Tarakanov was born in 1934. Both his
parents were scientists specializing in medicine; they were great music-lovers
and it was a family tradition to play classical music at home. Valery Tarakanov
graduated from school with a Gold medal. Later, he studied at the Moscow State
University Mechanics and Mathematics Faculty (graduated with distinction in
1956). He followed the postgraduate course at the Mathematics Institute of the
Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Since 1961, Valery Tarakanov works in the same
Institute; at present, he is one of the leading scientists at the Institute,
doctor of mathematics, the author of several monographs and more than 150
Mr. Tarakanov's musical talent led him to the Vladimir Stassov music School
where he studied as a violinist and later to the Ippolitov-Ivanov Musical
College. Later on, he improved his skills, taking lessons from many prominent
piano and music theory professors. He was especially interested in composition
and studied with famous composers Andrei Volkonsky, Eduard Khagagortyan and
Edisson Denissov. His brother, Mikhail Tarakanov, an eminent musicologist, also
had important impact on his creative life. Among those who played significant
part in Valery Tarakanov's musical development was, surprisingly, his
mathematics professor Igor Schafarevich, an outstanding scientist, member of the
Academy of Sciences of the USSR. The composer himself thinks that he awes to
academic Schafarevich his ability to feel the logic of musical form, construct
and organize the music (an absolutely necessary part of composing, which does
not affect the emotional side).
The name of Valery Tarakanov is well known in the musical world. His
compositions – the opera "Antony and Cleopatra", Vespers, Liturgy, violin and
cello concertos, vocal cycles, romances and works for choir - are performed in
the important concert halls of Moscow and other Russian cities. Many popular
radio stations – "Orpheus", "Radio of Russia" and others, include them in their
programs. Among the performers – most eminent Russian musicians, orchestras,
choirs: the choir of the Academy of the Choir art, "The Seasons" Chamber
orchestra, the soloists of the famous "Moscow trio" – Alexander Bonduriansky,
Vladimir Ivanov and Mikhail Utkin, Mikhail Tolpygo and many others. Since 1995
Valery Tarakanov is a member of the Composer's Union of Russia; he participates
in its musical and social activities.
The music of this exceptionally talented composer, bright and sincere,
expressive and highly intellectual, cannot leave the listener indifferent; his
works have become widely known among those who love the musical art.
Let us be like the
sun for voice, violin and piano, op.29 in four movements on the verses by
Konstantin Balmont. The first piece, "The Dead Ships", is mournful and
meditative. The dead ships symbolize the souls of the people who have passed
away. All human deeds and hopes seem to be vain. The second movement, "Eternal
Aspiration", in contrast with the first one, is inspired by the idea of creative
activity and thirst for knowledge. The third ("Only where you are") and fourth
("Let us be like the sun") embody the love for God and aspiration for eternity.
The violin is not just accompanying the soloist; the violin part is elaborate
and quite original. The third movement, for instance, is a dialogue of tenor and
violin; the piano does not participate.
Sonata for violin
and cello in four movements, op. 27.
Sonata is a duo of the two string instruments, which contains four movements.
The music depicts a panorama of the relationship of the two people, two loving
partners, husband and wife. The first movement is a lyrical dialogue, full of
tenderness and harmony, embodying love, unity of purpose. In the second
movement, there is an agitated atmosphere of a heated argument, with some
elements of obstinacy and even with something capricious in it, but without any
estrangement. The music of the third movement - Menuet - is full of mild
lyricism. The energetic music of the Finale sometimes reminds the "arguments" of
the second movement. In the end, the theme of unity and love from the first
movement appears. But in the last bars we hear another funny "hot discussion".
A Chest of Fairytales. Trio for piano, violin and cello ¹ 2 in four
movements. Each movement has a program: it is based upon one of the famous
children's fairytales. The first movement embodies the tale of the Little Red
Riding Hood. The music depicts all the details of the story just as they happen.
In the other movements, the music doesn't follow al the events, showing only
some of the episodes. The second part, Thumbelina, depicts the birth of the
little girl, her games and songs, boating in a plate full of water, and then the
arrival of the King of Elves and his proposal, the elves greeting their queen.
The third movement is dedicated to the story of the Sleeping Beauty. The music
embodies the terror and embarrassment when the Princess pricks her finger, the
spellbound kingdom that falls asleep and the magic forest that grows up around
the castle, and in the end – the anticipation of the kingdom's future awakening.
The fourth movement – "Little Muck – the royal footman". Little Muck is running
unceasingly, desperately in his magic shoes, until he remembers the spell that
can stop them. The music of these four pieces is based upon the rhythms of the
four old dances: Passepied, Courante, Siciliana and Galop. The parts of all
instruments are very elaborate.
The Seasons. Suite for cello and piano in four movements, op. 24. A
traditional theme – human reaction to the periods of the year's circle that
follow each other. Four pieces of the suite embody the four seasons.
The ebullient young forces of the Nature arise after the long winter's sleep,
sweeping off all the obstacles in their way. The picture of spring is embodied
in the energetic and impetuous music of this piece, full of contrasts of musical
themes, with the bright virtuosity of the cello part.
The summer. A
nocturne that depicts a poetic night scene. Now, when the nature is rich and
abundant, in the deep of the night a love scene takes place. Passionate words of
confession, declarations of love, tender whisper of the two lovers are heard.
The autumn. An
intermezzo. The music of this movement is full of sadness and melancholy. These
are the moments of extinction, the Nature's farewell: the Nature, in its
beautiful attire, is about to fall asleep.
The continuos motion of this movement depicts a picture of a snow-fall, followed
by a real snow and wind storm.
The Moscow Piano
Trio, founded in 1968 at the Moscow Conservatoire, exists in its present
formation since 1976 and has since then become one of the most highly esteemed
and leading chamber ensembles in Russia. As a result of their worldwide
activities all three members have been awarded in 1994 the highest culture
honorary title of Russia - Artists of the People of Russia.
The remarkable perspectives of this team of musicians have been underlined by
their success at International Competitions: in Munich (1969, 2nd Prize), in
Belgrade (1972, 1st Prize and all special awards), in Budapest (1975, 1st
Prize). The ensemble's greatest achievement during this competitive period was
winning the Maurice Ravel Gold Medal at the Musical May Festival in Bordeaux
Their repertoire comprises more than 200 works and includes compositions of all
styles. They also perform works by contemporary composers, many of them were
written especially for the Trio. The musicians had the honour of giving the
first public performances of First Trio by Dmitri Schostakovitch op. 8; they
appeared often at Georgi Sviridov's authorial evenings. Many contemporary works
were dedicated to the Moscow Piano Trio.
The Trio tours extensively in Russia, Germany, Italy, Holland, Ireland, England,
Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, South Korea and USA; they have given concerts
in more than 500 cities at home and abroad. The ensemble made many recordings
for different recording companies.
Bonduriansky (piano) was born in 1945 in Kherson (Ukraine) and graduated
from Kishinev Conservatoire where he studied under professor Sokovnin. He
completed his musical education under Professor Dmitri Bashkirov at the Moscow
State Conservatoire. A prize-winner of many national and international
competitions, professor of the Moscow Conservatoire. Author of several
scientific works dedicated to the problems of interpretation of music. He was
the founder member of the Moscow Trio.
(violin) was born in 1948 in Moscow. He graduated from the Moscow
Conservatoire and continued his studies in the class of Professor Yankelevitch.
He was awarded First Prize at the J.S.Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1972 and
won the Gold Medal at the Music Competition in Bulgaria in 1974. Professor of
the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, a Dean of the Orchestral Faculty and a
head of the violin department. Vladimir Ivanov has been with the Trio since
(cello) was born in 1952 in Vilnius, Lithuania. He graduated from the Moscow
State Conservatoire and completed his education under the guidance of Professor
Rostropovitch. As a member of a student's string quartet he received the Second
Prize at the International string quartet competition in Liege (Belgium) and was
a winner of the International radio-competition "Concertino-Praha" in Prague
1967. Tours extensively, gives master-classes in Russia and abroad. Made many
recordings for different recording companies. He is a member of the Moscow Trio
(tenor) received his musical education at the Gnessin Academy of music in
the class of professor Lissovsky. He graduated in 1994. Later, he worked in the
Moscow Philharmony. Now Alexander Pronin is a soloist of the "Amadeus" Music
Theatre of the Moscow Concert Philharmonic Society.
Elena Ilyina (piano) graduated from the Novossibirsk State Conservatoire where
she studied in the class of Lazar Alexandrovsky in 1994. In 1994–1996, followed
the postgraduate course at the Moscow Conservatoire in the class of professor
Vazha Chachava. As an accompanist, participated in numerous concerts in Japan,
Germany, Austria, Switzerland. Since 1996 Elena Ilyina works with the Moscow
State Academic chamber choir under Vladimir Minin.
(piano) studied at the Moscow Conservatoire under professor Gleb Axelrod.
She won a diploma in the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow. Plays
many concerts in Moscow, tours extensively in Russia and abroad.
The works represented
on this CD were inspired by the performances of the Moscow trio, a beautiful
ensemble of the three outstanding musicians. The sincerity, the temperament and
profound intellect of their interpretations are admirable. They have a beautiful
sense of musical form, rich emotions and wonderful freedom of expression; it
seems that they create the music themselves on the very moment of the
performance, as if it never existed before. They have magic sound, perfect
technique and top-class virtuosity. Their sense of style and noble taste are
amazing, they perform music of all times with equally strong power of
has been the Moscow trio admirer for a very long time. For many years he was on
terms of artistic friendship with soloists of the Trio. Their cooperation was
not restricted to chamber music only. Vladimir Ivanov played the world premiere
of the Violin concerto by Valery Tarakanov. Mikhail Utkin was the first
performer of the cello concerto, which Mr. Tarakanov dedicated to this