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

By David Ewen | Go to book overview
NIKOLAI MIASKOVSKY
irritating harmonies. . . . Occasionally, it is as tho he deliberately wished to strike us with extreme melancholy, with an oppressive poverty of thought, in order that we might feel the more glaringly the void caused by its absence. If he is a great artist, then it cannot be otherwise. The composer's sincerity is not subject to doubt." Igor Glebov analyzes the main trait of Miaskovsky's music as revealing "utter darkness: a gray, awesome autumnal darkness transmuted into a moonless night, a tenebrious darkness. The power and action of this music come from its dynamic idiom, which one could ascribe to a state of anxiety of various degrees and colorings: from timorous apprehension, to dread of the immobility of nature, of its terrifying silence and menace." Miaskovsky is an enormously interesting individual with a remarkably coherent cultural background. He is a well- read person, and his friends inform us that his literary talents approach his musical ones. Music is only one of the many phases of his life; he feels that life would be deplorably one-sided if music alone should engage his interests. He is a fascinating talker, who reveals in his conversations a keen, trenchant, forceful mind.Musically, he has been most influenced by Scriabin, Schönberg and Debussy. He does not like Beethoven, and detests the music of Chopin and Bach. His musical idols are Tschaikovsky and Prokofieff.Principal works by Nikolai Miaskovsky:
CHAMBER MUSIC : Three String Quartets.
ORCHESTRA : Twelve symphonies; The Silence; Alastor; A Tale; Sinfonietta.
Compositions for piano; songs, etc.

About Nikolai Miaskovsky:

Sabaneyev Leonid. Modern Russian Composers; Saminsky Lazare. Music of Our Day.


Georges Migot 1891-

GEORGES MIGOT was born in Paris on February 27, 1891. His father was a physician and young Georges' earliest ambition was to enter his father's profession. Music was an interesting interlude in a life which consisted of serious study of science, Latin and philosophy at the University. When it became reasonably clear in Georges' mind that he preferred music to medicine, he encountered no opposition at home, and was permitted to follow his musical studies without interference. The elements of harmony and counterpoint mastered under the instruction of J. Bouval and J. B. Ganaye, Migot was able to enter the Paris Conservatory in 1913 as a pupil of Vincent D'Indy and Widor. It was during his Conservatory days that he became fascinated with the history of French music, his study convincing him that French music preceded the music of all other nations. He has been a fiery chauvinist ever since, believing firmly in the greatness of French music and a passionate admirer of all French composers.

The War called Migot to the front, and on August 24, 1914 he was wounded so severely at Longuyon that all hope of saving his life was abandoned. For a long while, Migot's life hung on a tenuous thread, then when the physicians announced that he would live they had to confess that he would remain paralytic for the remainder of his life. Fortunately, something of a miracle took place. After a year of complete paralysis, Migot discovered, one blessed morn

Migot: mē-zhō'

-171-

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