Overview

Dmitry Kabalevsky

(1904—1987)


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(b St Petersburg, 1904; d Moscow, 1987).

Russ. composer and pianist. Worked as pf. teacher and silent‐cinema pianist 1922–5. His pf. conc. 1929 won him fame in Soviet Union. In 1932, when Union of Soviet Composers was formed, he helped to organize Moscow branch, thereafter holding various administrative posts and writing many articles on Soviet mus. and composers. His output in the next 5 years was prolific, incl. 3 syms., the 3rd of which was a requiem for Lenin. Ass. prof. of comp., Moscow Cons. from 1932, prof. from 1939. During World War II he wrote numerous patriotic works, having joined Communist party in 1940. His post‐war works reflected the official policy of ‘Socialist realism’. His works comp. specially for young musicians are regarded as of particular significance. The West knows his instr. works better than his operas and operettas which are perf. in Russia. Prin. works:

operas:

The Craftsman of Clamecy Colas Breugnon

(known in West as ) (1936–8, rev. 1953, 1969);

Into the FireBefore Moscow

() (1942);

The Taras FamilyInto the Fire

(incorporating much of ) (1947, 2nd version 1950, 3rd version 1967);

Nikita Vershinin

(1954–5);

Spring Sings

(1957);

In the Magic Forest

(1958);

The Sisters

(1967).

orch. and choral:

Requiem

syms.: No.1 in C♯ minor (1932), No.2 in C minor (1934), No.3 in B♭ minor ( with ch.) (1933), No.4 in C minor (1954);

The Comedians

, suite (1940);

Suite for Jazz Orch.

(1940);

Parade of Youth

with ch. (1941);

The Mighty Homeland

, 2 soloists and ch. (1941–2);

The People's AvengersRomeo and Juliet

, suite for ch. and orch. (1942); Suite, (1956);

Song of Morning, Spring, and Peace

, children's ch. (1957–8);

Leninists

, 3 ch. and orch. (1958–9);

Spring

, sym.‐poem (1960);

Requiem

, mez., bar., double ch., and orch. (1962);

Of the Homeland

, children's ch. and orch. (1965);

Letter to the 30th Century

, oratorio (1972).

concertos:

Rhapsody

pf., No.1 in A minor (1928), No.2 in G minor (1935), No.3 in D major (1952), for pf. and orch. (1963); vn. conc. in C major (1948); vc. conc. No.1 in G minor (1948–9), No.2 in C major (1964).

chamber music:

str. qts. No.1 in A minor (1928), No.2 in G minor (1945); vc. sonata (1962).

piano:

sonata No.1 in F major (1927), No.2 in E♭ major (1945), No.3 in F major (1946);

4 Preludes

(1927–8);

30 Children's Pieces

(1938–9);

24 Preludes

(1943–4).

songs:

3 Poems of A. Blok

(1927–8);

8 Songs

for children's ch. (1932);

7 Merry Songs

(English nursery‐rhymes) (1944–5);

10 Shakespeare Sonnets

(1953–5);

5 Romances

(1963–4).

Also th. and film mus.

Subjects: Music.


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