Music of the Repressed Russian Avant-Garde, 1900-1929

By Larry Sitsky | Go to book overview

10
Boris N. Liatoshinski: The Passionate Slav

Boris Nikolaevich Liatoshinski ( Lyatoshinskiy, Lyatoshinski, Liatoshinsky) was born on January 3, 1895 in Zhitomir and died on April 15, 1968 in Kiev. Liatoshinski was without doubt one of the most talented and original composers of the time under review. There have been many studies devoted to his work, published in many countries, and primarily in his native land. He had a long creative life, with his last years marked by an intensive productivity which included important works such as the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies.

Liatoshinski's father was a history teacher. From early childhood the composer was taught the piano and violin, and began writing very soon after, producing chamber and vocal pieces which were performed by local musicians. He went to the Kiev Conservatoire, and studied with R. M. Gliere from 1913-1919.

From his earliest years, Liatoshinski was attracted to piano music, devoting much time to it. As a student, he had the ability to sight-read works at any level of difficulty. While still in high school, in Zhitomir, he was already composing for the piano; these youthful works are now, unfortunately, lost. It is documented, however, that Liatoshinski performed these in public, and that these performances included a piano quartet in which the piano part was noted for its rich emotional content and texture. The earliest piano work to have survived is the "Funereal Prelude" from 1920, which was written soon after his graduation in composition from the Kiev Conservatoire ( 1919); only the year before he had completed the law course at the Kiev University. Liatoshinski was Gliere's favorite pupil. Already in this early piece there is a sense of stretching the harmonic language, a particular province of Liatoshinski's music, but due to a lack of other early materials, the full extent of this searching for a new harmonic language is now hard to define. Other student works include a string quartet and his First Symphony, which was his graduation piece. With this work he had in fact composed the first Ukrainian symphony ( 1918), which Gliere conducted the following year in Kiev.

After graduating from the Conservatoire, Liatoshinski was appointed to its staff. He achieved full professorship by 1935. From 1935 to 1938 and 1941 to 1944 he also taught at the Moscow Conservatoire, giving courses in instrumentation. From 1948 he held high office at the Union of Composers, remaining active in various committees of the Union. He was chairman of the Ukrainian Union from 1939 on, and in 1938 he was awarded the Order of Merit.

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Music of the Repressed Russian Avant-Garde, 1900-1929
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 1
  • Bibliography 7
  • Part I - The Precursors 10
  • 2 - Vladimir I. Rebikov: The Inventor of Whole-Tone Music 10
  • Bibliography 25
  • 3: Aleksei V. Stanchinskiy 27
  • Part II - The Big Three 38
  • 4 - Nikolai A. Roslavets: The Russian Schoenberg 38
  • Bibliography 58
  • 5: Aleksandr V. Mosolov 60
  • 6: Arthur V. Lourié 87
  • Part III - The Smaller Five 111
  • 7 - Leonid A. Polovinkin: The Partial Avant-Gardist 111
  • Bibliography 132
  • 8 - Vladimir V. Shcherbachev: Old Wine in New Vessels 133
  • 9: Lev K. Knipper 149
  • 10: Boris N. Liatoshinski 158
  • 11 - Vladimir M. Deshevov: The Man of the Theater 171
  • Part IV - The Reluctant Avant-Gardists 183
  • 12 - Samuil E. Feinberg: The Post-Scriabin Pianist 183
  • Bibliography 198
  • 13: Anatoliy N. Aleksandrov 199
  • 14 - Boris A. Aleksandrov: Son of the Composer of the Soviet Anthem 216
  • Part V 217
  • 15: Aleksandr A. Krein 219
  • 16 - Grigoriy A. Krein: Toward Assimilation 225
  • Bibliography 229
  • 17 - Yulian G. Krein: Precocious Cosmopolitan 235
  • 18 - The Ukrainian Bartók and Bloch 241
  • 19: Mikhail F. Gnessin 242
  • Part VI 248
  • 20 248
  • 21: Nikolai Obukhov 254
  • 22: Iosif M. Schillinger 264
  • 23: Aleksandr N. Tcherepnine 273
  • Part VII 283
  • 24 283
  • 25: Leonid L. Sabaneev 291
  • 26 - Dmitriy M. Melkikh: Rhapsodist 309
  • 27: Gavrill N. Popov 310
  • 28: Aleksei S. Zhivotov 318
  • 29: Efim Golyshchev 323
  • 30 - Georgi M. Rimsky-Korsakov: Microtonist 328
  • Appendix: Further Scores for Study and Reference 329
  • Index 343
  • About the Author 349
  • Recent Titles in Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance 351
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