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CD Review

Boris Tchaikovsky

Hyperion 67413

Orchestral Music

  • Sinfonietta for String Orchestra
  • Chamber Symphony
  • Six Etudes for Strings and Organ
  • Prelude 'The Bells'
Ludmila Golub, organ
Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra/Alexander Rudin
Hyperion CDA67413 70m DDD
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Boris Tchaikovsky is a fine composer who died a few years ago (1996) and who contributed prolifically to the Russian musical scene of the post War period right up to the fall of Communism. This disc covers the period 1953-76 with three substantial works and a short posthumous Prelude that was orchestrated after Tchaikovsky's death by his pupil, Pyotr Klimov.

The Sinfonietta is in four movements and it is rather indebted to Prokofieff and Shostakovich for its deep introspective rhythms although you can sense that the composer has not yet found his spiritual roots. The Chamber Symphony from 1967 is definitely a massive leap forward and here one can sense the deep atonal overtones that lie behind the heart of the music. This is tough music to negotiate but those who like this sort of intellectual challenge will not be disappointed.

Tchaikovsky's Six Etudes for Strings and Organ were written in 1976, the year of Shostakovich's death and they are definitely challenging, especially the inner movements. Again, I would only recommend this to seasoned experts of avant garde Russian music such as those who enjoy Schnittke, Silvestrov or Gubaidulina. Hyperion present copious and extremely well written notes by David Fanning and the interpretations by Rudin and the Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra are definitely beyond reproach.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet