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TCHAIKOVSKY, Boris (1925-1996)

PIANO AND CHAMBER WORKS


  • Marina Dichenko, violin
  • Dmitry Korostelyov, piano
  • Olga Solovieva, piano

The piano and chamber works on this recording span 45 years of BORIS TCHAIKOVSKY’s career, ranging from the delightful pieces composed by the precocious ten year old to the Etude in E major of 1980.They include the Sonata for Two Pianos with its mosaic approach to composition and its expressive exploration of the inner soul, and the beautifully crafted Violin Sonata of 1959. The solo piano miniatures reveal a spare texture that highlights the instrument’s elemental beauty.

Tracklist

 
Sonata for 2 Pianos (1973) (00:15:53 )
1
I. Resonances * (00:05:06)
2
II. Voice of the Fields * (00:07:59)
3
III. Etude * (00:02:49)
 
5 Pieces (1935) (1935) (00:03:36 )
4
No. 1. Melody * (00:00:46)
5
No. 2. March * (00:00:30)
6
No. 3. Pastorale * (00:01:15)
7
No. 4. Walz * (00:00:38)
8
No. 5. Mazurka * (00:00:32)
 
5 Preludes (1936) (00:00:00 )
9
Prelude No. 1 in G-Sharp Minor (00:01:01)
10
Prelude No. 2 in B-Flat Minor (00:00:36)
11
Prelude No. 3 in A-Flat Major (00:00:53)
12
Prelude No. 4 * (00:01:14)
13
Prelude No. 5 in A Major (00:01:03)
 
5 Pieces (1938) (1938) (00:08:50 )
14
No. 1. Prelude (00:01:15)
15
No. 2. The Fairy Tale (00:01:40)
16
No. 3. Remembrance (00:01:25)
17
No. 4. Mazurka (00:01:42)
18
No. 5. Story (Finale) (00:02:51)
19
Etude in F-Sharp Minor (1935) (00:00:44)
20
Etude in B-Flat Major (1972) (00:00:59)
21
Etude in E Major (1980) * (00:00:33)
22
March (1945) * (00:02:10)
23
Prelude in G Major (1945) (00:01:46)
 
3 Pieces (1945) (00:07:32 )
24
No. 1. Waltz (reconstructed by D. Korostelyov) * (00:02:05)
25
No. 2. Romance * (00:04:07)
26
No. 3. Finale * (00:01:17)
 
Violin Sonata (1959) (00:19:00 )
27
I. Andante (00:08:53)
28
II. Allegro (00:08:20)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:04:09

The Artist

Marina Dichenko graduated in 2014 from the Artist Diploma programme at TCU School of Music in Fort Worth, USA. She has won prizes in chamber music competitions in Donetsk, Ukraine, and at the International Taneyev Chamber Music Competition in Russia. As a soloist and member of chamber groups she has performed in concerts and festivals in Ukraine, Russia, Belgium, Japan, and the United States. In the last few years, she has served as concertmaster of the TCU Symphony Orchestra and the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra and has regularly performed with the symphony orchestras in Plano, Las Colinas, San Angelo, Arlington and Garland.

Dmitry Korostelyov was born in Volgograd and began his piano studies there. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 2003 and completed his post-graduate studies in composition under Valery Kikta at the Moscow Conservatory. As a pianist, he has performed with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Volgograd Philharmonic Orchestra, and Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella. He has recorded three CDs with the music of Nikolay Peyko and Mieczysław Weinberg for Toccata Classics.

Olga Solovieva graduated from the Russian Academy of Music (Moscow) and took a post-graduate course as an assistant to Leonid Blok. In 1999 she was a prizewinner at the Open Taneyev Chamber Music Competition, Russia, and in 2000 a finalist at the XX Chamber Music Competition in Trapani, Italy. She received the Best Accompanist Prize at the XII International Tchaikovsky Competition and is a Boris Tchaikovsky Society Award Winner (2010). She has recorded for Naxos (Sergey Taneyev, 8.557804, and Boris Tchaikovsky, 8.557727 and 8.573207) as well as for Toccata Classics, Albany records and Northern Flowers.

The Composer

In a career that spanned the last half of the twentieth Century, the composer Boris Tchaikovsky towered high among his Soviet contemporaries. His work received unalloyed praise from the most prominent musical figures, Shostakovich, Rostropovich, Kondrashin, Barshai, and Fedoseyev, and was represented on more than twenty Melodiya LPs, few of which circulated outside the Soviet Union. In the West, however, where musical tastes favoured the avant garde, his music was largely overlooked. That climate of opinion has been rapidly changing. As more of his work is recorded on CD, Boris Tchaikovsky is becoming widely recognised as one of the most important Russian composers of our time.

As both standard-bearer and innovator, Tchaikovsky arguably did more to enrich the tradition of Russian instrumental music than anyone else of his generation. He was trained at the Moscow Conservatory during the 1940s under Vissarion Shebalin, Shostakovich, and Nikolay Myaskovsky. He received his diploma in 1949, having studied with the leading instrumental composers of the time, Shostakovich, Nikolay Myaskovsky, and Vissarion Shebalin, bravely refusing to take part in the official condemnation of the much-abused Shostakovich. Tchaikovsky’s works from the 1940s and 1950s already display a pronounced gift for melody; his earliest compositions reflect an individual style.

Widely respected in Russia and praised by figures such as Shostakovich and Mstislav Rostropovich, Boris Tchaikovsky amassed a formidable body of works, including four symphonies, four instrumental concertos, six string quartets, a variety of chamber and orchestral music for various ensembles, piano and vocal music, and an abundance of music for the cinema.

His works from the 1950s, such as the celebrated Sinfonietta for Strings (1953), show that he was a traditionalist with forward-looking sensibilities. An extensive revamping of his style in the 1960s, coincident with the freer creative environment then emerging in the Soviet Union, led his music in fresh directions. Unlike the alienating rhetoric and the host of "isms" adopted by many of his contemporaries, Tchaikovsky's mature style maintained strong connections with its Russian roots. With its brittle lyricism, pronounced rhythmic features, and an expanded harmonic palette that never completely abandons tonality, the new style allowed him to take on a broad and at times exotic array of formal challenges. The result was a highly innovative, richly expressive body of work that appealed to a wide concert-going public.

The cultural thaw of the 1960s opened many doors for Soviet composers in an emerging freer creative environment. While some composers were drawn to avant-garde trends developed in the West, Tchaikovsky, quite independently, began to explore a bolder musical language of his own. Yet the lyricism that lies at the base of his musical thinking was undergoing profound metamorphosis. A fresh approach to composition was evolving whereby thematic development takes place as a kind of “mosaic” of accentuated, declamatory utterances. The striking rigidity of these utterances, a Tchaikovsky hallmark, and their strong rhythmic characteristics are related to similar aspects found in Russian folk-music. They somehow impart to his music a distinctly Russian sound while completely avoiding any traces of an overt folk influence. A corresponding increase in the level of dissonance and the use of bolder orchestral colours are also to be noted. What in fact Tchaikovsky had created was a highly personal, thoroughly up-to-date musical language capable, as will be apparent, of an astonishingly wide range of expression. Tchaikovsky’s new style opened up a world of formal exploration and expressivity, mostly in the realm of abstract instrumental music. Technical challenges of one sort or another fascinated him and led to an ever-fresh source of inspiration.

His most daring compositions include a bravura Cello Concerto (1964) that challenges the notion of thematic identity, a single-movement Violin Concerto (1969) that shuns the time-honoured musical practice of repetition, and a five-movement Piano Concerto (1971) all of whose elements derive from primitive rhythmic patterns. His orchestral compositions, such as his Theme and Eight Variations (1973) and the tone-poems Wind of Siberia and Juvenile (both of 1984), reveal a wealth of lyrical invention. His symphonies embrace an ever-expanding quest for innovation within traditional forms. To briefly summarise, in the First Symphony (1947) matters of thematic organization receive individual treatment; the Second Symphony (1967) incorporates musical quotations from the classics as points of structural departure; the Third Symphony, "Sebastopol", (1980) is conceived as a single monumental movement; and his Symphony with Harp (1993) explores a unique set of timbral possibilities.

Reviews

“There is plenty of good music to be heard here, enough to please anyone with a penchant for Shostakovich and Prokofiev et al who would be open to a worthy example of some other composers who did good work last century.” – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review