& other
Soviet Composers

Famous Russian Performers

Alexander Gauk was born in 1893 in Odessa. He was the teacher of the famous conductors Yevgeny Mravinsky and Yevgeny Svetlanov. At the Petrograd Conservatory he studied composition and conducting with Glazunov and Nikolai Tcherpnin. He became principal conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic in 1930, succeeding Nikolai Malko, first director of the USSR State Symphony in 1936 and director of the All-Union Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1953. Gauk premiered Shostakovich's Third Symphony and his ballets 'The Golden Age' and 'The Bolt'. Brilliant Classics issued a 10 CD-box with a lot of great live performances with Alexander Gauk in the Series Historical Russian Archives. This Alexander Gauk Edition contains two fine performances of Shostakovich's symphonies: Nos. 5 and 11. Furthermore a recording of Aram Khachaturian's Symphony No. 1 and his Suite 'Spartacus'. Very interesting is a performance of Miaskovsky's Symphony No. 17.
Well represented on this CD-set is Peter Tchaikovsky with Hamlet opus 67A, Fatum and Snow Maiden. Gauk conducts works of a variety of Russian composers: Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, Prokofiev, Ivanov-Radkevich, Arensky, Balakirev and Glazunov, and works of some Westen composers as well: Liszt (Faust Symphony), Dukas (L'apprenti Sorcier), Bizet, Casella and Milhaud (Suite Provencale).

Brilliant Classics released a 100 CD-set titled Russian Legends. This 100 CD-set contains performance of works of great Russian performers:

- the pianist Sviatoslav Richter: Piano Sonatas of Beethoven, Liszt and Schubert
- the pianist Emil Gilels: Five Piano Concertos of Beethoven, Piano Concertos of Rachmaninov (No. 3), Tchaikovsky (No. 1), Liszt (No. 1), Chopin (No. 1), Piano Sonatas of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Prokofiev and Scriabin, pianoworks of Debussy, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Rachmaninov, Brahms and Von Weber
- the pianist Lazar Berman
- the pianist Evgeni Kissin: Piano Concertos of Tchaikovsky (No. 1), Shostakovich (No. 1), Chopin (Nos. 1 & 2), Mozart (No. 12 & 20), and Prokofiev (No. 3) and pianoworks of Liszt, Schumann, Chopin, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Brahms, etc.
- the violinist David Oistrakh
- the violinist Leonid Kogan
- the violinist Viktor Tretiakov
- the violinist Gidon Kremer: Violin Concertos of Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Karaev and violinworks of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Telemann, Scubert, Tchaikovsky, Ysaye, Ravel, Strauss, Reger, Prokofiev, Salmanov, Webern, Martynov, Lourie, Paganini, Berio, etc.
- the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich
- the cellist Daniel Shafran

A booklet of 116 pages with details complete this fine set.

Yuri Temirkanov is a well-known Russian conductor. He was born in 1938 in the northern Caucasus. He attended the Music School for Talented Children in Leningrad, then the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. Winning the second All-Union Conductors' Competition at 27 in 1966 led to Kondrashin inviting him to tour Europe and the United States with Oistrakh and the Moscow PO, and to a brief association with the Leningrad PO as Mravinsky's assistant in 1967.
In 1968 he was appointed principal conductor of the Leningrad Symphony where he remainted until 1976 when het became music director of the Kirov Opera and Ballet. In 1988 he succeeded Mravinsky as music director and principal conductor of the Leningrad PO.
Brilliant Classics issued a 10 CD-box with a lot of great performances with Temirkanov in the Series Historical Russian Archives. This Yuri Temirkanov Edition contains three fine performances of Shostakovich's symphonies: Nos. 1, 5 and 13 and a recording of Aram Khachaturian's Symphony No. 2
Furthermore two works by Shchedrin: his Concerto for orchestra No. 2 "Chimes" and the Suite from the opera "Not Love Alone".
Three works of Sergei Prokofiev: his Symphony No. 1 "Classical", excerpts from the Suite "Romeo and Juliet" and his Lieutenant Kije Suite.
The 10 CD-box contains several other symphonies; Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2, Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, Haydn's Symphony No. 104, Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 and Sibelius' Symphony No. 2 and works for orchestra: Scriabin's Poeme de l'extase, Ibert's Paris suite, Ravel's Pavane and rapsodie Espagnole, Britten's Young Person's Guide and Enescu's Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1.

For the admirers of the great violinist Gidon Kremer Brilliant Classics issued the 10 CD-set Gidon Kremer Edition in the series Historical Russian Archives. Gidon Kremer was born in Riga, Latvia, February 27, 1947. In 1954 he entered the Riga Music School; then in 1965 the Moscow Conservatory to study with David Oistrakh. Winning the 1969 Paganini and the 1970 International Tchaikovsky Competitions climaxed a high-profile competition run.
This 10 CD-box contains several interesting works of Soviet composers:
- Kara Karayev's Violin Concerto
- Vadim Salmanov's Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano
- Sergei Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1 opus 80, Sonata for two violins opus 56 and the Scherzo of his First Violin Concerto in a transcription for violin and piano
- Rodion Shchedrin's In the Style of Albeniz for violin and piano
Besides there are several fine live recordings of concertos and chamber music, as
- Mendelssohn's Concerto for violin and strings in D minor
- Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 2 KV 211
- Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3 KV 216 in a transcription for violin and piano
- Bach's Concerto for two violins and orchestra BWV 1043 (with Oleg Kagan and the Moscow PO, conducted by David Oistrakh)
- Lourie's Concerto da Camera for violin and string orchestra
- Richard Strauss'Violin Sonata opus 18
- Max Reger's Violin Sonata opus 139
- Schubert's Rondo for violin and strings in A major D 438
- Beethoven's Violin Sonata in G major opus 96
- and many more.

Mstislav Rostropovich
Brilliant Classics offers several interesting CDs and CD-sets. One of these fine sets is the Mstislav Rostropovich Edition, a set of 10 CDs with live recordings made between 1949 and 1972. The famous cellist Rostropovich performs several compositions of Soviet composers: Miaskovsky's Cello Concerto, written in 1944 and perhaps his best known work. It was originally composed for Knushevitsky but initially recorded by Rostropovich in 1956 with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. It is an elegiac work in two movements.
Prokofiev's Symphony Concerto and his Concertino,
Khachaturian's Concerto Rhapsody,
Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1,
Tishchenko's Cello Concerto,
Vlasov's Cello Concerto,
Vainberg's Cello Concerto and Knipper's Concerto- Monologue.
This CD-set contains some fine cello sonatas as well, e.g. Cello Sonatas of Prokofiev, Khachaturian and Mirzoyan.
Of course well known classical concertos as Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations and Cello Concertos of Dvorak, Schumann, Saint-Saens, Haydn, Lalo, Honegger and Sauguet are part of this set.

Evgeny Mravinsky
Brilliant Classics offers the Evgeny Mravinsky Edition, a set of 10 CDs with live recordings made between 1946 and 1983. Mravinsky conducts several compositions of Soviet composers: Aram Khachaturian's Symphony No. 3 (recorded: 1983), Salmanov's Symphony No. 2 (recorded: 1983), Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 (recorded: 1982) and Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite No. 2 (recorded: 1983). Furthermore many great performances of important works of a variet of composers: Peter Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 5, Francesca di Rimini, Serenade for strings, Nutcracker Ballet Suite, etc.), Glazunov (Symphony No. 4), Bruckner (Symphony No. 9; recorded: 1978), Stravinsky (Apollon Musagete), Debussy, Mussorgsky, Scriabin (Le Poeme de l'Extase), Zhivotov, Beethoven (Symphonies Nos. 2 & 4), Liadov (Baba Yaga), Steinberg and many more.

Daniel Shafran
Another interesting CD-set with performances of a great cellist is the Daniel Shafran Edition. This CD-set of 7 CDs includes not only works of Bach, Haydn and Franck, but also works of Soviet composers. Shafran performs Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 2 with The Moscow PO, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov and Shostakovich's Cello Sonata in D minor with the composer himself, recorded in 1946. Dmitri Kabalevsky is the conductor in a performance of his Cello Concerto No. 1, recorded in 1952. Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto in E minor opus 125 for cello and orchestra was recorded in 1961 in a performance by the USSR State SO, conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. There are many other interesting recordings: Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with Kondrashin, Schnittke's Suite in the Old Style with Anton Ginzburg (piano), and Shchedrin's In The Style of Albeniz, Rakov's Romance and Vlasov's Melody with Nina Musinyan (piano).

Viktor Tretiakov
Viktor Tretiakov is with David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich and Sviatoslav Richter one of the best known musicians from the Soviet era. He is a product of the post-war and post-Stalinist era. He was spared the horrors of warfare and the Stalinist purges, thus giving this young violinist something more of a choice in his career and less of the terrible sufferings of that elder generation. A 10 CD-set with performances, titled the Viktor Tretiakov-Edition shows his repertoire from Baroque to contemporary Soviet works such as the interesting Alexander Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (on the CD-set incorrectly specified as Boris Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto), Shostakovich's Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 and Khachaturian's Violin Concerto. This set contains chamber music as well, e.g. Shostakovich's Violin Sonata opus 134 and Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 2. Besides the Soviet Concertos Tretiakov performs well-known Violin Concertos by Brahms, Mendelssohn and Paganini (No. 1) and a variety of chamber music from Bach and Von Gluck to Messiaen, Shchedrin and Peiko. So a set for the real Tretiakov-admirer!

David Oistrakh
Perhaps the greatest of all the "Soviet" violinists of the twentieth century is David Oistrakh. He was born on 30 September 1908 in Odessa. At the age of five he was presented with a one eighth size violin and began studying with the local teacher. In 1923 David Oistrakh entered the Odessa Conservatory where he studied until 1926. In 1927 he decided to move to Moscow where he gave his first recital and met his future wife Tamara Rotareva, a pianist. In 1934 he received a position teaching at the Moscow Conservatory where he was made professor in 1939. The war years saw him active in the Soviet Union premiering the new concertos of Miaskovsky and Khachaturian. The final war years saw the blossoming of a friendship with Shostakovich which would lead to two violin concertos and a violin sonata, all of which were to be premiered by and become firmly associated with Oistrakh in the following years. The Historic Russian Archives David Oistrakh Violin Concertos Edition Oistrakh performs most of these Concertos:
- Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky (1956)
- Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky (1968)
- Kabalevsky's Violin Concerto with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carl Eliasberg (1949)
- Taneyev's Concert Suite for violin and orchestra with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kurt Sanderling (1960)
- Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kyrill Kondrashin (1963)
- Miaskovsky's Violin Concerto with the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Gauk (1939)
Besides these fine concertos this 10 CD-set contains a lot of well-known Violin Concertos performed by Oistrakh: Bartok, Beethoven, Dvorak, Hindemith, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Strawinsky, Szymanovsky and Tchaikovsky; furthermore Lalo's Symphony Espagnole, Bruch's Scottish Fantasy Chausson's Poeme, Ravel's Tzigane and Glazunov's Mazurka-Oberek.

There's another interesting CD-set with David Oistrakh: the David Oistrakh Chamber Music Edition, a set of 10 CDs with great recordings of chamber works of Albeniz, Bach, Bartok, Beethoven, Brahms, Catoire, Debussy, De Falla, De Sarasate, Dvorak, Grieg, Hindemith, Hummel, Janacek, Kodaly, Martinu, Medtner, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Reger, Schubert, Schumann, Szymanovski, Tartini,Vladigerov, Wieniawski and some more. The fourth CD of this set includes works of Sergei Prokofiev: his two Violin Sonatas No. 1 opus 80 and No. 2 opus 94A, his Five Melodies for violin and piano opus 35B, the March from the 'Love for Three Oranges' for violin and piano and Winter Fairy from "Cinderella. All recordings are Live Recordings from the period 1946-1972.

Leonid Kogan
Besides CD-sets of Russian cellists CD-sets of violinists are worth mentioning, e.g. the Leonid Kogan Edition, a set of 10 CDs with live recordings made between 1947 and 1981. This violinist and compatriot of David Oistrakh is with his his superb technique and lean tone one of the greatest violinists of the Soviet Union. He was the winner of the Queen Elizabeth Competition in 1951. Kogan performed trios with Emil Gilels at the piano and Rostropovich playing the cello. This 10 CD-set includes Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, Khachaturian's Violin Concerto and seldomly heard concertos by people like Denisov (Partita for violin and chamber orchestra) and Khrennikov (Violin Concerto No. 2), some smaller works and arrangements for violin and orchestra and a large amount of varied chamber music.

Lazar Berman
And if you are looking for recordings of one of the best Russian pianists then the Lazar Berman Edition offers you a fine collection of performances of works of Soviet Composers and many other composers, collected on a 7 CD-set with live recordings, made between 1950 and 1987. Berman performed all Prokofiev Piano Sonatas for Chandos. This CD-set contains Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 8, Toccata opus 11, a selection of the ballet Romeo and Julia, and his Violin Sonata No. 2 (with Pavel Berman on violin). Other Soviet works are Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 4, Fantasy in B minor opus 28 and Etude in B flat minor opus 8 No. 11, and Kazhlaev's Three Preludes. Besides these works the CD-set contains perfoances of works of Liszt - including his Piano Concerto No. 1 with Kondrashin conducting -, Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and some more.

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