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From: Jeffrey Davis to Georgi / e-mail / 13-10-2005 16:54:55
You are so right, it is a moving, powerful and visionary score.
From: Joop ten Anker / e-mail / 13-10-2005 16:12:10
Myaskovsky's #21 is a superb short symphony of great strength and beauty. It is one of the works that should easily gain him a more widespread popularity, if only conductors and orchestras were willing to play it... I'm happy to own all the recordings mentioned by Jeffrey Davis - plus Morton Gould's account with the Chicago Symphony (on RCA LP) - but what we really need is a couple of modern recordings that would put Myaskovsky on the map.
From: Georgi - to Jeffrey Davis / e-mail / icq / 13-10-2005 14:15:21
The 21st Symphony of Myaskovsky presents the captivating union of PERSONAL and UNIVERSAL (that union is widespread in Russian art).
Lyrics become GRANDIOUS and MONUMENTAL - and stay LYRICS, nevertheless. The return of the first subject at the very end of the piece makes an unforgettable impression.
The Cello Concerto looks like that also.
From: Jeffrey Davis / e-mail / 12-10-2005 19:33:25
Myaskovsky's 21st Symphony should be much better known. Unlike the magnificent, epic 6th it is quite short lasting only about 20 minutes. At one time it was popular and performed regularly having being commissioned for an American orchestra during World War Two. Good recordings exist on the old Unicorm label under David Measham with the New Philharmonia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy also recorded it as did Svetlanov and Ivanov. It is one of Myaskovsky's most approachable, searching and innovative works.
From: Joop ten Anker / e-mail / 07-10-2005 01:07:35
A new series of Melodia-cd's was released recently, partly already known from Oistrakh- and Gilels-editions. Interesting for Myaskovsky admirers is Kondrashin's magnificent performance of symphony #6 (Melodia cd 10 00841), ADD-57'42", recorded by his son Piotr Kondrashin.
From: Jeffrey Davis / e-mail / 06-10-2005 15:09:35
Thank you Malcolm and I hope you enjoy the Gauk recording of Symphony 17 when it turns up. I've ordered a copy myself although I do have the Svetlanov Melodiya recording. I found the Gauk on LP at Collets in London years ago. It is a great performance, more intense than the Svetlanov I think. I love the dramatic conclusion to the symphony also. Years ago they used some of this music in a TV documentary series (in the UK) called "Stalin the Red Tsar". Do you have the Kondrashin version of Symphony 15 which is also very good ?
It would be great if Chandos or DGG recorded the 17th Symphony but maybe that is wishful thinking!
From: Malcolm J. Thomson / e-mail / 05-10-2005 23:44:26
To begin, I wish to thank Jeffrey Davis for providing the http to the correct Amazon site which did indeed have a copy as described of Myaskovsky's 17th Symphony, obtainable through russiandvd.com I have ordered this copy and am absolutely delighted to have found it with Jeffrey's help.
Why this glorious composition has not become well known outside of Russia is a mystery to me as it encompasses everything that makes Russian Romantic music what it is. Combining that special Russian passion with such beautiful and tender passages as heard in the Second Movement, while the last two movements employ counterpoint at its best, with just a mere hint of that Central Asian flavor that adds so much to what is both exotic and appealing.
When I receive my CD it is my intention to offer it on loan to a local San Diego classical radio station in the hope that they will play it over the air and that perhaps encourage others to seek out the genius of Myaskovsky.
Malcolm J. Thomson.
From: Jeffrey Davis / e-mail / 05-10-2005 12:49:58
Re: Administrator's comments
Thank you! That's really weird that they included the wrong symphony but the CD must be worth having for Gauk's recording of No 17.
From: Jeffrey Davis / e-mail / 04-10-2005 15:21:43
I have loved the music of Myaskovsky for years having first encountered it on a radio broadcast of the Cello Concerto (Rostropovich and Malcolm Sargent's famous HMV recording) in the 1970s. I rushed out to buy the HMV Concert Classics LP and went on to take the fantastic Kondrashin performance of the Sixth Symphony out of my local record library in London. It was a revelation and that dreamy nostalgic flute episode in the trio of the scherzo remains probably the greatest moment in his music for me. I love the choral close of the Sixth Symphony too (pity that Svetlanov did not use the chorus in the Olympia recording). I then bought Symphony 21 on Unicorn LP and subsequently collected all the Olympia releases until the company, very sadly, disappeared.
Amogst my favourite Myaskovsky CDs are the Kondrashin versions of nos 6 and 15, Ormandy's recording of Symphony 21 and Svetlanov's recording of No 17 on a Melodiya CD.
Apart from the music, Myaskovsky sounds like an endearing man. I liked the description of him on the back of my LP of Symphony 22:
"Small, shy, bearded and never to be seen without a briefcase". It is a pity that there is no modern biography of him but I have the Ikkonikov biography written during the composer's lifetime.
From: Jeffrey Davis / e-mail / 04-10-2005 15:02:13
How is Myaskovsky's music regarded in Russia today? Are there many performances in concert?
I only visited Russia once in 1985 when it was the Soviet Union. I went into the Melodiya shop on Nevsky Prospect in Leningrad (as it then was) and asked if they had any records of Myaskovsky. They looked at me like I was mad and said that they didn't have any. I did manage to pick up an LP of some Myaskovsky string quartets when I was there but that was it.
I hope that the situation has improved now and that Myaskovsky, like Elgar or Vaughan Williams in Britain, is regarded as a national treasure.
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