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Old February 23rd, 2016 #21
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Mikhail Glinka - Spanish Overture No. 1 "Capriccio Brilliante on the Jota Aragonesa"







"Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857) - (Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Гли́нка) was the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within his own country, and is often regarded as the fountainhead of Russian classical music. Glinka's compositions were an important influence on future Russian composers and produced a distinctive Russian style of music.

Glinka was the beginning of a new direction in the development of music in Russia. Musical culture arrived in Russia from Europe, and for the first time specifically Russian music began to appear, based on the European music culture, in the operas of the composer Mikhail Glinka. Different historical events were often used in the music, but for the first time they were presented in a realistic manner.

The first to note this new musical direction was Alexander Serov. He was then supported by his friend Vladimir Stasov, who became the theorist of this musical direction.

The modern Russian music critic Viktor Korshikov thus summed up: "There is not the development of Russian musical culture without... three operas – Ivan Soussanine, Ruslan and Ludmila and the Stone Guest have created Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin. Soussanine is an opera, where the main character is the people, Ruslan is the mythical, deeply Russian intrigue, and in Guest, the drama dominates over the softness of the beauty of sound."

Two of these operas – Ivan Soussanine and Ruslan and Ludmila – were composed by Glinka.

Since this time, the Russian culture began to occupy an increasingly prominent place in world culture.

In 1884, Mitrofan Belyayev founded the "Glinka Prize", which was awarded annually. In the first years the winners included Alexander Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Cesar Cui and Anatoly Lyadov.

Outside Russia several of Glinka's orchestral works have been fairly popular in concerts and recordings. Besides the well-known overtures to the operas (especially the brilliantly energetic overture to Ruslan), his major orchestral works include the symphonic poem Kamarinskaya (1848), based on Russian folk tunes, and two Spanish works, A Night in Madrid (1848, 1851) and Jota Aragonesa (1845). Glinka also composed many art songs, many piano pieces, and some chamber music.

A lesser work that received attention in the last decade of the 20th century was Glinka's "The Patriotic Song", supposedly written for a contest for a national anthem in 1833. In 1990, Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted it as the anthem of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, which had been the only one of the Soviet republics without its own anthem. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the hymn was confirmed as the Russian national anthem in 1993; it remained until 2000."

Text by Wikipedia.





Испанская увертюра № 1 «Блестящее каприччио на тему Арагонской хоты» (1845) / Spanish Overture No. 1 "Capriccio Brilliante on the Jota Aragonesa"


Orchestra: Prague Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Jiří Bělohlávek





 
Old March 2nd, 2016 #22
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Alexander Scriabin - Prometheus: The Poem of Fire







"Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin (1872-1915) - (Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Скря́бин) was a Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin, who was influenced by Frédéric Chopin, composed early works that are characterised by tonal language. Later in his career, independently of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system, which accorded with his personal brand of mysticism. Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia, and associated colours with the various harmonic tones of his atonal scale, while his colour-coded circle of fifths was also influenced by theosophy. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.

Scriabin was one of the most innovative and most controversial of early modern composers. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia said of Scriabin that, "No composer has had more scorn heaped on him or greater love bestowed." Leo Tolstoy described Scriabin's music as "a sincere expression of genius." Scriabin had a major impact on the music world over time, and influenced composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and Nikolai Roslavets. However Scriabin's importance in the Soviet musical scene, and internationally, drastically declined. According to his biographer, "No one was more famous during their lifetime, and few were more quickly ignored after death." Nevertheless, his musical aesthetics have been reevaluated, and his ten published sonatas for piano, which arguably provided the most consistent contribution to the genre since the time of Beethoven's set, have been increasingly championed.

Rather than seeking musical versatility, Scriabin was happy to write almost exclusively for solo piano and for orchestra. His earliest piano pieces resemble Frédéric Chopin's and include music in many genres that Chopin himself employed, such as the étude, the prelude, the nocturne, and the mazurka. Scriabin's music progressively evolved over the course of his life, although the evolution was very rapid and especially brief when compared to most composers. Aside from his earliest pieces, the mid- and late-period pieces use very unusual harmonies and textures.

The development of Scriabin's style can be traced in his ten piano sonatas: the earliest are composed in a fairly conventional late-Romantic manner and reveal the influence of Chopin and sometimes Franz Liszt, but the later ones are very different, the last five being written without a key signature. Many passages in them can be said to be atonal, though from 1903 through 1908, "tonal unity was almost imperceptibly replaced by harmonic unity."

Text by Wikipedia.


"Aleksandr Nikolaevich Scriabin once boasted that, “only my music expresses the inexpressible.
A Russian composer, Scriabin (also Skriabin and Skryabin) was one of the founding fathers of modernism in music. With his ten sonatas he conjured a whole new dimension of colors, textures and expression with breathtaking skill. Scriabin’s works hint at what new worlds he may have conquered. Although we can only ponder what might have been in his all too brief life, we may rejoice in the glorious music that poured from his fervent mind before his untimely death at the age of 43.

Scriabin’s music contains eroticism although he preferred to call it ecstasy. He envisioned that the end of the world would, in fact, be a grandiose sexual act - a universal orgy. Like Elgar (an English composer) and Britten (an English composer, conductor and pianist), he wanted everyone to agree with him and he promoted cults and aspects of spiritualism (some of which were exposed as fraudulent) that were dangerous doctrines. He was a cult figure himself. During his lifetime, Scriabin was not thought of as a composer but a pianist. Stravinsky said that his only ability was his phenomenal playing. The pianist Vasily Safonov adored him and called him Russia’s Chopin. Scriabin’s style, like Beethoven and Schönberg, and unlike Mozart or Brahms, changed enormously as he progressed. His early works were romantic, fresh and easily accessible, while his later compositions explored the farthest reaches of harmony."

http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-...andr-scriabin/





Прометей (Поэма огня). Соч. 60 / Prometheus: The Poem of Fire. Op. 60



Orchestra: Yale Symphony Orchestra
music director: Toshiyuki Shimada
piano: Dan Schlosberg
conductor choir and orchestra: Stephen Mulligan
Scriabin scholar: Anna Gawboy
lighting designer: Justin Townsend



A music starts at 9:45.





 
Old March 2nd, 2016 #23
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Pyotr Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 3, Op. 29





Симфония №3, Соч. 29 / Symphony No. 3, Op. 29



1. Introduzione e allegro - 00:00
2. Alla tedesca. Allegro moderato e semplice - 14:00
3. Andante elegiaco - 21:18
4. Scherzo. Allegro vivo - 33:47
5. Finale. Allegro con fuoco - 39:44



Orchestra: The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the USSR
Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov





 
Old March 8th, 2016 #24
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Sergei Rachmaninoff - Études-Tableaux, Op. 39







"Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) - (Russian: Серге́й Васи́льевич Рахма́нинов) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of all time and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music.

Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and his use of rich orchestral colors. The piano is featured prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, and through his own skills as a performer he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument."


"The Études-Tableaux ("study pictures"), Op. 39 is the second set of piano études composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The Op. 39 set comprises nine études.

The Op. 39 set of Études-Tableaux, written between 1916 and 1917 and published in 1917, was the last substantial composition written by Rachmaninoff in Russia."

Texts by Wikipedia.





Этюды-картины, Соч. 39 - (1917) / Études-Tableaux, Op. 39 - (1917)



No.1 - 00:00
No.2 - 03:06
No.3 - 09:51
No.4 - 12:58
No.5 - 16:49
No.6 - 22:30
No.7 - 25:05
No.8 - 36:22
No.9 - 39:37




piano: Idil Biret





 
Old March 13th, 2016 #25
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Alexander Dargomyzhsky - "Bolero" and "Baba-Yaga"







"Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky (1813-1869) - (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Даргомы́жский) was a 19th-century Russian composer.

He was already known as a talented musical amateur when in 1833 he met Mikhail Glinka and was encouraged to devote himself to composition. His opera Esmeralda (libretto by composer, based on Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame) was composed in 1839 (performed 1847), and his Rusalka was performed in 1856; but he had little success or recognition either at home or abroad, except in Belgium, until the 1860s, when he became the elder statesman.

His last opera, The Stone Guest, is his most famous work, known as a pioneering effort in melodic recitative. With the orchestration and the end of the first scene left incomplete at his death, it was finished by César Cui and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. It was premiered in 1872, but never became a lasting standard operatic repertoire item.

Dargomyzhsky also left some unfinished opera projects, among them an attempted setting of Pushkin's Poltava, from which a duet survives. Besides operas, his other compositions include numerous songs, piano pieces, and some orchestral works."

Text by Wikipedia.





"Болеро" / "Bolero"


Orchestra: The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the USSR
Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov









"Баба-Яга" / "Baba-Yaga"


"In Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga is a supernatural being who appears as a deformed and/or ferocious-looking woman. Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar, wields a pestle, and dwells deep in the forest in a hut usually described as standing on chicken legs (or sometimes a single chicken leg). Baba Yaga may help or hinder those that encounter or seek her out. She sometimes plays a maternal role, and also has associations with forest wildlife. According to Vladimir Propp's folktale morphology, Baba Yaga commonly appears as either a donor or villain, or may be altogether ambiguous.

Andreas Johns identifies Baba Yaga as "one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in Slavic European folklore," and observes that she is "enigmatic" and often exhibits "striking ambiguity."

Text by Wikipedia.




Orchestra: State Academic Symphony Orchestra St. Petersburg
Conductor: Stanislav Kochanovsky




 
Old March 13th, 2016 #26
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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - A symphonic suite "Scheherazade", Op. 35



"Scheherazade (Russian: Шехерaзада), Op. 35, is a symphonic suite composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888 and based on One Thousand and One Nights, sometimes known as The Arabian Nights. This orchestral work combines two features typical of Russian music and of Rimsky-Korsakov in particular: dazzling, colorful orchestration and an interest in the East, which figured greatly in the history of Imperial Russia, as well as orientalism in general. It is considered Rimsky-Korsakov's most popular work."

Text by Wikipedia.





Симфоническая сюита "Шехеразада", Соч. 35 / A symphonic suite "Scheherazade", Op. 35



I. The Sea and Sinbad's Ship - 00:00
II. The Kalender Prince - 11:21
III. The Young Prince and the Young Princess - 24:00
IV. Festival at Baghdad - The Sea - 35:54




Violin: John Georgiadis
Orchestra: The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the USSR
Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov




 
Old March 29th, 2016 #27
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Igor Stravinsky - Ballet "The Firebird"







"Igor Stravinsky (Игорь Стравинский) was born 17 June 1882 in Oranienbaum (Lomonosov), Russia. The Russian composer is considered by many to be the most influential composer of the 20th century and was even named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Stravinsky is most famous for his three ballets, “The Firebird,” “Petrushka” and “The Rite of Spring” (the latter causing huge controversy). Most importantly, he was noted for constantly reinventing music and being an overall musical revolutionary, sometimes offending people with his drastic ideas along the way.

However, he was also an accomplished pianist and conductor, often leading orchestras in the premieres of his new works.

Stravinsky’s father wanted his son to pursue a career in law, which, at first, Stravinsky did, enrolling at the University of St. Petersburg. However, with the passing of his father and his burgeoning interest in music he finished with only a half-diploma and starting taking music lessons from the great Rimsky-Korsakov.

In 1906, Stravinsky married his cousin Katerina Nossenko and had two children.

The Russian composer got his first break in 1909 when his ballet “Fireworks” premiered in St. Petersburg. The famous director of the Ballets Russes in Paris, Sergey Diaghilev, was so impressed that he commissioned Stravinsky to compose a full-length ballet.

Stravinsky traveled to Paris in 1910 to attend the premiere of the ballet “The Firebird.” His family soon decided to join him and went on to spend a great deal of time in the West. After a brief return to Russia in 1914, Stravinsky did not return to his native homeland for 50 years.

In was in 1913 that Stravinsky composed his most famous and controversial piece of music. “The Rite of Spring” (Russian: Весна Священная or “Sacred Spring”) was a piece based on old Russian pagan traditions. The work was very primitive rhythmically and featured dissonant chords that the famous conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein called the most imaginative anyone has ever thought up.

The first performance, which featured incredibly difficult ballet movements, is said to have caused a riot in Paris. Police were summoned to the scene to restore order after fistfights were reported to have broken out among members of the audience.

Stravinsky said of the performance: "As for the actual performance, I am not in a position to judge, as I left the auditorium at the first bars of the prelude, which had at once evoked derisive laughter. I was disgusted. These demonstrations, at first isolated, soon became general, provoking counter-demonstrations and very quickly developing into a terrific uproar.”

Today, the piece is played often by orchestras around the world, along with his other famous ballets.

After the death of his mother, first daughter and wife from tuberculosis in 1939, and the outbreak of World War II that same year, Stravinsky moved to the United States and settled in Los Angeles. His second wife, Vera de Bosset, followed him the next year.

He ended up spending more time in Los Angeles than in any other city and became a naturalized US citizen in 1946.

During this time, many writers, musicians and composers were also settling in the area including Otto Klemperer, Thomas Mann, Arthur Rubinstein and Arnold Schoenberg. Stravinsky lived fairly close to Schoenberg, and while not becoming close with the composer, used his 12-tone system in a number of late compositions.

Stravinsky settled well into the Los Angeles cultural scene, guest-conducting concerts for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other orchestras around the country.

The revolutionary composer cemented his status as such when he was arrested in Boston in 1940 for re-harmonizing the United States national anthem. According to a federal law, changing the harmony is illegal.

Finally in 1962, Stravinsky returned to the Soviet Union for a series of concerts in St. Petersburg (Leningrad at the time). He met with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who tried, to no avail, to convince him to stay in his homeland.

Stravinsky spent the last three years of his life in New York where he died at the age of 88 on 6 April 1971.

Stravinsky was posthumously given a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1987 and even has a star on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Picasso was also a fan of Stravinsky and made several sketches of the composer.

Overall Stravinsky was considered one of the most educated composers and had a never-ending desire to learn more about life and art. His personal library in Los Angeles had about ten thousand books.

While acquiring a reputation as a lady’s man, he was also devoted to his family and was a lifelong member of the Russian Orthdox Church, saying at one point: "Music praises God. Music is well or better able to praise him than the building of the church and all its decoration; it is the Church's greatest ornament."

http://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-...or-stravinsky/




"The Firebird

The ballet centers on the journey of its hero, Prince Ivan. While hunting in the forest, he strays into the magical realm of Koschei the Immortal, whose immortality is preserved by keeping his soul in a magic egg hidden in a casket. Ivan chases and captures the Firebird and is about to kill her; she begs for her life and he spares her. As a token of thanks she offers him an enchanted feather which he can use to summon her should he be in dire need.

Prince Ivan then meets thirteen princesses who are under the spell of Koschei and falls in love with one of them. The next day, Ivan confronts the magician and eventually they begin quarrelling. When Koschei sends his minions after Ivan, he summons the Firebird. She intervenes, bewitching the monsters and making them dance an elaborate, energetic dance (the "Infernal Dance"). The creatures and Koschei then fall into a deep sleep. While they sleep, the Firebird directs Ivan to a tree stump where the casket with the egg containing Koschei's soul is hidden. Ivan destroys the egg and with the spell broken, the magical creatures that Koschei held captive are freed and the palace disappears. All of the "real" beings, including the princesses, awaken and with one final hint of the Firebird's music, celebrate their victory."

Text by Wikipedia.





Балет "Жар-птица" / Ballet "The Firebird"



I. Introduction
II. The Enchanted Garden of Kastchei
III. Appearance of the Firebird, Pursued by Prince Ivan
IV. Dance of the Firebird
V. Capture of the Firebird by Prince Ivan
VI. Supplication of the Firebird
VII. Appearance of the Thirteen Enchanted Princesses
VIII. The Princesses' Game with the Golden Apples. Scherzo
IX. Sudden Appearance of Prince Ivan
X. Khorovod (Round Dance) of the Princesses
XI. Daybreak
XII. Prince Ivan Penetrates Kastchei's Palace
XIII. Magic Carillon, Appearance of Kastchei's Monster Guardians, and Capture of Prince Ivan
XIV. Arrival of Kastchei the Immortal
XV. Dialogue of Kastchei and Prince Ivan
XVI. Intercession of the Princesses
XVII. Appearance of the Firebird
XVIII. Dance of Kastchei' Retinue, Enchanted by the Firebird
XIX. Infernal Dance of All Kastchei's Subjects
XX. Lullaby
XXI. Kastchei's Awakening
XXII. Kastchei's Death
XXIII. Profound Darkness
XXIV. Disappearance of Kastchei's Palace and Magical Creations, Return to Life of the Petrified Knights, General Rejoicing





 
Old March 29th, 2016 #28
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Nicolai Myaskovsky - Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 23





Симфония № 6 ми-бемоль минор Соч. 23 - (1921-1923) / Symphony No. 6 in E flat minor, Op. 23 - (1921-1923)


I. Poco largamente. Allegro feroce
II. Presto tenebroso
III. Andante appassionato
IV. Molto vivace



Orchestra: London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra
Conductor: Vladimir Jurowski





 
Old April 21st, 2016 #29
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Anatoly Lyadov - A symphonic picture for orchestra "From the Apocalypse", Op. 66







"Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov or Liadov (1855-1914) - (Russian: Анато́лий Константи́нович Ля́дов) was a Russian composer, teacher and conductor.

He taught at the St. Petersburg Conservatory from 1878, his pupils including Sergei Prokofiev, Nikolai Myaskovsky, Mikhail Gnesin, Lazare Saminsky and Boris Asafyev.

While Lyadov's technical facility was highly regarded by his contemporaries, his unreliability stood in the way of his advancement. His published compositions are relatively few through his natural indolence and a certain self-critical lack of confidence. Many of his works are variations on or arrangements of pre-existing material (for example his Russian Folksongs, Op. 58). He did compose a large number of piano miniatures, of which his Musical Snuffbox of 1893 is perhaps most famous.

Like many of his contemporaries, Lyadov was drawn to intensely Russian subjects. Much of his music is programmatic; for example his tone poems Baba Yaga Op. 56, Kikimora Op. 63, The Enchanted Lake Op. 62. These short tone poems, probably his most popular works, exhibit an exceptional flair for orchestral tone color. In his later compositions he experimented with extended tonality, like his younger contemporary Alexander Scriabin.

It has been argued that Lyadov never completed a large-scale work. However, many of his miniatures have their place in the repertory."

Text by Wikipedia.





Симфоническая картина для оркестра "Из Апокалипсиса", Соч. 66 (1910-1912) / A symphonic picture for orchestra "From the Apocalypse", Op. 66 (1910-1912)



Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic
Conductor: Vassily Sinaisky





Lyadov prefaced it with three verses from the biblical - Revelation of St John the Divine:

"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and left foot on the earth. and he cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices."





 
Old April 21st, 2016 #30
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Mily Balakirev - Ouverture on three russian songs





Увертюра на темы трёх русских песен (1858) / Ouverture on three russian songs (1858)



Orchestra: The State Academic Symphony Orchestra of the USSR
Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov





 
Old September 6th, 2016 #31
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Alexander Glazunov - Symphonic picture for orchestra "The Kremlin", Op. 30





Симфоническая картина для оркестра "Кремль", Соч. 30 (1890) / Symphonic picture for orchestra "The Kremlin", Op. 30 (1890)



I. Popular Festival [0:00]
II. In the Cloister [8:11]
III. The Entrance and the Coronation of the Prince [18:14]



Orchestra: Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Konstantin Krimets





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







"Reinhold Moritzevich Glière (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.

Glière 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 Glière, 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 Glière 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 Glière 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 Glière taught on Prokofiev's parental estate Sontsovka. Glière studied conducting with Oskar Fried in Berlin from 1905 to 1908. One of his co-students was Serge Koussevitzky, who conducted the premiere of Glière's Symphony No. 2, Op. 25, on 23 January 1908 in Berlin. Back in Moscow, Glière returned again to the Gnesin School. In the following years Glière 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 Glière 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 Glière 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 Glière 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 Glière was Chairman of the Organization Committee of the Soviet Composers Association. Before the revolution Glière 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 Glière 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 Glière". Unlike Taneyev, Glière 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 Glière'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 Glière'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 Glière's artistry. The work has a comparatively modern tonal language, massive Wagnerian instrumentation and long lyrical lines.

Glière 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 Glière'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 Glière. 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 Glière 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. Glière 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





Paintings - http://vnnforum.com/showpost.php?p=2...&postcount=211
http://vnnforum.com/showpost.php?p=2054291&postcount=76
Cartoon - http://vnnforum.com/showpost.php?p=1948718&postcount=31






 
Old October 16th, 2016 #33
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Sergei Prokofiev - A children's tale for narrator and orchestr "Peter and the Wolf", Op. 67 - (1935)





Симфоническая сказка для детей с чтецом и оркестром "Петя и волк", Соч. 67 - (1935) / A children's tale for narrator and orchestr "Peter and the Wolf", Op. 67 - (1935)




Orchestra: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Bramwell Tovey




 
Old August 9th, 2017 #34
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Pyotr Tchaikovsky - The ballet Swan Lake











Ballet in the performance of The Kremlin Ballet theatre - http://kremlinpalace.org/en/content/event





Swan Lake

Ballet in two acts

Act One
The garden before the Princess Mother’s castle. Young people are making merry on the lawns. The Fool’s amusing capers give way to the dances of young maidens and their admirers. The Princess Mother tells her son, Prince Siegfried, that tomorrow at the ball he must choose his bride-to-be from among the young girls who will be present. Siegfried remains indifferent to his mother’s words.
Left on his own as dusk begins to gather, the Prince dreams of a girl he can truly love. His friends invite him to take part in a night-time hunt. The prince notices a flock of swans flying overhead and he follows the noble birds deep into the forest.
The Evil Genius, Rothbart, inhabits the ruins of a gloomy castle, on the shores of a mysterious lake. Beautiful swan-maidens float serenely on the waters of the lake then, emerging on to the shore, they circle in a graceful round dance. Siegfried is very taken by one of the maidens – Odette. Her tale of how Rothbart’s sorcery had turned them into swans touches him. Only disinterested love can lift the spell. At daybreak, the maidens become swans again and float away.

Act Two
The ball at the Princess Mother’s castle. The time has come for the Prince to choose his bride from the young girls who have been invited specially for this purpose. But he is nowhere to be seen. The brides-to-be are disconcerted. The Fool starts his comical capers. Siegfried appears. Remembering his oath, he turns his back on the young girls. The Evil Genius Rothbart and his daughter Odile, who bears a striking resemblance to Odette, appear among the guests. Mistaking Odile for his loved one, the Prince announces that she is his bride-to-be. Siegfried has broken his vow. Pointing to Odette who is now visible in the distance, the triumphant sorcerer vanishes together with his daughter.
In the course of the gloomy and uneasy night, the grief-stricken Odette tells her friends about Siegfried’s treachery. The swan-maidens now lose all hope of being liberated. Siegfried comes running in. He has kept his promise – it was just he mistook Odile for Odette. A furious Rothbart summons the forces of nature. A storm gets up, lightening flashes, huge waves toss the lovers to and fro, concealing them in their depths.
But nothing can destroy Odette and Siegfried’s pure, youthful love or force them to part. The Evil Genius has been overcome, his evil powers are shattered.

The text was taken from - http://kremlinpalace.org/en/events/swan-lake-7
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Old August 12th, 2017 #35
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Pyotr Tchaikovsky - The ballet Sleeping Beauty










Ballet in the performance of The Kremlin Ballet theatre - http://kremlinpalace.org/en/content/event





Sleeping Beauty

Ballet in three acts with prologue


Prologue

In a palace of king Florestan the christening of Princess Aurora is celebrated.

Master of the Ceremonies Catalabute checks the list of the invitations sent to magic fairies and visitors.

Everything is ready for starting the ceremony.

They hear the sounds of pipes. King and Queen welcome the guests. Wet-nurses bring a cradle with newborn princess Aurora. Catalabute declares arrival of kind fairies.

There is a fairy of the Lilac, main Godmother of Princess Aurora. She is surrounded by fairies and pages. Fairies present the newborn their gifts which are to make the princess beautiful and gentle, quick and carefree, generous and courageous. The fairy of the Lilac approaches to a cradle to bring and her gift.

Strange noise is heard. Powerful and malicious fairy Karabos arrives. Catalabute is in despair as he could make such awful miss forgetting to send the invitation to her. King and Queen are excited: the mistake can cause many misfortunes in destiny of their child.

Karabos appears accompanied by ugly retinue. Vainly King and Queen are sorry about the terrible old woman. It has decided to revenge. Karabos pulls out some hair from Catalabute’s head and bears her verdict to Aurora: Yes, she will be the most beautiful, the most seductive and womanly, cleverest of all the princesses in the world. But, having pricked a spindle, she will fall asleep, and her dream will be eternal. King, Queen and all court are shaken.

The fairy of the Lilac calms everyone, in fact she had no time to bring her gift yet and her word is the last: Aurora will fall asleep, as that was wished by fairy Karabos, but not for ever. Some day the young prince fascinated by her beauty, will awaken her from a long dream with a kiss and Aurora will become his wife. Enraged Karabos leaves in her chariot, and kind magicians surround a cradle.


1 act

There is celebration in the park of the palace of king Florestan. Princess Aurora attained her majority. During the preparations Catalabute notices peasant girls, amusing themselves by knitting on spokes. He orders the guard to arrest them. In fact spindles, needles and knitting spokes are the subjects forbidden by the decree of King.

In the park there are King and Queen accompanied by court and four princes, applicants for a hand of princess Aurora. Frightened peasant girls beg for mercy.

Catalabute declares the reason of arrest and shows material evidences. King Florestan in anger, he orders to execute the peasant girls and Catalabute with them for infringement of his decree. Court and princes ask to spare the guilty in case of the holiday. King is unshakable. And only entreaty of Queen touches his heart. The girls are pardoned and released from custody.

Princess Aurora appears. Four princes are amazed by her beauty. King and Queen persuade the daughter to choose the groom. Aurora cheerfully dances with young men, but does not choose anybody – she is still so young.

Suddenly in a crowd Aurora notices the old woman who beats the rhythm with a spindle. The old woman gives her the spindle and Aurora starts to dance with it. Unexpectedly dance interrupts, princess in horror looks at her hand pricked with a spindle and faints.

The old woman dumps the raincoat and everyone see fairy Karabos. With devil laughter she disappears.

There comes fairy of the Lilac, she consoles the parents; their daughter will sleep for hundred years but nothing will be changed for her happiness. Everyone will fall asleep together with her. The sleeping princess is carried to the palace, and everyone fall asleep.


2 act

Prince Desire is hunting in a wood. On a lawn the retinue entertains him dancing. Desire has a presentiment about the important events in his life. On the river floats nacreous boat.

The fairy of the Lilac descends from it. On a wave of a magic wand of the Fairy there appears a vision of sleeping Aurora. Beams of sunset lighten her with pink light.

Prince Desire falls in love with a vision of young Aurora and is ready to follow the Fairy of the Lilac. The vision disappears, but in a sole of Prince reins the image of young beauty.

Prince kneels before the Fairy and begs her to show the way to Aurora. The magician conducts him to the boat which immediately starts.

At night the moon decorates with silvery light the boat, the Fairy of the Lilac and Prince who aspires to Aurora.

We see the castle of the Sleeping beauty. On a bed under the canopy princess Aurora sleeps. She dreams about fine Prince coming to wake her, and she falls in love with him.

The fairy of the Lilac and Prince Desire come nearer to the lock. Karabos and her retinue guard a dream of Princess Aurora, but nothing can stop Prince in his quest for his beloved. Prince Desire runs up to a sleeping Aurora and kisses her. Sorcery of malicious Karabos disappears: princess Aurora wakes up, and all court with her. The dust and a web dissipate, candles illuminate the room. Prince proposes to Aurora. King connects the hands of Desire and his daughter.


3 act

Wedding of Aurora and Desire. In the palace everything is ready for ball.
The heroes of fairy tales are invited: the Cat in Boots and the White Kitty, the Blue Bird and Princess of Florin, Red Hat and the Grey Wolf, the Cinderella and Prince Fortune. Everyone dance and have fun. It is the celebration of the victory of Good over the Harm.

The text was taken from - http://kremlinpalace.org/en/events/sleeping-beauty-6
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Old August 24th, 2017 #36
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Modest Mussorgsky - Triumphal March The Capture of Kars





Торжественный марш "Взятие Карса" (1880) / Triumphal March The Capture of Kars (1880)



The conductor was Yvegeny Svetlanov,
USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra.





About The Capture of Kars - https://vnnforum.com/showpost.php?p=...&postcount=219





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Old August 30th, 2017 #37
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Tikhon Khrennikov - Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra, Op. 14 - (1959)





"Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov (1913-2007) - (Russian: Тихон Николaевич Хренников) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist, and leader of the Union of Soviet Composers, who was also known for his political activities. He wrote three symphonies, four piano concertos, two violin concertos, two cello concertos, operas, operettas, ballets, chamber music, incidental music and film music.

During the 1930s, Khrennikov was already being hailed as a leading official Soviet composer. In 1948, Andrei Zhdanov, the leader of the anti-formalism campaign, nominated Khrennikov as Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers. He held this influential post until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Tikhon Khrennikov was the youngest of ten children, born into a family of horse traders in the town of Yelets, Oryol Governorate, Russian Empire (now in Lipetsk Oblast in central Russia).

He learned guitar and mandolin from members of his family and sang in a local choir in Yelets. There he also played in a local orchestra and learned the piano. As a teenager he moved to Moscow. From 1929 to 1932, he studied composition at the Gnessin State Musical College under Mikhail Gnessin and Yefraim Gelman. From 1932 to 1936, he attended the Moscow Conservatory. There he studied composition under Vissarion Shebalin and piano under Heinrich Neuhaus. As a student, he wrote and played his Piano Concerto No. 1, and his graduation piece was the Symphony No. 1. His first symphony was conducted by Leopold Stokowski. He became popular with the series of songs and serenades that he composed for the 1936 production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow.

Having "adopted the optimistic, dramatic and unabashedly lyrical style favored by Soviet leaders", Khrennikov shot to fame in 1941, with the "Song of Moscow" ("Свинарка и пастух", meaning "Swineherd and Shepherd") from his music score for the popular Soviet film They Met in Moscow, for which he was awarded the Stalin Prize. In 1941, Khrennikov was appointed Music Director of the Central Theatre of the Red Army, a position he would keep for 25 years.

In 1947 he joined the Communist party and became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet.

In 1948, Joseph Stalin appointed Khrennikov Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers, a job he would keep until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 when the Union of Soviet Composers was disbanded.

Khrennikov was a Member of Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the 1950s on. From 1962, he was a representative in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

In his last years, Khrennikov made extremely negative statements about Perestroika, its leaders, the fall of the Soviet Union and the liquidation of corresponding structures:

"It was a betrayal by our leaders. I consider Gorbachev and his henchmen, who deliberately organised persecution of Soviet art, to be traitors to the party and the people [...]".

Khrennikov's memoirs were published in 1994 after the fall of the Soviet Union. He died in Moscow aged 94 and is buried near his parents' tomb in his native town of Yelets."

The text was taken from Wikipedia.





Концерт №1 для скрипки и оркестра C dur, Соч. 14 - (1959) / Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra, Op. 14 - (1959)

1. Allegro con brio (0:00)

2. Andante espressivo (8:10)

3. Allegro agitato (13:40)





Violoniste is Vadim Repin
Conductor: Evgeny Svetlanov (?)





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Old October 14th, 2018 #38
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0:15-6:05 - Dmitri Shostakovich - Festive Overture in A major, for orchestra, Op. 96 (1954)

6:17-9:38 - Rodion Shchedrin - Maidens' Round Dance from the ballet "The Little Humpbacked Horse" (1956)

9:54-15:20 - Tikhon Khrennikov - Adagio from the ballet "A Hussar Ballad", Op. 25 (1978)

15:33-18:02 - Aram Khachaturian - Lezginka [a Caucasian dance] from Suite from ballet Gayane No. 1 (1943)

18:14-20:30 - Aram Khachaturian - Sabre Dance from the ballet Gayane (1939–1941)

20:41-22:23 - Sergei Prokofiev - Gavotte [a French dance] from Symphony No. 1 (“Classical”), Op.25

22:33-24:15 - Sergei Prokofiev - March from opera The Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33





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Old October 17th, 2018 #39
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The symphony starts at 10:35.





Excerpt from Introductory speech by the conductor Evgeny Svetlanov:

There are thousands of beautiful works in world music. In order to listen to them, a few human lives would not be enough. Among them there are less known works, but there are well-known works. There are favorite works. Among these favorite works are outstanding works. Among outstanding works there are great works. Among the great works there are the greatest works. Symphony No. 6 of Pyotr Tchaikovsky is such the greatest work.

The fate of this symphony was very interesting. The composer created it at the very end of his life. And for the first time he conducted on this symphony 10 days before his death. Only 10 days ago, the Perterburg public saw Tchaikovsky, but he looked rather bad, like too old for his age… I would not like to talk about it today.

Another thing is important. This symphony at its first performance was not accepted at all by the public. People in the hall are numb, they did not know how to react to this music. It was so new to them and was so unheard of new and unlike anything they just got confused. Or they were under such a strong impression from the symphony that they did not want to applaud. This happens sometimes too.

And now we, too, often listen and perform this symphony and, as a rule, after it we don’t want to show any emotions. And as listeners, we want to sit in a chair, immerse ourselves in our thoughts, and soon as soon as we can be alone. And for the manifestation of turbulent enthusiasm, we have no internal reasons. Although the shock from the symphony is so great that it would be possible to express it all externally, but we do not want to express it.

However, contemporaries show that the symphony was not understood by the public. And indeed, even now, every time rehearsing this work, which is well known to every musician, and even more so to the orchestral musician, it still causes great difficulties at rehearsals. I can not even understand what is the reason of this phenomenon.

It is always painfully difficult to prepare it for performance. Therefore, getting great gratification from working on this opus at the same time you experience tremendous performing difficulties every time. This stimulates the constant search for. And this is correct because in such bottomless opuses, the depth of which is equal to an artesian well, and maybe even exceeds it, as in oil wells in our North. Such a bottomless opus requires total commitment. This is directly related to conductors and musicians.

Let's return to the history of the symphony. For the first time, this symphony did not receive the special attention of public. However, soon after Tchaikovsky’s death, when the conductor was Edward Napravnik, the symphony was immediately classified by the public as a great opus. Such a metamorphosis occurred with the symphony. It began to be regarded as an unattainable masterpiece.

Let's try to figure it out. The symphony of course was autobiographical. There are times when the great creator reflects in his works those phenomena that are not yet realized by him. And probably the premonition of death, the unawareness of death, some fluids that were born in the human body and psyche (I don’t want to go into mysticism), but still we cannot close our eyes to the fact that Tchaikovsky wrote a symphony before his death. So there were some grounds that still could not was fully revealed, because this symphony shocks me with its tragic elements.

I believe that the symphony is the most characteristic work by Tchaikovsky. This specificity lies in the struggle between two principles: light and dark, good and evil. All of Tchaikovsky’s music about this dialectic, about this his operas, poems, ballets, symphonies, sonatas and romances. Good and Evil going along in the course of life and forever colliding with each other. This is the dialectic of life, this is what we are born with and what we die with.





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Old December 15th, 2018 #40
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America First sent me this link





"A thrilling orchestral suite by Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, based on music from the 1895 opera of the same name. The plot of the opera follows the short story "Christmas Eve" from Nikolai Gogol's "Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka".



A cartoon - https://vnnforum.com/showpost.php?p=...5&postcount=51

Movies - https://vnnforum.com/showpost.php?p=...8&postcount=43





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