Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
of the grotesque. Medtner's fantastic world, which opens for us thru the sounds of his Fairy-Tales, is not the world of elves and witchery, but the poetry of ancient heroic legends, and most of all an echo of the underworld of Nibelungs, gnomes and mountain- kings. . . . It has no brightness or radiance, but dusk and darkness. Occasionally it has ominousness, and a certain closeness. In his Fairy-Tales, Medtner is neither heavenly nor ethereal, nor in the clouds, but earthly, even earthy, subterranean."Principal works by Nikolai Medtner:
PIANO: Sonata in F-Minor; Arabesques; Fairy-Tales; Dithyrambs; Sonata in G- Minor; Sonata in E-Minor; First Piano Concerto; Nocturnes; Canzonas; Dances; Second Piano Concerto, etc.
CHAMBER MUSIC: Sonata in B-Minor (for violin and piano); Sonata in G-Major (for violin and piano).
SONGS.

About Nikolai Medtner:

Jakowlew V. Nikolai Medtner; Sabaneyev Leonid . Modern Russian Composers.


Nikolai Miaskovsky 1881-

"He is the greatest of living Russian symphonists since Glazunov."--VICTOR BELAIEV

NIKOLAI JACOVLEVITCH MIASKOVSKY was born in the fortress Novogeorgievsk, Russia (now Poland) on April 20, 1881. His father, a general of engineers in the Russian army, was determined that his son follow in his footsteps, and Nikolai was trained as an engineer. Music was a hobby which was not permitted to interefere with his profession. After acquiring a position as engineer in the army, Miaskovsky suddenly realized that his life was being shaped in the wrong mould: music had by now become something more than a mere pastime. After much vacillation, Miaskovsky finally decided to make the brave gesture. He foresook engineering and entered the Petrograd Conservatory, in 1906, becoming a fellow-pupil of Prokofieff under Glière and Rimsky- Korsakoff. Five years were spent in intensive study to fill in the many technical gaps caused by an inadequate musical training in boyhood. Composition engaged Miaskovsky's interests as soon as he graduated from the Conservatory, and his early works were surprisingly impressive because of a very intricate technique and a noble conception. Prokofieff, for example, has written about one of Miaskovsky's early works--a Piano Sonata--in this fashion: "It is complex, but those who are frightened away by its complexity will have ignored qualities such as nobility of material, carefulness of workmanship and a general attractiveness which render it one of the most interesting sonatas of modern times."

In 1914, Miaskovsky served in the Russian army on the Austrian front, and his musical career, begun so auspiciously, came to an abrupt halt. But with the end of the war, music once again became the major interest in his life. He began composition with a renewed zest and passion which, hemmed in for so long a time, now rushed forth with an uncontrolled force, and his productivity was amazing. In 1921, Miaskovsky became professor of composition in the Moscow Conservatory of Music, and since that time he has divided his time between teaching and composition.

Miaskovsky came to the fore as a composer of importance in the post- revolutionary period, when he graduated into the class of symphonic composers. Since 1921, performances of Miaskovsky's symphonies thruout the world have convinced the music world that he is a major force in the musical life of modern Russia.

Miaskovsky, as Leonid Sabaneyev informs us, "is a reactionary rather than a revolutionary. . . . With his music he pulls at his own and other people's nerves. . . . He loves dissonant, tart harmonies. He loves annoying, cutting harmonies. Occasionally he deliberately disregards the sense of measure in monotony and hypnotically wearies his hearers. Clarity is entirely foreign in his music; his music is a heavy, disorganized dream, or an oppressive sickly idea. . . . Occasionally it would seem the composer deliberately did not want beauty of sounds, as tho he forced his hearers to reside in a world of deliberate musical ugliness, of poor sonorities, of

____________________
Miaskovski: myŭs-kŭv′skē

-170-

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Composers of Today: A Comprehensive Biographical and Critical Guide to Modern Composers of All Nations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Books of the Same Author ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Key to Pronunciations xiv
  • Joseph Achron 1886- 1
  • George Antheil 1900- 3
  • Kurt Atterberg 1887- 4
  • Louis Aubert 1877- 6
  • Georges Auric 1899- 7
  • Granville Bantock 1868- 8
  • Béla Bartók 1881- 10
  • Arnold Bax 1883- 15
  • Robert Russell Bennett 1894- 16
  • Lord Berners 1883. 20
  • Julius Bittner 1874- 22
  • Arthur Bliss 1891- 23
  • Marc Blitzstein 1905- 24
  • Ernest Bloch 1880- 25
  • Rutland Boughton 1878- 26
  • Walter Braunfels 1882- 29
  • Frank Bridge 1879- 31
  • Alfred Bruneau 1857-1934 32
  • Charles Wakefield Cadman 1881- 35
  • Alfredo Casella 1883- 36
  • Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco 1895- 38
  • Juan José Castro 1895- 40
  • Gustave Charpentier 1860. 41
  • Frederick Shepherd Converse 1871- 46
  • Henry Cowell 1897- 49
  • Sir Frederic H. Cowen 1852- 51
  • Sir Walford Davies 1869- 53
  • Claude Debussy 1862-1918 55
  • Frederick Delius 1863-1934 56
  • Ernst Von Dohnányi 1877. 60
  • Arcady Dubensky 1890- 62
  • Paul Dukas 1865- 64
  • Paul Dupin 1865- 67
  • Georges Enesco 1881- 68
  • Manuel De Falla .1876- 70
  • Gabriel Fauré 1845-1924 72
  • Henri Gagnebin 1886- 79
  • Philippe Gaubert 1879- 80
  • George Gershwin 1898- 80
  • Umberto Giordano 1867- 82
  • Alexander Glazunov 1865- 84
  • Reinhold Glière 1874- 86
  • Michael Gniessin 1883- 90
  • Paul Graener 1872- 91
  • Percy Grainger 1882- 93
  • Alexander Gretchaninoff 1864- 94
  • Louis Gruenberg 1883- 96
  • Alois Hába 1893- 98
  • Henry Hadley 1871- 99
  • Reynaldo Hahn 1874- 101
  • Howard Hanson 1896- 103
  • Sandor Harmati 1892- 104
  • Roy Harris 1898- 106
  • Edward Burlingame Hill 1872- 110
  • Paul Hindemith 1895- 112
  • Gustav Holst 1874-1934 115
  • Arthur Honegger 1892- 117
  • Herbert Howells 1892- 119
  • Jacques Ibert 1890- 120
  • Vincent D'Indy 1851-1931 122
  • Michael Ippolitov-Ivanov 1859- 123
  • John Ireland 1879- 125
  • Frederick Jacobi 1891- 128
  • Leoš Janáček 1854-1928 130
  • Werner Janssen 1900- 131
  • Joseph Jongen 1873. 133
  • Werner Josten 1888- 134
  • Paul Juon 1872- 135
  • Heinrich Kaminski 1886- 136
  • Wilhelm Kienzl 1857- 139
  • Lyof Knipper 1898- 140
  • Zoltan Kodály 1882- 141
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold 1897- 142
  • A. Walter Kramer 1890- 147
  • Alexander Kreyn 1883- 148
  • Ladislas Lajtha 1892- 151
  • Constant Lambert 1905- 151
  • Charles Martin Loeffler 1861- 152
  • Nikolai Lopatnikoff 1903- 153
  • Igor Markevitch 1912- 157
  • Frank Martin 1890- 159
  • Bohuslav Martinu 1890- 161
  • Joseph Marx 1882- 162
  • Pietro Mascagni 1863- 164
  • Daniel Gregory Mason 1873- 165
  • Nikolai Medtner 1880- 167
  • Nikolai Miaskovsky 1881- 168
  • Georges Migot 1891- 170
  • Darius Milhaud 1892- 171
  • Italo Montemezzi 1875- 175
  • Harold Morris 1890- 176
  • Alexander Mossolov 1900- 177
  • Leo Ornstein 1895- 179
  • Ignace Jan Paderewski 1860- 181
  • Hans Pfitzner 1869- 185
  • Willem Pijper 1894- 189
  • Paul Pisk 1893- 191
  • Walter Piston 1894- 192
  • Ildebrando Pizzetti 1880- 193
  • Francis Poulenc 1899- 194
  • John Powell 1882- 196
  • Serge Prokofieff 1891- 198
  • Henri Rabaud 1873- 199
  • Serge Rachmaninoff 1873- 201
  • Maurice Ravel 1875- 205
  • Rhené-Baton 1879- 210
  • Wallingford Riegger 1885. 212
  • Vittorio Rieti 1898- 213
  • Roger-Ducasse 1875- 215
  • Dane Rudhyar 1895- 218
  • Carl Ruggles 1876- 220
  • Victor De Sabata 1892- 221
  • Lazare Saminsky 1882- 224
  • Ernest Schelling 1876- 226
  • Joseph Schillinger 1895- 228
  • Max Von Schillings 1868-1933 230
  • Florent Schmitt 1870. 232
  • Arnold Schönberg 1874- 234
  • Cyril Scott 1879- 238
  • Alexander Scriabin 1871-1915 240
  • Bernhard Sekles 1872- 242
  • Roger Sessions 1896- 245
  • Dmitri Shostakowitch 1906- 246
  • Christian Sinding 249
  • Leone Sinigaglia 1868- 252
  • David Stanley Smith 1877­ 253
  • Leo Sowerby 1895- 255
  • William Grant Still 1895- 256
  • Albert Stoessel 1894- 258
  • Richard Strauss 1864- 259
  • Igor Stravinsky 1882- 260
  • Edwin J. Stringham 1890- 268
  • Alexander Tansman 1897- 270
  • Deems Taylor 1885- 271
  • Alexander Tcherepnine 1899- 273
  • Nikolai Tcherepnine 1873- 275
  • Virgil Thomson 1896- 276
  • Ernest Toch 1887- 278
  • Vincenzo Tommasini 1880- 279
  • Joaquin Turina 1882. 281
  • Edgar Varèse 1885- 283
  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams 1872- 284
  • Hector Villa-Lobos 1886- 286
  • H. Waldo-Warner 1874- 288
  • William Walton 1902- 290
  • Anton Webern 1883- 291
  • Kurt Weill 1900- 292
  • Jaromir Weinberger 1896- 295
  • Leo Weiner 1885- 296
  • Adolph Weiss 1891- 298
  • Egon Wellesz 1885- 300
  • Alexander Weprik .1899- 301
  • Riccardo Zandonai 1883- 305
  • Bibliography of Modern Music 309
  • Index 313
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