unknown, where the two orchestral pieces from Evgeni Onegin are the most popular ones. Real finds are the two other compositions: Myaskovsky's 10th Symphony in F minor op.30 on Pushkin's poem 'The Bronze Horseman' and Sviridov's film score on the narrative Snowstorm.
It is the bombastic, brass-laden style coupled with lavish and frenzied percussion of the symphony where we witness the marriage of prose and music. This highly experimental composition for its time reflects Myaskovsky's mixture of European musical impressionist and expressionist tendencies newly forming in the musical landscape during this era.
Georgy Sviridov's roots in Russian folk music made his connection to Pushkin almost inevitable. His strong tonality, yet simple melodic composition, musically mimicked Pushkin's Russian sensibility, making him a sought after composer for film. His musical depiction of Pushkin's 'Snowstorm' as a film score proves his talent and creativeness in folkloric musical composition, and made him one of the most popular composers of his generation in Russia. The richness of Sviridov's musical landscape, inspired by the poetic strength of Pushkin's writing, might seem to have a hint of Hollywood flavour, which surprisingly might not be a coincidence.
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