Sunday, August 23, 2015

Andrie Petrov - The Creation of the World: Music for the Ballet - The Master and Margarita, Symphonic Fantasia "Farewell To......" Symphonic Fantasia - 2010 Northern Flowers

Get ready for a colorful and oddball journey propelled by the unusual and delightful music of Andrei Petrov. It's a fascinating and refreshing listen; if I had to coin a term for his music I think "chromatic psychosis" would (frequently) fit the bill ;)


St. Petersburg born and bred Andrei Pavlovich Petrov (1930–2006) was one of the most fascinatingly idiosyncratic figures of the Soviet and post-Soviet eras. He had scads of talent and personality, evident from the start by a string of popular successes during the 1950s when he was still in his 20s, culminating in the 1959 ballet "The Creation of the World". In these and most of his succeeding efforts he was always his own man, stylistically and otherwise, never settling for the clichés of Party-approved assembly-line socialist realism. 

Petrov had a strong populist bent and, though his idiom remained harmonically sophisticated and adventurous, he was always clearly interested in communicating with a broad public. During his earliest years he was primarily a man of the theater (all his work has a noticeable histrionic element), concentrating mostly on ballet and film music. In some ways he comes across as a Slavic equivalent to a combination of Honegger and Malcolm Arnold, and in some scores (imo..) it's like wrapping Schulhoff, Antheil and a drop of Tischenko in a single (yet highly original) package. I have to say....I hate making references sometimes..it's pointless really as this music really speaks for itself and BY itself. It's just natural to look for such connectivity and often hard not to do!

"The Creation of the World" shows Petrov to be a kind of tongue-in-cheek faux-naif with its grotesque and effervescent mixture of folk, jazz, and the nursery. The idiom is comparable to the vibrant early works of his contemporary Rodion Shchedrin, such as the ballet "The Little Humped-back Horse" or the first concerto for orchestra, "Mischievous Melodies". Later on Petrov drew three separate suites from this fecund and rambunctious score, but there seems to be some confusion on disc as to their respective contents. This recording purports to offer the first and third suites but the individual movement titles and timings differ in selection and duration from lengthier excerpts once available on vinyl. What might take one by surprise is the sudden applause (I believe it's in the second movement) that enters midway, it's not clear whether Petrov incorporated this into the score or if the audience (I believe it is a live performance) is just so blissfully confused at this point that they are just joining in under the big-top :) Nevertheless the colorfully inventive and irrepressibly anarchic spirit of the music is fully present in these excellent renditions. Great stuff!

During the 1970s in the West, Petrov was represented on disc by a dramatically wild and vivid orchestral cycle, "Songs of Our Days" (reissued on CD by the Boheme Music label), together with a bombastic Poem for organ, strings, and percussion. There are also a couple of concertos (the dour Violin Concerto was once available on a Talents of Russia CD and a Trumpet Concert with winds has also been recorded) and some chamber music, but Petrov remained an essentially programmatic composer who prefers to work on a large scale. 

Andrei Petrov

As he evolved during his middle years, Petrov became even more of a conscious nationalist, finding inspiration in Russian history and literature (his two operas revolve around Peter the Great and the doomed early Soviet poet Mayakovsky) and even the Orthodox faith (one of his last works is a symphonic oratorio about the crucifixion "The Time of Christ"-which has been issued in Russia on a limited edition CD). There is also a gigantic 80-minute choral-choreographic symphony whose central figure is the great 19th-century poet Pushkin, a work also once available on vinyl :(

One of the peak achievements of his later years is "Master and Margarita" of 1985, a "symphonic fantasia" (later turned into a ballet), inspired by passages in the celebrated 1920s satirical and phantasmagorical novel by Nikolai Bulgakov, which was never published until after Stalin's death. This single-movement, 24-minute score is conceived in the form of an epic fresco with potent tragicomic overtones-a blazing, searing musical melodrama, perhaps not over-subtle but always totally gripping. Its mournful lyricism, dominated by a simple, childlike motif, begins and ends softly but builds to a midpoint climax in an eruptive and bitterly dissonant waltz, dissolving into an aftermath of funereal organ and lamenting flute. 

In 2005, one year before his death, Petrov produced his swansong, another "symphonic fantasia" teasingly entitled "Farewell to …" a kind of autobiographical summing up in which his Mahleresque affinities-albeit with strong Slavic inflections-are made more apparent. This 22-minute single movement also opens and closes quietly but in between we are treated to a violent rock-and-roll/big band "chase" sequence, densely scored and totally over-the-top with, again, an organ making a ghostly appearance accompanied by a screeching soprano. But all of a sudden we switch gears to an ethereal setting for the soprano of a couple of deeply poignant lines from a Boris Pasternak poem in "Doctor Zhivago". With this electrifying and annihilating work Petrov seems to be reflecting not only on his own life but that of his politically misguided generation.. 


Enjoy!

Andrei_Petrov_Creation_Of_The_World_Etc.-Tzadik.zip

http://www86.zippyshare.com/v/6HO5He4P/file.html

11 comments:

Marcelo Lasta said...

Gracias for Tu est Petrus!!!,thanks por Petrov,conocia su ballet,pero no los otros opus,muchas gracias por difundir estos opus inhallables,abrazo,querido Tzadik.Tu amigo de las pampas inundadas-ahora,tristemente- Tapirman.

Tzadik said...

Wow doctor T, que ya conocía el ballet ... usted es definitivamente un loco-man musical como yo;-) Escucha, ¿estás diciendo que se vieron afectadas por las inundaciones que ocurrió hace 10 días en los alrededores de Buenos Aires? Creo que eso es lo que me estabas diciendo .. Espero que usted y su familia están bien, y que usted no tenía ningún daño a la propiedad!

su TZ

Marcelo Lasta said...

No,gracias a Dios,estoy a más de 100 kms de las inundaciones,pero debordaron varios ríos,como el Salado.Por cierto mi amor a la Naturaleza,proviene de las centenares de veces que fuí a pescar a lagunas y dicho río,en plena foresta,viendo flamencos,cisnes,patos,ñandúes,bigüas,garzas y libertarias cigüeñas,y desde luego,es la raiz de mi pasión por Die Musik.El cd es un Olympia,ruso,que trae la suite Creación del mundo,junto a opus de Shostakovich,una rareza,y ahora puedo gozar de más opus de este autor,gracias Tzadik,un abrazo sinfónico!! Tu amigo gaucho,Marcelo Tapirman.

Tzadik said...

Ah ok Doctor T estoy aliviado de saber que usted es seguro y lo suficientemente lejos del peligro. Me encanta la vida silvestre también, y algunos de mis momentos más felices estamos visitando los parques nacionales aquí en los Estados. Lugares como Yellowstone en Wyoming (espectacular), el parque nacional de Zion, Bryce Canyon, parque nacional de los arcos, y por lo tanto on..so maravilla y la belleza. Estos paisajes también me ayudan a recordar que esto es un hermoso país; corriendo alrededor de cada día, subrayó, lejos de estos lugares puede ser "tóxico" para el espíritu, pero es un hecho de la vida :(

-No Creo que tenga el disco Olympia que hablas; ¡suena bien! Le gustaría conocer cómo se realizó la Shostalovich!

your main dude,

TZ

Marcelo Lasta said...

USA posee tan bellos paisajes,montañas,ríos,flora y fauna(whales,tejones,melodias nativas,etc) tan maravillosa como Argentina,hermano y amigo Tzadik,por cierto Hovhaness fue el pionero en tu país en retratar en grado genial con sus 67 Sinfonias esos paisajes de ensueño(Reverie Naturis),hubo otros,pero él fue el mas vasto,noble y sublime,pues llega directo al corazón cos sus melodías¡y es un composer tan poco conocido fuera y dentro de USA!,ojalá naxos cd grabe todas sus sinfonias,conciertos y otros opus.Por cierto,en mi caso he compuesto unas melodias en teclados que conforman ´´Coral de las Francas´´,poema marino sinfónico(orquestación de un joven mujer batuta y su orquesta juvenil,estoy con muchos esfuerzos,para que el año que viene tenga su´´premier´´)y,desde luego,lo subiré a You tube y lo compartiré en tu noble y genial blog,con tu permiso.Será un honor que tu lo difundas,querido Tzadik.Un abrazo de Tapirman.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the post, very accesible and highly enjoyable. In the good old tradition of russian populism. Ironically, when everyone forget serialism and abrasive experimentalism we'll continue to listen Soviet composers

Tzadik said...

El doctor T que es verdad acerca Hovhaness, más que cualquier otro compositor estadounidense de hecho. Pasó varias décadas viviendo en Seattle WA (eso ya lo sabe) con magníficas vistas de las montañas Cascade. (Creo que él podía ver pico del glaciar derecha desde su wondow ..) Su inspiración fue la tierra y el mar, el universo y todo dentro de ella .. A menudo he wonderded si alguna vez inspirado en el magnífico d Wyoming, eso es un impresionante paisaje que tuve la suerte de visitar una vez ..
Así que usted es un genio médico and a 'maestro' too?!

Marcello me encantaría escuchar cualquier tipo de música que usted ha escrito, y le deseo toda la suerte conseguir un estreno de su "Marine"! Youtube sería una gran manera de conseguir la exposición de hecho; Yo sin embargo, también estaría dispuesto a pagar los gastos de envío / gastos de mi propia copia de cualquier interpretación grabada que se obtiene;-)

Hasta la próxima vez que mi querido amigo,

TZ

Tzadik said...

Greetings anon visitor, thank you for commenting. It's true-Berio or Feldman etc. might find listeners saying "who?" entirely someday; meanwhile the exotic tale of Scheherazade will remain a wondrous treat from within the fabric of Russian musical culture as will many other countless examples..

Best,

TZ

Marcelo Lasta said...

Olvida los gastos,para ti,the best,es más ,te enviaré la partitura full ad honorem,para que la difundas,como yo he amado tanto a Hovhaness,será un poco también un tierno homenaje a este great composer,yo tan solo soy un recopilador de mis propias melodías(¡espontáneas,apasionadas y ciertamente mías,al menos!hay influencias de J.Williams,Mahler,Vivaldi y Shostakovich,desde luego,nadie puede ser original,pero ,intentaré esta aventura sinfónica,estimado y querido Tzadil,un abrazo!! Tapirman.

Tzadik said...

Estimado Marcello forma muy amable de su parte. Sin embargo, incluso si tuviera que juntar monedas yo insistiría en pagar! Un homenaje a Hovhaness..lovely, el homenaje más elevado sin duda! John Williams es un talento excepcional compositor; que ha sido tan exitoso en Holywood por una buena razón: su música ayuda a contar la historia más que la mayoría puede lograr: la dramaturgia está en la música en sí, no a diferencia de Bernard Herrmann .. ¿Sabe usted Concierto de William para Fagot "cinco árboles sagrados" ? Está en un disco clásico de Sony, desde hace varios años; Lo compré para Misteriosa Montaña-probablemente mi vigésima versión recogida;-) siempre tengo que escuchar a diferentes interpretaciones, no importa cuán sutil algunos podrían ser de Hovhaness! Así Mahler, Shostakovich también ... son inspiraciones elección de hecho; tanto hombres tomaron forma sinfónica tan en serio (en caso de Mahler, con mucha neurosis), el leven de la artesanía sin igual en casi todos los casos. Reacciona pronto Doc T

su TZ

Claus Oreskov said...

For the novel "Master and Margarita" it is true that it was not published until after Stalin's death, on the other hand, no one tried to publish it. Bulgarkov had died and he left behind a mishmash script as it took a long time for the widow to unravel.