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Georgy Sviridov

Georgy Sviridov

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Georgy Vasilyevich Sviridov (Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

: Гео́ргий Васи́льевич Свири́дов; his patronymic is also transliterated Vasil'yevich, Vasilievich, and Vasil'evich) (December 16, 1915 – January 5, 1998) was a Soviet Russian neoromantic
Neoromanticism (music)
Neoromanticism in music is a return to the emotional expression associated with nineteenth-century Romanticism. Since the mid-1970s the term has come to be identified with neoconservative postmodernism, especially in Germany, Austria, and the United States, with composers such as Wolfgang Rihm and...

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

.

Early Life and Youth


Sviridov was born in 1915 in the town of Fatezh
Fatezh
Fatezh is a town and the administrative center of Fatezhsky District of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located on the Usozha River north of Kursk. Population: 4,959 .Fatezh was founded as a village in the 17th century and granted town status in 1779...

 in the Kursk
Kursk
Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kur, Tuskar, and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was site of a turning point in the Russian-German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history...

 guberniya
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

 of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 (present-day Kursk Oblast
Kursk Oblast
Kursk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Kursk.-Geography:The oblast occupies the southern slopes of the middle-Russian plateau, and its average elevation is from 177 to 225 meters . The surface is hilly, and intersected by ravines...

). His father, Vasily Sviridov, a sympathizer of the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 cause during the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 that followed the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, was killed when Georgy was four. The family moved to Kursk
Kursk
Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kur, Tuskar, and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was site of a turning point in the Russian-German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history...

, where Sviridov, still in elementary school, learned to play his first instrument, the balalaika
Balalaika
The balalaika is a stringed musical instrument popular in Russia, with a characteristic triangular body and three strings.The balalaika family of instruments includes instruments of various sizes, from the highest-pitched to the lowest, the prima balalaika, secunda balalaika, alto balalaika, bass...

. Learning to play by ear, he demonstrated such talent and ability that he was accepted into the local orchestra of Russian folk instruments. He enrolled in a music school in 1929, and following the advice of his teacher, M. Krutinsky, came to Leningrad
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 in 1932, where he studied piano
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

 at the Leningrad Central Music College, graduating in 1936. From 1936 to 1941, Sviridov studied at the Leningrad Conservatory
Saint Petersburg Conservatory
The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory is a music school in Saint Petersburg. In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 faculty members and 1,400 students.-History:...

 under Peter Borisovich Ryazanov and Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

. Mobilized into the Soviet armed forces
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 in 1941, just days after his graduation from the conservatory, Sviridov was sent to a military academy in Ufa
Ufa
-Demographics:Nationally, dominated by Russian , Bashkirs and Tatars . In addition, numerous are Ukrainians , Chuvash , Mari , Belarusians , Mordovians , Armenian , Germans , Jews , Azeris .-Government and administration:Local...

, but was discharged by the end of the year due to poor health.

Musical legacy


In 1935 Sviridov's composed a cycle of lyrical romances
Romance (music)
The term romance has a centuries-long history. Applied to narrative ballads in Spain, it came to be used by the 18th century for simple lyrical pieces not only for voice, but also for instruments alone. During the 18th and 19th centuries Russian composers developed the French variety of the...

 based on the poetry of Alexander Pushkin which brought him first critical acclaim. During his studies in Leningrad Conservatory
Saint Petersburg Conservatory
The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory is a music school in Saint Petersburg. In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 faculty members and 1,400 students.-History:...

, 1936–1941, Sviridov experimented with different genres and different types of musical composition. He completed Piano Concerto No. 1 (1936–1939), Symphony No. 1 and the Chamber Symphony for Strings (1940). Later Sviridov would turn to the rich Russian musical heritage, including the folk songs, for inspiration.

Among Sviridov's most popular orchestral pieces are the Romance and the Waltz
Waltz
The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

 from his The Blizzard, musical illustrations after Pushkin (1975), that were originally written for the eponymous 1964 film
The Blizzard (1964 film)
The Blizzard is a 1964 Soviet film directed by Vladimir Basov, based on the story "The Blizzard" from The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin by Alexander Pushkin.-Cast:* Oleg Vidov - Vladimir* Valentina Titova - Mariya Gavrilovna...

 based on the short story from Pushkin's The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin
The Tales of the late Ivan Petrovich Belkin
The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin is a series of 5 short stories and a fictional editorial introduction by Russian author Aleksandr Pushkin. The collection is opened with the editorial, in which Pushkin pretends to be the publisher of Belkin's tales...

. A short segment from his score for the 1967 film Time, Forward!
Time, Forward!
Time, Forward! is a 1965 Soviet drama film directed by Sofiya Milkina and Mikhail Shveytser based on a novel with the same name and a screenplay by Valentin Katayev. Composer Georgy Sviridov, sound by Lev Trakhtenberg. Production by Mosfilm by the order of Goskino.The title is derived from...

(Время, вперёд!) was selected as the opening theme for the main evening TV news program Vremya
Vremya
Vremya is the state television newscast of the Russian Federation and is shown on Channel One Russia and previously on the First Programme of the Central Television of the USSR...

(Время, 'time') and became the staple of Soviet life for several generations.

Poetry always occupied an important place in Sviridov's artistic universe. He wrote songs and romances to the lyrics of Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov , a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", became the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837. Lermontov is considered the supreme poet of Russian literature alongside Pushkin and the greatest...

 (1938, 1957), Alexander Blok
Alexander Blok
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet.-Life and career:Blok was born in Saint Petersburg, into a sophisticated and intellectual family. Some of his relatives were literary men, his father being a law professor in Warsaw, and his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg...

 (1941), William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 (1944–1960), Robert Burns
Robert Burns
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide...

 (in Russian translation, 1955). Despite the popularity of Sviridov's instrumental works, both the composer himself and the music critics regarded vocal and choral music to be his main strengths. Pathetic Oratorio (1959) after Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet poet and playwright, among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism.- Early life :...

 has been called a masterful musical rendering of one of the most popular Russian revolution poet. Sviridov's prolific vocal chamber and vocal symphonic output includes Oratorio To the memory of Sergei Yesenin (1956), Little Cantata Wooden Russia (1964) after Yesenin, Cantata Songs of Kursk (1964), Spring Cantata (1972) after Nikolai Nekrasov, songs, romances, and cantatas after Fyodor Tyutchev
Fyodor Tyutchev
Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev is generally considered the last of three great Romantic poets of Russia, following Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov.- Life :...

, Sergei Yesenin
Sergei Yesenin
Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin was a Russian lyrical poet. He was one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century but committed suicide at the age of 30...

, Alexander Blok
Alexander Blok
Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet.-Life and career:Blok was born in Saint Petersburg, into a sophisticated and intellectual family. Some of his relatives were literary men, his father being a law professor in Warsaw, and his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg...

,
Boris Pasternak
Boris Pasternak
Boris Leonidovich Pasternak was a Russian language poet, novelist, and literary translator. In his native Russia, Pasternak's anthology My Sister Life, is one of the most influential collections ever published in the Russian language...

, Alexander Prokofiev, Robert Rozhdestvensky
Robert Rozhdestvensky
Robert Ivanovich Rozhdestvensky was a Soviet poet who in the broke with the Social Realism in 1950s–1960s and, along with such poets as Andrey Voznesensky, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, and Bella Akhmadulina, pioneered a newer, fresher, and freer poetry in the Soviet Union.-Life:Robert Rozhdestvensky...

. He also wrote one opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, Twinkling Lights (1951).

While Sviridov's music remains little known in the West, his works received high praise in his homeland for their memorable lyrical melodies, national flavor and mainly for great expression of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Russian soul
Russian soul
The term Russian soul has been used in literature to describe Russian spirituality. The writings of many Russian writers such as Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky offer descriptions of the Russian soul....

 in his music.

Honors and awards



In 1946 Sviridov was awarded the Stalin Prize for his Piano Trio
Piano trio
A piano trio is a group of piano and two other instruments, usually a violin and a cello, or a piece of music written for such a group. It is one of the most common forms found in classical chamber music...

, heavily influenced by Tchaikovsky. The Lenin Prize
Lenin Prize
The Lenin Prize was one of the most prestigious awards of the USSR, presented to individuals for accomplishments relating to science, literature, arts, architecture, and technology. It was created on June 23, 1925 and was awarded until 1934. During the period from 1935 to 1956, the Lenin Prize was...

 of 1960 was bestowed on the composer for his Pathetic Oratorio. Georgy Sviridov was awarded the USSR State Prize
USSR State Prize
The USSR State Prize was the Soviet Union's state honour. It was established on September 9, 1966. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the prize was followed up by the State Prize of the Russian Federation....

 in 1968 and 1980 and honored with the title People's Artist of the USSR
People's Artist of the USSR
People's Artist of the USSR, also sometimes translated as National Artist of the USSR, was an honorary title granted to citizens of the Soviet Union.- Nomenclature and significance :...

. He became a Hero of Socialist Labor
Hero of Socialist Labor
Hero of Socialist Labour was an honorary title in the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries. It was the highest degree of distinction for exceptional achievements in national economy and culture...

 (1975) and was twice awarded the Order of Lenin
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin , named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union...

.

Asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 4075 Sviridov
4075 Sviridov
4075 Sviridov is a main-belt asteroid discovered on October 14, 1982 by L. G. Karachkina at Nauchnyj. It was named for composer Georgy Sviridov.- External links :*...

, discovered by the Russian astronomer Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina
Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina
Lyudmila Georgievna Karachkina is a Soviet and Ukrainian astronomer.Working at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory since 1978, she has discovered a number of asteroids, including the Amor asteroid 5324 Lyapunov and the Trojan asteroid 3063 Makhaon. She has received a Ph.D. in astronomy from I. I...

 in 1982, was named in honor of Georgy Sviridov.

Death


The composer died of a heart attack in Moscow, where he had lived since 1956, on January 5, 1998.

List of works

  • Seven Small Pieces for piano (1934–1935)
  • Six Romances on Texts by Pushkin for voice and piano (1935)
  • Seven Songs after Lermontov (1938)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 (1936–1939)
  • Chamber Symphony for strings (1940)
  • Three Songs after Alexander Blok
    Alexander Blok
    Alexander Alexandrovich Blok was a Russian lyrical poet.-Life and career:Blok was born in Saint Petersburg, into a sophisticated and intellectual family. Some of his relatives were literary men, his father being a law professor in Warsaw, and his maternal grandfather the rector of Saint Petersburg...

     (1941)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 (1942)
  • "Othello", incidental music after Shakespeare (1942)
  • "Shakespeare Suite" for singer and piano (1944)
  • Piano Sonata (1944)
  • Piano Trio (1945 - rev. 1955)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1945–1946)
  • Two Partitas for piano (1946 - rev. 1957, 1960)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1947)
  • Children's Album, seventeen pieces for piano (1948 - rev. 1957)
  • Symphony No. 2 (1949/Unfinished)
  • "Country of My Fathers", poem after A. Issaakian for tenor and bass with piano accompaniment (1949–1950)
  • "Bright Lights", operetta in three acts after L. Sacharov and S. Poloski (1951)
  • "Ruy Blas", serenade (1952)
  • Songs after Burns for bass and piano (1955)
  • "The Decembrists", oratorio (1955)
  • "Poem to the Memory of Sergei Yesenin
    Sergei Yesenin
    Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin was a Russian lyrical poet. He was one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century but committed suicide at the age of 30...

    ", oratorio for tenor, mixed chorus and orchestra (1956)
  • "My Father is a Farmer", song cycle after Yessenin for tenor and baritone with piano accompagniment (1957)
  • "Suburb-Lyrics", seven songs after A. Prokofiev and M. Issakovsky for singer and piano (1938–1958)
  • Eight Romances to words by Lermontov for bass and piano (1957–1958)
  • Five Choruses to Lyrics by Russian Poets (1958)
  • Oratorio Pathetique after Mayakovsky
    Vladimir Mayakovsky
    Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky was a Russian and Soviet poet and playwright, among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism.- Early life :...

     for bass, mezzo-soprano, mixed chorus and orchestra (1959)
  • Song about Lenin ("We Don't Believe") after Mayakovsky for bass, mixed chorus and orchestra (1960)
  • "St. Petersburg Songs" for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, bass, violin, cello and piano (1961–1963)
  • "A Voice from the Chorus", monolog after A. Blok for bass and piano (1963)
  • "Songs of Kursk
    Kursk
    Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, Russia, located at the confluence of the Kur, Tuskar, and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was site of a turning point in the Russian-German struggle during World War II and the site of the largest tank battle in history...

    ", cantata after folktexts for mixed chorus and orchestra (1964)
  • "Wooden Russia", cantate to words of Yesenin for tenor, men's chorus and orchestra (1964)
  • Triptych, a small symphony for orchestra (1964)
  • Music for chamber orchestra (1964)
  • Music to the Film "Snow Storm" after Pushkin (1964)
  • "Sad Songs", small cantata to words of A. Blok for mezzo-soprano, female chorus and orchestra (1962–1965)
  • "It's Snowing" small cantata to words of B. Pasternak
    Pasternak
    Pasternak or Pasternack . Notable people with the last name "Pasternak" include:* Boris Pasternak, poet and writer* Joe Pasternak , Hungarian-US actor...

     for female chorus, boys'chorus and orchestra (1965)
  • "Time, Forward!
    Time, Forward!
    Time, Forward! is a 1965 Soviet drama film directed by Sofiya Milkina and Mikhail Shveytser based on a novel with the same name and a screenplay by Valentin Katayev. Composer Georgy Sviridov, sound by Lev Trakhtenberg. Production by Mosfilm by the order of Goskino.The title is derived from...

    ", suite of the film score (1967)
  • "Five Songs about Russia", oratorio after Blok for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, bass, mixed chorus and orchestra (1967)
  • "Four Folksongs" for chorus and orchestra (1971)
  • "The Friendly Guest", cantata to words of Yesenin for solovoices, chorus and orchestra (1971–1976)
  • "Spring Cantata" to words of Nekrasov
    Nekrasov
    Nekrasov, also Nekrassov , or Nekrasova , is a Russian last name and may refer to:-People:*Aleksandr Nekrasov , Russian mathematician and academician...

     for mixed chorus and orchestra (1972)
  • Concerto in Memory of A.A. Yurlov for unaccompanied mixed chorus (1973)
  • Music to the Play "Czar Fyodor Ioannovich" after Tolstoi (1973)
  • "The Birch of Life", cantata to words of A. Blok for mezzo-soprano and orchestra (1974)
  • Three Miniatures for solo voices and mixed chorus (1972–1975)
  • "Snow Storm", musical illustrations after Pushkin for orchestra (1975)
  • "Songs of Petersburg" after A. Blok for bass and piano (1975)
  • Three Pieces from "Children's Album" for mixed chorus a cappella
    A cappella
    A cappella music is specifically solo or group singing without instrumental sound, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It is the opposite of cantata, which is accompanied singing. A cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato...

    (1975)
  • "Ode to Lenin" after R. Rozhdestvensky for narrator, chorus and large orchestra (1976)
  • "Cast of Russia", poem after Sergei Yesenin for tenor and piano (1977)
  • Hymns to the Motherland for chorus (1978)
  • Twenty-five Choruses for bass and piano (1939–1979)
  • "Pushkin's Garland", choral concerto on verses by Alexander Pushkin (1979)
  • "Nightly Clouds", cantata after A. Blok for mixed chorus a cappella (1979)
  • Ten Songs after Alexander Blok for singer and piano (1972–1980)
  • "Ladoga", poem for chorus after A. Prokofiev (1980)
  • "Songs From Hard Times", concerto after Alexander Blok for chorus a cappella (1980–1981)
  • "Russia Cast Adrift", cycle on poems by Sergei Esenin for baritone and piano (1987)
  • "Petersburg", a vocal poem (1995)

External links