Post Scriptum. A Few More Composers’ Names

Keywords: compositional schools of Russia in the 20th century, the Leningrad compositional school, contemporary composers of the regions of Russia.


In the previous lectures, which made
up the cycle “Classics of Russian Music
of the 20th Century”, the works of Sergei
Rachmaninov, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei
Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Dmitry
Shostakovich, Aram Khachaturian, Georgy
Sviridov, Rodion Shchedrin and Alfred
Schnittke were examined. Let us supplement
this panorama with two final lectures:
the first is intended to extend the range
of composers’ names, the second
will be devoted to an overview of 20th
century music with an outlet into
the universal space.
As it is well-known, since the time
of Peter the Great, who established
St. Petersburg, two capitals coexisted
in Russia, each of which possessed its own face
and style, among other things, in the creation
of music. By the end of the 19th century, two
compositional schools had developed:
the St. Petersburg school, the core of which
was the “Mighty Handful”, and the Moscow
school, headed by Piotr Tchaikovsky. During
the 20th century, these schools continued their fruitful interaction. Among the names presented
in the main sections of my lectures, Stravinsky,
Prokofiev, Myaskovsky, Shostakovich, Sviridov
began their activities in St. Petersburg-
Petrograd-Leningrad, and later they became
Muscovites (except for Stravinsky, who lived
abroad from the early 1910s).
In the second half of the 20th century,
the leaders of the musical process in Russia
were the Moscow composers Rodion Shchedrin
and Alfred Schnittke, along with whom many
other names can be mentioned, including
Edison Denisov, Sofia Gubaidulina and
Vladimir Martynov. Representatives
of the Leningrad school continued to make
a significant contribution to the treasury
of Russian music. The following short
overviews of the works of Sergei Slonimsky
and Valery Gavrilin will testify to this.
In addition to the two capitals, composers
from a number of other cities in Russia,
primarily, those with conservatories, have
worked tirelessly in the field of the art of music,
which has significantly expanded the scale
of the panorama of the musical art in our
country — the creative heritage of Elena
Gokhman is cited as a characteristic example.

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