"Krazy About Kalinnikov"
MUSIC: romantic theme from the Symphony No. 1 in G Minor by Kalinnikov [Chandos CHAN 8611, track 1] [down and under the following]
FLAXMAN: Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman.
I love the music of Tchaikovsky and wish that he had written nine symphonies, like Beethoven, rather than six. For this reason, I was delighted to discover the music of the Russian composer Vasily Sergeyevich Kalinnikov. He wrote two exceptionally beautiful symphonies, both reminiscent of Tchaikovsky, before his untimely death from tuberculosis in 1901, two days short of his 35th birthday.
I'll tell you more about Kalinnikov later in the program, but first I would like to share with you his greatest contribution to posterity, his Symphony No. 1 in G Minor. We hear it as recorded on a Chandos compact disc by the Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Neeme Järvi. If you haven't heard this piece before, I think you'll consider it an important compact discovery.
MUSIC: Kalinnikov's Symphony No. 1 in G Minor [Chandos CHAN 8611, tracks 1, 2, 3, 4] [37:37]
FLAXMAN: The Symphony No. 1 in G Minor by Kalinnikov. It was performed by the Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Neeme Järvi on a Telarc compact disc.
You are listening to Compact Discoveries and today's exciting episode, "Krazy About Kalinnikov." I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman.
Kalinnikov's short, tuberculotic life began in Russia, in 1866. He was the son of a police official - an honest police official, I assume, since Kalinnikov grew up in poverty.
At the age of 14 he was put in charge of the choir at the Oryol Seminary where he was sent to study. In 1884 he went to Moscow to study at the famous Moscow Conservatory, but had to drop out after a few months due to lack of funds. He then took lessons in bassoon and composition at the Moscow Philharmonic Society School, making ends meet by playing bassoon, timpani and violin in theater orchestras.
Kalinnikov's exceptional talents were discovered by Tchaikovsky, who recommended him for a job as conductor at the Malïy Theatre in Moscow in 1892, but Kalinnikov had to resign a few months later due to his deteriorating health. He went to the South Crimea where he remained in Yalta for the rest of his short life.
There he completed his two symphonies and other instrumental works, including music for the play Tsar Boris by Alexey Tolstoy, which was staged at the Malïy Theatre in 1899.
Rachmaninov visited Kalinnikov in Yalta and helped him get some songs and other works published. But Kalinnikov did not live long enough to benefit.
In this hour we have together, I don't have enough time to play Kalinnikov's second symphony for you in its entirety. However, we can fit in the first and third movements of this beautiful work as performed by the Academy Symphony Orchestra of the U.S.S.R. conducted by Evgueni Svetlanov on a Chant du Monde compact disc.
MUSIC: Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 2, First and Third Movements [Le Chant du Monde LDC 278926,tracks 5 and 7] [9:48 and 8:02]
FLAXMAN [over ending of third movement]: The first and third movements from Symphony No. 2 by Kalinnikov. The Academy Symphony Orchestra of the U.S.S.R. was conducted by Evgueni Svetlanov on a Chant du Monde compact disc.
Would you ever guess from that music that the composer was about to die of tuberculosis?
I hope the two beautiful, masterfully orchestrated, very Russian symphonies of Kalinnikov were compact discoveries for you and that you'll want to add them to your own personal compact disc collection.
Your reaction to this particular program or to the Compact Discoveries series in general would be very much appreciated. I can be reached by phone or mail in care of this station or by e-mail via my website: www.fredflaxman.com.
Compact Discoveries is made possible by the members of WXEL-FM and the financial support of Barry and Florence Friedberg, Maurice and Thelma Steingold and an anonymous donor. The program was written, produced, recorded, and edited by your guide, Fred Flaxman, and is a production of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.
MUSIC: fades out completely at 58:00
MUSIC: an excerpt of Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson [under]
FLAXMAN: Live long enough and the popular music of your youth becomes the classical music of today. Witness the clever orchestral miniatures of Leroy Anderson, once on the hit parade, now in the classical music catalogs. The music of Leroy Anderson - including his rarely performed but delightful piano concerto - next time on Compact Discoveries.
MUSIC: Down and Under
TAG: [Join me Sunday at 7 P.M. on 90.7 WXEL-FM.]
MUSIC: Fades out at 30 seconds
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