Sergei Nikiforovich Vasilenko

Internet Edition compiled by Onno van Rijen

Updated 22 November 2011


Moscow March 30, 1872. Died: Moscow March 11, 1956.


Vasilenko began his music studies in 1888 as a private pupil of Nokh and took lessons with Grechaninov (theory) Protopopov (harmoney) and Konyus (composition).
From 1891-1896 studied law at Moscow University and attended the conservatory (1895-1901) as a pupil of Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov and Safonov, leaving with a gold medal.
He conducted at the Mamontov Private Opera in Moscow (1903-05) and organized and conducted the Historic Concerts in the city (1907-1917). From 1918 he gave concerts and lecture-concerts in Moscow. In 1925 he participated in the organization of music broadcasting there. He taught orchestration and composition at the Moscow Conservatory (1906-1941) and (1943-1956) where he was appointed professor in 1907 and head of the dept of orchestration in 1932. In 1938 he worked in Tashkent on the first Uzbek opera "The Snowstorm". He received the title of Peoples Artist of the Uzbek SSR in 1939 and the State Prize in 1947.


His early works reflect his enthusiasm for Russian folk music and old believe song. After 1906, he produced several pieces that show a connection with Russian symbolist poetry, among them the orchestral "Sad smerti" (The Garden of Death) and the Flight of the Witches and the songs on texts by Blok and Bryusov. Between 1910-1920, he was attracted by eastern exoticism and an interest in oriental folk music, particularly that of Central Asia (Iosif the Beautiful).


"Three Bloody Slaughters" for orchestra after Tolstoy opus 1

Six Songs opus 2

String Quartet No. 1 in A major opus 3 (1901)

"Epic Poems (Epicheskaya poems)" for orchestra opus 4 (1900-1903)

"Legend of the Great City of Kitezh and The Quiet Lake Svetoyar", opera opus 5 (1908)

Two Poems for bass and orchestra (or piano) opus 6 (1908)

Symphony No. 1 in G minor opus 10 (1904-1906)

Three Songs after Brhussov and Blok opus 11 (1904)

"The Garden of Death", symphonic poem after Oscar Wilde for orchestra opus 12 (1908)

song cycle opus 13

"Sappho", suite for orchestra opus 14 (1909)

"Flight of the Witches" for orchestra opus 15 (1909)

"Invocation", five songs after Shulkov, Brhussov, Balmont and Lokhvitskaya opus 16 (1909)

"In the Rays of the Sun" for orchestra opus 17 (1911)

Fantastic Waltzes for small orchestra opus 18 (1912)

song cycle opus 19

Symphony No. 2 in F major opus 22 (1913)

Songs after K. Balmont opus 23 (1913)

Suite for orchestra after lute music from the 14th - 16th century opus 24 (1914)

Concerto for violin and orchestra in D minor opus 25 (1913)

Maoriskii Songs after Balmont opus 26 (1913)

"Zodiac", suite on French themes of the 18th century opus 27 (1914)

CD Toccata Classics TOCC 0127: Elena Artamonova (viola), Nicholas Walker (piano)
"Exotic Suite" for soprano or tenor and orchestra opus 29 (1916)

Serenade for cello and piano opus 31

Four Pieces on Old Lute Music for a string instrument and piano opus 35

CD Toccata Classics TOCC 0127: Elena Artamonova (viola), Nicholas Walker (piano)
Song Cycle of five songs opus 40

Suite from the music of the ballet "Josif, the Beautiful" opus 41 (1922)

"Noya", ballet-pantomime after A. Arapov opus 42 (1923)

Not published.
Indian Suite after the ballet "Noya" opus 42B (1927)
LP Melodiya D 010741-2: (Slow Waltz) N. Seidel (flute)
CD Marco Polo 8.223783: Moscow Symphony Orchestra, H. SheK (cond)
Sonata in D minor for viola and piano opus 46 (1923)
LP Melodiya CM 03687-8: G. Bezrukov (violin), A. Spivak (piano)
CD Toccata Classics TOCC 0127: Elena Artamonova (viola), Nicholas Walker (piano)
Oriental Dance in G minor for clarinet and piano opus 47 (1924)
LP Melodiya CM 03687-8: A. Popper (clarinet)
CD Toccata Classics TOCC 0127: (Arr. Artamonova) Elena Artamonova (viola), Nicholas Walker (piano)
Japanese Melodies, song cycle opus 49

"Josif, the Beautiful", ballet after K. Golehzovsky opus 50 (1925)

"In the rays of the sun, ballet after K. Golehzovsky opus 51 (1926)

Not published.
"Lola", ballet after K. Golehzovsky opus 52 (1926)

Suite for accordion and balalaika after Russian folk themes

Singhalesi songs for voice, cello, trumpet and piano opus 55

String Quartet No. 2 in E minor opus 58

Four Songs for voice and piano opus 59

Lyrics M. Haleperin and Z. Shishova.
Chinese Suite No. 1 for orchestra 2 opus 60 (1928)
LP Melodiya D 6262-3: Radio Orchestra, A. Gauk (cond)
CD Marco Polo 8.223783: Moscow Symphony Orchestra, H. SheK (cond)
song cycle opus 61

"Son of the Sun", opera after M. Galperin opus 62 (1929)

Concerto for balalaika and orchestra opus 63 (1930)

LP Melodiya D 06423-4: Moscow PO, G. Rozhdestvensky (cond), P. Nechiporenko (balalaika)
March of the Red Army for windorchestra opus 64 (1929)

Quartet on Turkmenian themes for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and percussion opus 65 (1930)

Etcetera KTC 1246: Hexagon Ensemble
Japanese Suite for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, xylophon and piano opus 66A (1938)

Turkmenian Suite for orchestra opus 68 (1931)

Chinese Suite No. 2 for orchestra opus 70 (1931)

Fantasy on Western Revolutionary Songs for wind orchestra opus 71 (1931)

"Caroussel", eight Soviet dances for orchestra opus 73 (1932)

Piano Trio in A major opus 74 (1932)

"The Soviet East", suite for orchestra opus 75 (1932)

LP Melodiya C 01035-6: Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Juraitis (cond)
Red Army Rhapsody for orchestra opus 77 (1932)

Cginese Sketches for wind instruments opus 78 (1938)

Quartet on American themes for wind instruments opus 79 (1938)

Christopher Columbus, opera after A. Argo and S. Antomonov opus 80 (1933)

Not published.
Symphony No. 3 "The Italian" in A major for domra, balalaika orchestra and wind orchestra opus 81 (1934)

Symphony No. 4 "The Arctic" in D minor opus 82

"The Tricorn, ballet after De Falla, Albeniz and Spanish Folk Songs (1935)

Libretto by M. Galperin.
Not published.
"The Gypsies", ballet after Pushin opus 90 (1936)
Libretto by P. Markov and N. Kholfin.
Not published.
Cantate dedicated to the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution opus 92 (1937)

"The Snowstorm", opera after K. Jashen opus 98 (1938)

In cooperation with M. Asrafi.
Not published.
Song Cycle opus 100

"The Grand Canal", opera after K. Jashen and M. Rachmanov opus 101 (1939)

In cooperation with M. Asrafi.
Not published.
Revised under the title "The Valley of Fortune".
"Suvorov", opera after S. Krzhizhanovsky opus 102 (1941)
Not Published.
"Akbilyak", ballet after Smirnov opus 103 (1942)
Not published.
Uzbekian Suite for orchestra opus 104 (1943)
LP Melodiya D 16007-8: (two pieces: Prelude - At the Bazaar in Dzhaniabad) Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, B. Khaikin (cond)
Russian Folk Songs opus 110 (1944)

Concerto for cello and orchestra opus 112 (1945)

Trumpet Concerto in C minor "Concert-Poem" opus 113 (1945)

LP Melodiya D 16007-8: Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, A. Juraitis (cond), T. Dokshitser (trumpet)
LP Melodiya C10 06785-6: Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, A. Juraitis (cond), T. Dokshitser (trumpet)
LP Melodiya C 01035-6: Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, A. Juraitis (cond), T. Dokshitser (trumpet)
"Ukraina", suite for orchestra opus 121 (1945)

"Mirandolina", opera after P. Abolimov and V. Varkovitski (1946)

Symphony No. 5 in A minor opus 123 (1947)

Concerto for harp and orchestra opus 126 (1949)

Concerto for piano and orchestra opus 128 (1949)

LP Melodiya D 1734-5: Radio Orchestra, S. Vasilenko (cond), J. Zak (piano)
LP Melodiya D 033345-6: Radio Orchestra, S. Vasilenko (cond), J. Zak (piano)
Four Pieces for violin and piano (1953)
CD Toccata Classics TOCC 0127: Elena Artamonova (viola), Nicholas Walker (piano)
Concerto for clarinet and orchestra opus 135 (1953)

Concerto for horn and orchestra opus 136 (1953)

"In Spring", suite for flute and small orchestra opus 138 (1954)

LP Melodiya D 06423-4: Moscow PO, N. Anosov (cond), A. Korneyev (flute)
Suite for balalaika and folkorchestra

Other works include vocal, chamber ("Song about Dawn" for oboe and piano), folksongs arrangements, choral works, music for theatre and cinema.

Thanks to David Hibbard from the US and Holger Sambale from Germany for additional information.

Please send your additions to complete this opus list

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