Alexander Mosolov

Alexander Mosolov was born in the lawyers's family in Kiev in 1900. Since 1903 he lived in Moscow. His mother was a singer and his stepfather was a painter. Their house was a place where Moscow artistic people gathered, including R. Gliere.

Mosolov was a student of the lyceum in the center of Moscow. In 1918 he volunteered to the cavalry regimen of the Red Army. In 1921he was accepted to the Moscow Conservatory to the Gliere's class of free composition, later he was a student in Myaskovsky's class.

During his Conservatory years he composed several romances, four piano sonatas. In 1925 he became a member of the Association of Modern Music. In his prime, in 1926-28, his work was devoted to the ideas of the new, modern music, including constructivism. His music was often performed in Moscow. The members of his family, himself, his mother, and his wife, E. Kolobova, a pianist, were famous in Moscow for performing the Russian avant-garde music.

During those years his best works were composed and performed: Piano concerto no. 1 for small orchestra (1927), a symphonic episode Factory. Music of machines (1926-28); vocal pieces Three children's sketches (1926), Four newspaper announcements (1926). However many of Mosolov's works were never performed in his life-time (e.g., the First String Quartet, a chamber opera A Hero (1928). Many of his early works were lost.

In 1927, Mosolov became a target for the persecution by the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians (RAPM). His works were not performed and/or published any more. In November 1937, Mosolov was arrested, condemned in the anti-soviet propaganda and sent to GULAG. A letter written to M. Kalinin (Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR) by Mosolov's teachers Gliere and Myaskovsky in his support may have helped his liberation in August 1938. In November 1942, Mosolov returned to Moscow. During these years he composed two operas (A Signal (1941), Masquerade (circa 1944), concertos for harp and cello, several symphonies, etc.

After 1949, the genre of his composition had changed. His acquaintance with N. Meshko, who was an artistic director of the Northern Folklore Choir, drove his attention to the compositions for choirs. His last large work was the Fifth symphony for large orchestra (1965) dedicated to Meshko.

Alexander Mosolov died in Moscow in 1973

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1925 Piano Sonata No 4 Opus 11 4.00 stars  5 CD
Comments:
Daniele Lombardi - Piano
Comments:
Rusudan Khuntsarya - Piano
1925 Sonata for Piano no 4 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Piano version

Vladimir Soupel - Piano

1925 Piano Sonata No 5 Opus 12 4.00 stars  5 CD
Arthur Bliss Comments:
Daniele Lombardi - Piano
Comments:
Rusudan Khuntsarya - Piano
1926 Two Nocturnes Opus 15 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Rusudan Khuntsarya - Piano
1926 Four Newspaper Adds Opus 21 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
From state newspaper Yzvestiya: Four add's - or is that a too capitalist name to call them. Maybe announcements?

1. Leeches for sale.
2. Missing dog
3 The announcement from a stutterer, who has changed his name to an easier to pronounce one.
4. A trade add from a mice and rat exterminator. 25 years op expierence!

Nelly Lee - Soprano
USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra cond. Gennady Rozhdestvensky

1926 String Quartet No 1 opus 24 4.00 stars 5 CD
Arthur Bliss Comments:
Novosibirsk String Quartet
1926 Three Childern's Scenes Opus 18 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Mama, give me a needle
Zzz - Zzz - Zzz , the spinning top (bromtol?) is broken
A-a! Babushka!

Words by Mosolov Orchestration by Denisov (1981)

Nelly Lee - Soprano
USSR Orchestra Solist Ensemble cond. Gennady Rozhdestvensky

1926-1927 Concerto No 1 for Piano and small Orchestra 4.50 stars CD
Comments:
Rusudan Khuntsarya - Piano
USSR Symphony Orchestra cond. Vladimir Kozhukhar
1926-1928 Iron Foundry (Zavod) Opus 19 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

This short, powerful piece from the ballet Stal (Steel) of 1928 is an exacting portrait of heavy industry against an emotional background of noble, socialist idealism. It is also an early example of music made almost solely from the combining of patterns (eschewing traditional melody, harmony, and counterpoint) triplet figures in the lower strings and trumpets over a strident four-beat bass suggest the turning of flywheels and other mechanisms; gradually added to this are high sliding figures like the sliding of steel against steel, loud metal-sheet crashes, orchestra anvil, and high, single-beat stabs. A noble theme of primary intervals stated in the French horns emerges from this mix. Suddenly, all the machines shut down and a new accumulation of patterns starts in the high winds accompanied by military rolls on the snare drum. The theme is then restated in the low brass, followed by an unremitting, driving, machine-like coda. Works like this one, intended as a glorification of Soviet industrialization, were later criticized as "naturalistic" and the Association for Contemporary Music, originally set up to encourage experimentation and anti-bourgeois music, was dissolved in 1934. Most of the composers, including Mosolov, were unfortunately compelled to adopt more conservative, popularistic styles.

USSR State Symphony Orchestra cond. Jevgenjy Svetlanov

Comments:
Concertgebouworkest cond. Ricardo Chailly
Comments:
Musicians unknown
1929 Turkmenian Nights 4.00 stars 5 CD
Arthur Bliss Comments:
Daniele Lombardi - Piano