Sviridov Obscure Classical Composers: Sviridov
By Jeffrey Scott Holland on Wednesday, January 7, 1998 - 09:12 am:
    I read this morning that Georgy Sviridov, "one of Russia's most prominent composers of the 20th century", has died. Prominent though he may have been, I have never heard of him. A Yahoo search for his name only brought up a few pages in Russian and German. Anyone know about this guy?

By Jicotea on Wednesday, January 7, 1998 - 08:12 pm:
    Georgii Vasilievich Sviridov (pronoz Sveereeduhff approximately). B. 1915 near Kursk.
    Best known for his vocal and choral music, including many pieces to patriotic texts. Although he followed the tenets of Socialist Realism, his entirely tonal music was not bland or pompous, but harmonically rich, energetic, and distinctly individual. He is not well known outside Russia, but a recent Schwann/Opus catalog lists a good solid half-column of CDs.

By Sorabji on Saturday, January 17, 1998 - 11:38 pm:
    well that ended that discussion

By R.C. on Sunday, January 18, 1998 - 02:16 am:

    Hey, I heard of bit of Scriabin as part of the soundtrack to a movie I watched tonite. (And don't EVEN ask me which composition -- it was playing on the radio in Mickey Rourke's dive in 'Barfly'.)

    Since I'm here/I have a question on The Symphonic Dances (thanks again J!). Okay, so it's written for 4 hands & neither piano is playing a 'supporting role' (which was what I thought pieces for 2 pianos were about.) But since I have it on tape/I can't 'see' Rabinovitch or Argeruch. Did Rachmaninov write it in such a way that if you removed either one of the piano scores/the piece could still stand on it's own? Because the opening of the 'non Allegro' (or whatever the 1st piece is called) definitely sounds (to my tin ear, at least) as if one piano is playing the more complex part. Even further in, it doesn't sound as if the 2 players are trading the melody back & forth. One is definitelty playing harmony. Or am I just not getting it?

By Jicotea on Sunday, January 18, 1998 - 03:00 pm:
    I have learned on how to kill off a thread in one posting. What fun!
    _Symphonic Dances_ is fairly simple music; Rachmaninov could easily have assembled a solo piano score which contained all the essentials of the ultimate orchestra version, but only a handful of pianists could have realized singlehandedly -- sorry, two-handedly -- the volume and sonority of the two-piano version, let alone merit comparison with the orchestra. If there is a leader in that recording it is Argerich. But Rabinovich's "secondo" part cannot be extricated from the general texture. Ask Mark, f'petesake. I'll send him a tape to if he will e-mail me an earthbound address. I have no clue where in scenic Manhattan he is holed up.

By R.C. on Sunday, January 18, 1998 - 03:13 pm:
    Hey J -- the Concerto for Tuba was a riot! Sounded like bad opera! But it was fun -- I cleaned the entire house to it. Am listening to the Schulhoff (Etudes de Jazz) now. I'm not mad about it... Can't quite figure out what his point is/was. But parts of it are pretty. Others are, er, a bit too frantic. (You know I use the American Bandstand test -- Can I dance to it?)

By Jicotea on Sunday, January 18, 1998 - 11:18 pm:
    Re: Schulhoff's mid-1920s concept of jazz _can_ be danced to...theoretically. What does a theoretical dance look like? There's a string quartet of his that a friend of mine wants to use for a dance score. go figure.

By Sorabji on Wednesday, January 21, 1998 - 09:44 pm:
    I saw a few Sviridov CDs at Tower this weekend while looking for Szymanowski. Somehow was not compelled to purchase them, despite the fact that I was in a mood to buy every CD in the place.

    Did buy the Szymanow... but for some reason my computer's CD player does not recognize it as an audio CD. So I must take the fool thing to work and try it there, or else buy speakers for my other CD player...

    Saw this interesting book about Szyma... at the Strand and almost bought it, but settled for Thom Jones instead. $5 only goes so far.

    Any time I enter the Strand I am overwhelmed by thoughts of Maurice Sendak, who lives nearby. Or at least used to live nearby.

    I went to an interesting diner and almost wretched. Had to make excuses to the waiter, who questioned me as to why I only ate a teeny bit of my "Chays-Booga Day-Looks!"

    That was my Sunday, and that is how Sviridov entered my weekend.

By R.C. on Wednesday, January 21, 1998 - 10:48 pm:

    1. Buy the speakers. You will always be able to use them.

    2. Find better eateries. Any guy who likes to fast til he's dizzy deserves to eat 1st-rate grub when he's back on his feed.

    When I lived in NY/I always seemed to have an invitation to someone else's house or apt. for Sunday dinner. And I'm sure you have a lot more friends that I did. You might want to try letting yr friends cook for you on Sundays/since everyone always seems to be making roast chicken or lasagna or meatloaf anyway that day. (Meatloaf -- Blech!)

By C. Berg on Wednesday, January 28, 1998 - 06:56 pm:
    Interesting how a Sviridov discussion site became a place to talk about meatloaf. But unfortunately appropriate. I bought (and soon after sold) a CCCP CD of his (VERY LONG) song cycle on poems of Essenin (Isadora Duncan's lover to you). It sounded like 45 minutes of Soviet tractor songs with horrendously banal chordal piano accompaniments. And this may indeed be the last word on Sviridov.

    And since we are dealing with worthless (or overrated, in the following case) "S" composers, how about a few works for Alfred Schnittke. Who may not be totally worthless, but try listening to his laugh riot of an opera LIFE WITH AN IDIOT.

    Or, for that matter, SCHEHEDRIN, whose DEAD SOULS opera (based, obviously, on Gogol's weird and wonderful novel) is yet another venture into (post-Soviet) Soviet realism. Old habits die hard.

By Jicotea on Wednesday, January 28, 1998 - 08:21 pm:
    SHCHEDRIN, dammit. There's more crappy music out there under his name, lot's more, I'm tempted to say, all of it.
    As for Sviridov, I once heard a not-so-long song cycle which wasn't bad, although it seems that that predominantly chordal accompaniments were one of his trademarks.
    Re: Schnittke. I was extremely moved by his string trio years ago at the Metroplitan Museum of Art in NYC. More recently he seems to have been recycling himself.
    Somebody mentioned Mossolov a while back on another thread, but the mention brought no consequences (this isn't He's being explored by a couple of pianists on record. Has anybody heard them? I haven't, as
    my priorities lie elsewhere just now.

By Sorabji on Thursday, January 29, 1998 - 12:11 am:
    I own a CD called "Rails," by pianist Anton Batagov. Actually I've owned it for many years. It has Mosolov's 2nd Sonata, Opus 4 ("From Old Notebooks")

    When a friend and I listened to it in 1991 we reached the then-amusing conclusion that "THIS MUSIC KICKS ASS!!"

    I am listening to it now and while the beginning seems a little silly it really does pick up into some skillful piano writing with mild lapses into obviousness and uneffective repetition of phrases. I think it would be more effective in a live concert situation then on record.

    This CD also has Mosolov's Two Nocturnes, Op. 15, as well as music of Roslavets (including the "Three Compositions," one of which I played a few years ago), Vladimir Deshevov, and our old favorite Arthur Louriť.

    Why am I suddenly reminded of what a joke Sorabji found Mosolov's "The Iron Foundry" to be?

    Good good good night...

By C. Berg on Thursday, February 5, 1998 - 11:24 pm:
    I'd forgotten I ever wrote about poor Sviridov (rather poor us listeners to Sviridov) and regret my tardiness in further response. But, actually, what I want to respond to is the reminder of Sorabji's criticism, so please (Mark )link this to the Sorabji page, would you? (Thanks :()

By C. Berg on Thursday, February 5, 1998 - 11:24 pm:
    I'd forgotten I ever wrote about poor Sviridov (rather poor us listeners to Sviridov) and regret my tardiness in further response. But, actually, what I want to respond to is the reminder of Sorabji's criticism, so please (Mark )link this to the Sorabji page, would you? (Thanks :()

By AR on Saturday, February 1, 2003 - 12:08 pm:

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