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CR-034. Chamber music by Valeri Tarakanov
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CR-034. Chamber music by Valeri Tarakanov

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Weight: 120 g

Valery 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 scientific works.
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 spring. 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 winter. 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 1976.
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.

Alexander 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.

Vladimir Ivanov (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 1976.

Mikhail Utkin (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 since 1974.

Alexander Pronin (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.

Irina Musatova (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 persuasion.

Valery Tarakanov 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 outstanding cellist.

© Classical Records

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