Thursday, 25 June 2009

Hooray for internet music archivists!

A youtuber going under the name of 'Hexameron' is kindly posting all manner of piano music and scores, ranging from late-romanticism through to outright noise, with a specific focus on things Russian and avant-garde. Most of the videos include a little bit of a biography and analysis, which usually goes along the lines of 'russian, young virtuouso, outstanding composer, avant gardist, flees Russia (either in 1917 or 1930, depending on commitment to revolution), falls into post-romantic obscurity'. Occasionally some of the people featured stuck around in Russia composing socialist-realist guff out in the provinces, writing their own music for the drawer, a rather sad fate, although not too dissimilar to the lot of many a composer for 'film and tv' out here in the lands of opportunity.

Slightly more well-known names represented include Eisler, Godowsky, Korngold, Alkan, and the previously mentioned Ornstein, but there are a great many more, and it's well worth having a browse around. The pieces above are nocturnes by Mosolov, whose bio I'll reproduce in full:
Alexander Mosolov (1900-1973) was a part of the Soviet Avant-Garde prominent in the 1920s. He was harrassed by the RAPM (Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians) for writing inaccessible and highly pessimistic music and severely oppressed by the Soviet government for not conforming to Socialist Realism. By 1929 his compositions were banned and in 1936 he moved to Central Asia to collect folk music. From then until his death, Mosolov abandoned his earlier compositional style and wrote tame often folk-inspired works.

No comments: