For May 2018, some of us contributing to #ClassicsaDay decided to mark May Day. Reason enough to post works by Soviet composers. I decided to go a little farther with my #SovietaDay posts and concentrate on Soviet prize winners. Here are the posts I shared for week 1.
Nikolai Myaskovsky (1880-1950) – Symphony No.21 in F sharp minor, Op. 51
Myaskovsky, the “Father of the Russian Symphony” His orchestral output was popular both in and outside the Soviet Union. His 21st Symphony was completed in 1940 and was awarded the Stalin Prize. It was one of five that Myaskovsky won — the most of any composer.
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) – Piano sonata No. 7
Prokofiev is the middle of the three piano sonatas he wrote during World War II. Sviatoslav Richter premiered the work in 1943. The middle movement is based on Schumann’s lieder “Wehmut.” “I can sometimes sing as if I were glad, yet secretly tears well and so free my heart.” The buried subversion went unnoticed – the sonata was awarded the Stalin Prize (second class).
Samuil Feinberg (1890-1962) Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 36
Feinberg was a pianist first, and a composer second. He’s best remembered for his complete recording of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier.” Feinberg wrote mostly for the solo piano, although he also completed three piano concertos. His second concerto won the Stalin Prize in 1946.
Valery Gavrilin (1930-1999) – Perezvony: a choral symphony of-action for soloists, mixed chorus, oboe, percussion and narrator
Gavrilin was part of the “neo-folk” movement. He wrote for film as well as the concert hall. Gavrilin was a singer and many of his compositions feature the human voice. HIs choral symphony Perezvony won the Stalin Prize.
The poster of the video for this work didn’t allow embedding from YouTube. Here’s the link to the performance.