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Old October 16th, 2016 #32
Alex Him
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Reinhold Gličre - Symphony No 3 in B minor, "Ilya Muromets", Op. 42 (1911)

"Reinhold Moritzevich Gličre (1875-1956) - (Russian: Ре́йнгольд Мо́рицевич Глиэр; born Reinhold Ernest Glier, which was later converted for standardization purposes) was a Russian/Soviet composer of German-Polish ancestry.

Gličre was born in Kiev. He was the second son of the wind instrument maker Ernst Moritz Glier (1834–1896) from Saxony (Klingenthal), who emigrated to the Russian Empire and married Józefa (Josephine) Korczak (1849–1935), the daughter of his master, from Warsaw. His original name, as given in his baptism certificate, was Reinhold Ernest Glier. About 1900 he changed the spelling and pronunciation of his surname to Gličre, which gave rise to the legend, stated by Leonid Sabaneyev for the first time (1927), of his French or Belgian descent.

He entered the Kiev school of music in 1891, where he was taught violin by Otakar Ševčík, among others. In 1894 Gličre entered the Moscow Conservatory where he studied with Sergei Taneyev (counterpoint), Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (composition), Jan Hřímalý (violin; he dedicated his Octet for Strings, Op. 5, to Hřímalý), Anton Arensky and Georgi Conus (both harmony). He graduated in 1900, having composed a one-act opera Earth and Heaven (after Lord Byron) and received a gold medal in composition. In the following year Gličre accepted a teaching post at the Moscow Gnesin School of Music. Taneyev found two private pupils for him in 1902: Nikolai Myaskovsky and the eleven-year-old Sergei Prokofiev, whom Gličre taught on Prokofiev's parental estate Sontsovka. Gličre studied conducting with Oskar Fried in Berlin from 1905 to 1908. One of his co-students was Serge Koussevitzky, who conducted the premiere of Gličre's Symphony No. 2, Op. 25, on 23 January 1908 in Berlin. Back in Moscow, Gličre returned again to the Gnesin School. In the following years Gličre composed the symphonic poem Sireny, Op. 33 (1908), the programme symphony Ilya Muromets, Op. 42 (1911) and the ballet-pantomime Chrizis, Op. 65 (1912). In 1913 he gained an appointment to the school of music in Kiev, which was raised to the status of conservatory shortly after, as Kiev Conservatory. A year later he was appointed director. In Kiev he taught among others Levko (Lev) Revoutski, Borys Lyatoshynsky and Vladimir Dukelsky.

In 1920 Gličre moved to the Moscow Conservatory where he (intermittently) taught until 1941. Boris Alexandrov, Aram Khachaturian, Alexander Davidenko, Lev Knipper and Alexander Mosolov were some of his pupils from the Moscow era. For some years he held positions in the organization Proletkul't and worked with the People's Commissariat for Education. The theatre was in the centre of his work now. In 1923 Gličre was invited by the Azerbaijan People's Commissariat of Education to come to Baku and compose the prototype of an Azerbaijani national opera. The result of his ethnographical research was the opera Shakh-Senem, now considered the cornerstone of the Soviet-Azerbaijan national opera tradition. Here the musical legacy of the Russian classics from Glinka to Scriabin is combined with folk song material and some symphonic orientalisms. In 1927, inspired by the ballerina Yekaterina Vasilyevna Geltzer (1876–1962), he wrote the music for the ballet Krasny mak (The Red Poppy), later revised, to avoid the connotation of opium, as Krasny tsvetok (The Red Flower, 1955). The Red Poppy was praised "as the first Soviet ballet on a revolutionary subject". Perhaps this is his most famous work in Russia as well as abroad. One number from the score, his arrangement of a Russian folk chastushka song Yablochko ("little apple") consists of an introduction, a basso statement of the theme, and a series of increasingly frenetic variations ending with a powerful orchestral climax. It is identified in the ballet score by its almost equally well-known name, the Russian Sailor's Dance. It is probably his best-known single piece, and is still heard at symphony concerts around the world, frequently as an encore. The ballet-pantomime Chrizis was revised just after The Red Poppy, in the late 1920s, followed by the popular ballet Comedians after Lope de Vega (1931, later re-written and renamed The Daughter from Castile).

After 1917 Gličre never visited the West as some other Soviet composers did. He gave concerts in Siberia and other remote areas of the Soviet Union instead. He was working in Uzbekistan as a "musical development helper" at the end of the 1930s. From this time emerged the "drama with music" Gyulsara and the opera Leyli va Medzhnun, both composed with the Uzbek Talib Sadykov (1907–1957). From 1938 to 1948 Gličre was Chairman of the Organization Committee of the Soviet Composers Association. Before the revolution Gličre had already been honoured three times with the Glinka prize. During his last few years he was very often awarded: Azerbaijan (1934), the Russian Soviet Republic (1936), Uzbekistan (1937) and the USSR (1938) appointed him Artist of the People. The title "Doctor of Art Sciences" was awarded to him in 1941. He won first degree Stalin Prizes: in 1946 (Concerto for Voice and Orchestra), 1948 (Fourth String Quartet), and 1950 (The Bronze Horseman).

As Taneyev's pupil and an 'associated' member of the circle around the Petersburg publisher Mitrofan Belyayev, it appeared Gličre was destined to be a chamber musician. In 1902 Arensky wrote about the Sextet, Op. 1, "one recognizes Taneyev easily as a model and this does praise Gličre". Unlike Taneyev, Gličre felt more attracted to the national Russian tradition as he was taught by Rimsky-Korsakov's pupil Ippolitov-Ivanov. Alexander Glazunov even certified an "obtrusively Russian style" to Gličre's 1st Symphony. The 3rd Symphony Ilya Muromets was a synthesis between national Russian tradition and impressionistic refinement. The premiere was in Moscow in 1912, and it resulted in the award of the Glinka Prize. The symphony depicts in four tableaux the adventures and death of the Russian hero Ilya Muromets. This work was widely performed, in Russia and abroad, and earned him world-wide renown. It became an item in the extensive repertoire of Leopold Stokowski, who made, with Gličre's approval, an abridged version, shortened to around the half the length of the original. Today's cult status of Ilya Muromets is based not least on the pure dimensions of the original 80 minute work, but Ilya Muromets demonstrates the high level of Gličre's artistry. The work has a comparatively modern tonal language, massive Wagnerian instrumentation and long lyrical lines.

Gličre concentrated primarily on composing monumental operas, ballets, and cantatas. His symphonic idiom, which combined broad Slavonic epics with cantabile lyricism, is governed by rich, colourful harmony, bright and well-balanced orchestral colours and perfect traditional forms. Obviously this secured his acceptance by Tsarist and Soviet authorities, at the same time creating resentment from many composers who suffered intensely under the Soviet regime.

Gliere wrote concerti for harp (Op. 74, 1938), coloratura soprano (Op. 82, 1943), cello (Op. 87, 1946, dedicated to Sviatoslav Knushevitsky), and horn (Op. 91, 1951, dedicated to Valery Polekh. Nearly unexplored are Gličre's educational compositions, his chamber works, piano pieces and songs from his time at the Moscow Gnesin School of Music.

He died in Moscow."

"The Symphony No. 3 in B minor "Ilya Muromets", Op. 42, is a large symphonic work by Russian composer Reinhold Gličre. A program symphony, it depicts the life of Kievan Rus' folk hero Ilya Muromets. It was written from 1908 to 1911 and dedicated to Alexander Glazunov. The premier took place in Moscow on 23 March 1912 under Emil Cooper, and in 1914 the piece earned Gličre his third Glinka Award (having already received it in 1905 and 1912).

The symphony lasts 70 to 80 minutes, and is divided into four sections, each depicting an episode from the epic. Gličre wrote an extensive narrative in Russian and French to accompany the score.

I. Wandering Pilgrims: Ilya Muromets and Svyatogor

Two pilgrims tell Ilya to become a bogatyr. The most powerful bogatyr, Svyatogor, bequeaths his strength to Ilya as he dies.

II. Solovei the Brigand

Ilya encounters Solovei the Brigand, a bandit whose whistle can kill. Ilya shoots him in the eye with an arrow and drags his body to the palace of Prince Vladimir.

III. The Palace of Prince Vladimir

Vladimir the Great of Kiev holds a great feast, at which Ilya decapitates Solovei.

IV. The Feats of Valor and the Petrification of Ilya Muromets

Ilya defeats Batygha the Wicked and his army of pagans in a great battle. Ilya and his bogatyrs later encounter two heavenly warriors who multiply each time they are killed; pushed to retreat, Ilya and his men are transformed into stone."

Texts by Wikipedia.

Симфония №3 Си минор "Илья Муромец", Соч. 42 (1911) / Symphony No 3 in B minor, "Ilya Muromets", Op. 42 (1911)

1. Пролог. Илья Муромец и Святогор (Andante sostenuto - Allegro risoluto - Tranqullo misterioso - Tempo I)
2. Соловей разбойник (Andante)
3. Праздник у киевского князя Владимира Красна Солнышка (Allegro - Andante - Allegro)
4. Героическая смерть Ильи Муромца (Allegro tumultuoso - Tranquillo - Giocoso - Poco meno - Maestoso solenne).

1. Wandering Pilgrims: Ilya Muromets and Svyatogor - 0:00
2. Solovei the Brigand - 23:42
3. The Palace of Prince Vladimir - 46:37
4. The Feats of Valor and the Petrification of Ilya Muromets - 54:45

Orchestra: WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Conductor: Neeme Järvi

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