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Lesser known Russian Composer - Taneyev

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Posted on July 10, 2021 at 16:53:28
John C. - Aussie
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The album cover illustrated is one of 5 highly praised, excellent and inexpensive Naxos albums.

A contempory of Tchaikovsky, his music is not well known but well worth exploring.

Recommended.

What can be more subjective than music? It reflects our personal tastes and preferences.

 

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"The Russian Brahms", posted on July 10, 2021 at 18:04:17
Chris from Lafayette
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I don't know the string quartets, but I was bowled over by Tanayev's cantata, "At the Reading of a Psalm", which contains a magnificent triple fugue as one its components. I have the recording (SACD) below, but there's also an older one on regular CD conducted by Svetlanov.



OTOH, I think it was Tanayev who screwed up the (posthumous) publication of Tchaikovsky's Third Piano Concerto, so that things are pretty confused now regarding that work! Like Bruckner, Tchaikovsky attracted a number hangers-on who were all too ready to "help him out", especially with his Second and Third Piano Concertos (Siloti in the Second, and Tanayev in the Third).

 

RE: "The Russian Brahms", posted on July 10, 2021 at 20:29:12
John C. - Aussie
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Yes I've been reading about that work, touted as his greatest, so I'm now downloading it from our Danish source which turns out is only costing a few cents less than Presto, who also offer it in hi-rez for more.

POSTSCRIPT: Annoyingly, no booklet download from e-classical - I'll see if one is available elsewhere.

An interesting guy who seemed more intent on musical structure than emotional message, possibly reflecting his interest in mathematics. That said I like his compositions. The other less popular composer I'm looking at is Medtner - I have a heap of albums not fully investigated/appreciated.

Ah, nice to have free time in retirement!!

What can be more subjective than music? It reflects our personal tastes and preferences.

 

As you might guess. . . , posted on July 11, 2021 at 00:15:17
Chris from Lafayette
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. . . as a pianist, I like Medtner (whom some people call "Rachmaninoff-Lite" - hardly a fair statement) even better. (And Medtner's sex life he had with his brother's wife is. . . uh. . . interesting!) I love Irina Mejoueva's playing of this composer's works. (She has a number of albums of Medtner's music.) This Denon release really won me over to her playing:



Regarding the booklet for Tanayev's "At the Reading of a Psalm", it's downloadable at the Native DSD site at the following link:

 

Medtner's 3 Piano Concertos... . , posted on July 11, 2021 at 05:11:35
SE
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can be found spread across 3 BIS CD's recorded by Yevgeny Sudbin (paired with works by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin). There are other recordings, but Sudbin is terrific and...it's BIS! Hamelin has recorded the Piano Sonata full cycle on Hyperion -- in fact, the Hyperion label has numerous VERY interesting Medtner issues.

For Tanayev, I'll cut to the chase...the Oresteia Overture is one of the greatest short orchestral works ever written by anybody. It has it ALL, power, passion, melody -- just phenomenal! Don't miss the Jarvi recording on Chandos paired with Symphony 4. Slightly tubby "classic Chandos sound" but awesome nonetheless!:-)

Finally, explore Anton Arensky as well.

 

Taneyev's St John of Damascus is a favorite choral work NT, posted on July 11, 2021 at 11:54:02
SamA
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NT

 

Yes! I agree with you about Sudbin in the Medtner Concertos, posted on July 11, 2021 at 12:19:42
Chris from Lafayette
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I especially like Sudbin's recording of the Second Concerto, with what would seem to me to be his unlikely collaboration with the North Carolina SO!

I have Sudbin's [EDIT: Oops! I meant Hamelin's!] recording of the complete Medtner sonatas set too - besides its innate quality, it's also a wonderful base from which to branch out to other interpretations of these works. For instance, in Medtner's greatest Sonata (the "Night Wind"), Hamelin pays very strict attention to the composer's markings throughout the work. Mejoueva, in the same work, is more freewheeling and, one might say, not as scrupulous about every last one of the literal indications in the score. However, hers is the superior performance (at least for me) in terms of generating excitement and emotion, although I still like the Hamelin performance too. (Mejoueva also benefits from the superior engineering she's afforded!) In addition, there are a couple of other interesting alternatives in the other sonatas from Lucas Debargue and others.

BTW, in her performance of the 6 Skazki (Folk Tales or Fairy Tales) on the recording shown above, Mejoueva plays quite differently than she did in these works in her earlier album on Denon, which I showed in my previous post. I prefer that Denon performance, which features near-miraculous transparency of the textures, although the more overt drama of the later performances also has its attractions.

Thank you for the recommendation of the Tanayev Oresteia Overture - I do not know it. As for Arensky, yes - a very enjoyable composer - although I'm reminded of a story about Rimsky-Korsakov attending a performance of one of Arensky's orchestral works, and not being impressed with Arensky's orchestration, as he loudly whispered to Stravinsky (so that other people in the audience could hear!), "Scandalous! Imagine using the noble bass clarinet that way!". LOL!

 

And, in nominating myself for Stupid Post of the Day!:-)..., posted on July 12, 2021 at 08:56:54
SE
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If they are going to get an actor to play the life of Medtner, I recommend Paul Rudd!

 

I agree with your choice - almost a dead ringer! [nt] ;-), posted on July 12, 2021 at 15:08:41
Chris from Lafayette
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Thanks - I don't know it, but look forward to hearing it for the first time! [nt], posted on July 12, 2021 at 15:11:14
Chris from Lafayette
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