Saturday, July 9, 2011

Who is Dmitry Kabalevsky?

I'm currently working on the translation of some liner notes about Dmitry Kabalevsky, a 20th century Russian classical music composer. He was born in Saint Petersburg in 1904, lived through the revolution and had a long career in music and music education. 

Never heard of Kabalevsky? Me neither, but that's what I love about translation . . . I get to learn about new things all the time. Here are some Kabalevsky facts:

Kabalevsky was a controversial figure in Russian culture. He had been considered among the top five greatest composers but was later included in the list of those accused of “formalism.” In his works, Kabalevsky extolled the objectives and aspirations of the Soviet Union, commemorating the most important events of the life and history of its people. 

The First Symphony, was dedicated to the revolution on its 15th anniversary with a depiction of the Russian people under the czarist regime and then a celebration of the people's rebellion and victory. The Third Symphony (Requiem), was composed for the 10th anniversary of the death of Lenin, in memory of the Soviet heroes who died during the First World War. The work The Taras Family exalts the partisan's fight against the invading Nazis during the Second World War. 

His style harkens back to the tradition of Russian musicians such as Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Borodin, yet he distinguishes himself for his charming and exhilarating melodic vein, rhythmic energy and attention to the folkloric element.

Kabalevsky composed operas, ballets, choral operas, the musical scores for theatrical and radio productions, film soundtracks, four symphonies, concerts, songs and pieces for the piano for young pianists and instrumentalists. He remains famous in the West primarily for the use of his music in teaching.

Please enjoy the upbeat Prelude No. 2, Scherzando


Broot said...

Yes, quite sure I had to do something on him for Music History class. :)

Brittany Anne said...

This is great! I'm currently getting a BA in piano performance, and I'm wanting to focus on Soviet music in grad school. Kabalevsky is one of my favorites! It's nice to see that someone else likes him as well.