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Rodion Shchedrin

Rodion Shchedrin

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Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin ' onMouseout='HidePop("65606")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Scientific_transliteration">Scientific transliteration
Scientific transliteration
Scientific transliteration, variously called academic, linguistic, or scholarly transliteration, is an international system for transliteration of text from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet...

: Rodion Konstantinovič Ščedrin, rə̥dʲɪˌon kə̥nstɐnˌtʲinə̥vʲɪ̥ʨ ɕːɪ̥dˈrʲin; born December 16, 1932) is a 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...

n 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...

. He was one оf the leading Soviet composers, and was the chairman of the Union of Russian Composers from 1973 until 1990.

Life and Works


He was born in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 into a musical family—his father was a composer and teacher of music theory
Music theory
Music theory is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers' techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods...

. He studied at the Moscow Choral School and Moscow Conservatory
Moscow Conservatory
The Moscow Conservatory is a higher musical education institution in Moscow, and the second oldest conservatory in Russia after St. Petersburg Conservatory. Along with the St...

 (graduating in 1955) under Yuri Shaporin and Nikolai Myaskovsky
Nikolai Myaskovsky
Nikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky was a Russian and Soviet composer. He is sometimes referred to as the "father of the Soviet symphony".-Early years and first important works:...

. Since 1958, he has been married to the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya
Maya Plisetskaya
Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya , born is a Russian ballet dancer, frequently cited as one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. Maya danced during the Soviet era at the same time as the great Galina Ulanova, and took over from her as prima ballerina assoluta of the Bolshoi in 1960...

.

Shchedrin's early music is tonal
Tonality
Tonality is a system of music in which specific hierarchical pitch relationships are based on a key "center", or tonic. The term tonalité originated with Alexandre-Étienne Choron and was borrowed by François-Joseph Fétis in 1840...

, colourfully orchestrated
Orchestration
Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting for orchestra music composed for another medium...

 and often includes snatches of folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

, while some later pieces use aleatoric
Aleatoric music
Aleatoric music is music in which some element of the composition is left to chance, and/or some primary element of a composed work's realization is left to the determination of its performer...

 and serial
Serialism
In music, serialism is a method or technique of composition that uses a series of values to manipulate different musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as one example of...

 techniques. In the west the music of Shchedrin has won popularity mainly through the work of Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE , known to close friends as Slava, was a Soviet and Russian cellist and conductor. He was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of...

 who has made several successful recordings.

Among his works are the ballets The Little Hump-backed Horse (1955), Carmen Suite (1967), based on the opera Carmen
Carmen
Carmen is a French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, first published in 1845, itself possibly influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin...

by Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet formally Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer, mainly of operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory.During a...

 (the project had been turned down by both Shostakovich  and Khachaturian), Anna Karenina (1971, on the novel
Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger...

 by Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist...

), and Lady with a Lapdog (1985); the operas Not Only Love (1961), and Dead Souls (1976, after Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Gogol
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism...

's novel); piano concerto
Piano concerto
A piano concerto is a concerto written for piano and orchestra.See also harpsichord concerto; some of these works are occasionally played on piano...

s, symphonies
Symphony
A symphony is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle...

, chamber
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 and 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...

 music and other works. He composed 24 Preludes and Fugues
24 Preludes and Fugues
In classical music, many composers have written a set of preludes and fugues in most or all of the 24 major and minor keys. The use of this format is generally inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach's two books of preludes and fugues—The Well-Tempered Clavier—completed in 1722 and 1744 respectively...

 after he heard those of Shostakovich
Dmitri Shostakovich
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Soviet Russian composer and one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century....

. Also remarkable is his Polyphonic Notebook.

He has written five concertos for orchestra
Concerto for Orchestra
Although a concerto is usually a piece of music for one or more solo instruments accompanied by a full orchestra, several composers have written works with the apparently contradictory title Concerto for Orchestra...

: the first, variously translated as Naughty Limericks or Mischievous Folk Ditties (neither of which completely get the gist of the Russian which refers to a chastushka
Chastushka
A Chastúshka is a traditional Russian or Ukrainian folk poem which makes use of a simple rhyming scheme to convey humorous or ironic content...

 (часту́шка), an irreverent, satirical kind of folk song) is by far the best known, and was the work which first established him on the international stage. The second of the Concertos for Orchestra was subtitled Zvony (The Chimes), and was premiered by the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

 under Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

 as one of the many commissions in honor of the orchestra's 125th anniversary. The third Concerto for Orchestra is based on old music of Russian provincial circuses. Concerto 4, Khorovody (round dances), was written in 1989, and Concerto 5, Four Russian Songs, was written in 1998.

As well as a distinguished compositional career (for which he was made a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts in 1989 and received the Russian State Prize from President Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 in 1992), Shchedrin is himself a virtuoso pianist and organist, taking the piano part in person for the premieres of the first three of his six piano concertos. At a remarkable concert on 5 May 1974 Shchedrin performed the feat of appearing as soloist in all three of his then-completed piano concertos, one after the other. The concert, with the USSR Symphony Orchestra
State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation
The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation is a Russian orchestra based in Moscow...

 under Evgeny Svetlanov
Evgeny Svetlanov
Yevgeny Fyodorovich Svetlanov was a Russian conductor, composer, and though less well-known, a pianist.Svetlanov was born in Moscow and studied conducting at the Moscow Conservatory. From 1955 he conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, being appointed principal conductor there in 1962...

 was recorded and released on LP, then CD. Following the collapse of the Soviet regime, Shchedrin has taken advantage of the new opportunities for international travel and musical collaboration, and now largely divides his time between Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 and Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

.

On June 11–14, 2008 Shchedrin Days took place in Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 with the participation of Shchedrin and Maya Plisetskaya
Maya Plisetskaya
Maya Mikhailovna Plisetskaya , born is a Russian ballet dancer, frequently cited as one of the greatest ballerinas of the 20th century. Maya danced during the Soviet era at the same time as the great Galina Ulanova, and took over from her as prima ballerina assoluta of the Bolshoi in 1960...

 as honorary guest.

Invited by Walter Fink
Walter Fink
Walter Fink is a German retired executive and a patron of Contemporary music. He is mostly known for being a founding member, Executive Committee member and sponsor of the Rheingau Musik Festival.- Biography :...

, he was the 19th composer featured in the annual Komponistenporträt of the Rheingau Musik Festival
Rheingau Musik Festival
The Rheingau Musik Festival is an international summer music festival in Germany, founded in 1987. It is mostly for classical music, but includes other genres...

 in 2009. He and his wife attended the concerts which included his Russian liturgy The Sealed Angel for choir and flute, performed in Eberbach Abbey
Eberbach Abbey
Eberbach Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery near Eltville am Rhein in the Rheingau, Germany. On account of its impressive Romanesque and early Gothic buildings it is considered one of the most significant architectural heritage sites in Hesse, Germany...

. His chamber music
Chamber music
Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers with one performer to a part...

 included Ancient Melodies of Russian Folk Songs (2007) with the cellist Raphael Wallfish and himself at the piano, and Meine Zeit, mein Raubtier with tenor Kenneth Tarver and pianist Roland Pontinen who performed it also at the Verbier Festival
Verbier Festival
The Verbier Festival is an international music festival that takes place annually for two weeks in late July and early August in the mountain resort of Verbier, Switzerland.Founded by Swedish expatriate Martin T...

.

The premiere of a German version of his opera Lolita
Lolita (opera)
Lolita is an opera in two acts by composer Rodion Shchedrin. The opera was composed in 1992 and uses a Russian language libretto by the composer which is based on Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel of the same name, written in English...

was performed as the opening night of the Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden in a production of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden
Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden
The Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden is the State Theatre of the German state Hesse in the capital Wiesbaden, producing operas, plays, ballets, musicals and concerts on four stages. It is also known as Staatstheater Wiesbaden or Theater Wiesbaden...


Operas

  • Not Love Alone (Не только любовь) (1961)
  • Lenin Oratory (Оратория Ленина), a cantata (1972)
  • Dead Souls (Мёртвые души), after Nikolai Gogol
    Nikolai Gogol
    Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist and novelist.Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism...

     (1977)
  • Lolita
    Lolita (opera)
    Lolita is an opera in two acts by composer Rodion Shchedrin. The opera was composed in 1992 and uses a Russian language libretto by the composer which is based on Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel of the same name, written in English...

    (Лолита) (1992)
  • The Enchanted Wanderer (Очарованный странник) (2002)
  • Boyarinya Morozova (Боярыня Морозова) (2006)

Ballets

  • The Little Humpbacked Horse (1955)
  • Carmen (1967)
  • Anna Karenina (1968)
  • The Seagull (Чайкa) (in 2 acts) after Anton Chekhov
    Anton Chekhov
    Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

    's play (1980)
  • Lady with a Lapdog (1985)

Orchestral works

  • Symphony No. 1 (1958)
  • Not Love Alone, symphonic suite from the opera (1964)
  • Symphony No. 2, "Twenty-five Preludes for Orchestra" (1965)
  • Solemn Overture (1982)
  • Seagull Suite (1984)
  • Stihira, "Hymn for the Millenary of the Christianisation of Russia" (1987)

Concertos and concertante works

  • Piano Concerto No. 1 (1954)
  • Concerto for Orchestra No. 1, Naughty Limericks (1963)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 (1966)
  • Concerto for Orchestra No. 2, The Chimes (1968)
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 (1973)
  • Concerto for Orchestra No. 3, Old Russian Circus Music (1988)
  • Concerto for Orchestra No. 4, Khorovody (1989)
  • Piano Concerto No. 4 (1991)
  • Cello Concerto, Sotto Voce (1994)
  • Viola Concerto, Concerto Dolce (1997)
  • Violin Concerto, Concerto Cantabile (1998)
  • Concerto for Orchestra No. 5, Four Russian Songs (1998)
  • Piano Concerto No. 5 (1999)
  • Piano Concerto No. 6 (2003)
  • Oboe Concerto (2010)
  • Double Concerto for piano and cello (2011)

Chamber ensemble

  • Muzïkal'noye prinosheniye (A Musical Offering) for 3 flutes, 3 bassoons, 3 trombones, and organ (1983)

Chamber music

  • Drei heitere Stücke (Three funny pieces) for piano trio (1997)
    • Gespräche (Conversations)
    • Spielen wir eine Oper von Rossini (Let's Play an Opera by Rossini)
    • Humoreske
  • Menuhin Sonata for violin and piano (1999)
  • Ancient Melodies of Russian Folk Songs for cello and piano (2007)

Vocal music

  • Meine Zeit, mein Raubtier, vocal cycle after Osip Mandelstam
    Osip Mandelstam
    Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam was a Russian poet and essayist who lived in Russia during and after its revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union. He was one of the foremost members of the Acmeist school of poets...

     for recitation, tenor and piano (2002)

Solo piano

  • Piano Pieces (1952–1961)
    • Poem
    • Four Pieces from the ballet "The Humpbacked Horse"
    • Humoresque
    • Imitating Albéniz
    • Troika
    • Two Polyphonic Pieces (Two Part Invention and Basso Ostinato)
  • Piano Sonata (1962)
  • Twenty-Four Preludes and Fugues (1964–1970)
  • Polyphonic Notebook, twenty-five preludes (1972)
  • Piano Sonata No. 2 (1997)
  • Diary, seven pieces (2002)
  • Sonatine Concertante (2005)
  • A la Pizzicato (2005)

Solo Violin

  • In the Style of Albéniz op. 52 (1973)
  • Echo Sonata, op. 69 (1984)
  • Balalajka (1998)
  • Duets (2000)

External links