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In den Stunden des Neumonds

By Grindenko

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By Grindenko, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbruecken, and Heinz Holliger. By Nikolaj Roslavec. Listening CD. Wergo #WER 62072. Published by Wergo (NX.WER-62072).

Item Number: NX.WER-62072

It is almost impossible to find an important event or decision in the life of the Russian composer Nikolai Roslavets that was not intimately connected to the social conditions and political upheavals of his homeland. Having an important position at the state music publishing house in Moscow, he was a determined champion of the music of Western composers such as Schoenberg and Stravinsky. But after 1929 the political situation grew darker and he was forced to denounce his earlier artistic convictions, years of extreme isolation followed. All of his later work remained unpublished.

The musicologist Marina Lobanova rediscovered the score of the composer's Violin Concerto No. 1 in the archives and reconstructed Roslavets's symphonic composition "In den Stunden des Neumonds" ("In the Hours of New Moon"), which shed new light on a little-known period of musical history.

Both works on this CD were first performed not before 1989 and 1990 - more than forty-five years after the composer's death. The poetic title "In the Hours of the New Moon" could probably be a synonym for the beginning of a new time for music. Roslavets shows himself to be adept at a kind of music which is flowing and concerned with elements of color, music which is less interested in the delineation of continuous formal contours than with an abundance of magnificent musical figures. The Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra of 1925 was first performed in its original orchestral form in 1989, whereas during Roslavets's lifetime there was only a piano reduction available.

Tatyana Grindenko, born in the Ukainian city of Charkow, who has been awarded numerous national and international prizes played the world premiere in Moscow of the Violin Concerto No. 1 in the version for full orchestra presented on this CD. She has since given this work its first performance in most of the European countries, with concerts in Saarbrucken, London, Basle, Helsinki and Milan.

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