BORIS TISHCHENKO (b.1939): Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 9 (Viktor Liberman [violin], Leningrad Chamber Orchestra; Eduard Serov. Rec. 1977), Concerto for Cello, 17 Winds, Percussion and Harmonium, Op. 23 (Mstislav Rostropovich [cello], Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra; Igor Blazhkov. Rec. 1966), Music from the film Suzdal (Anatoly Manukhov [tenor], Valentina Kozyreva [soprano], Kirov Opera Chamber Orchestra; Blazhkov. Rec. 1967).
Catalogue Number: 07L093
Label: Northern Flowers
Reference: NF/PMA 9967
Description: These are all early works, the violin concerto predating Tischenko's postgraduate studies with Shostakovich, and although some gestures demonstrate an unmistakable acquaintance with the master's works, the piece's spiky, astringently spare harmonic language suggests a closer affinity with Ustvolskaya at this stage in the composer's career. The work is tense and dramatic throughout, frequently pitting the soloist against a swirling, clustered background of string texture and hectic percussion-laced fanfares. This kind of technicolor battle music prefigures the anything-goes excesses of the much more recent Inferno sections of the Dante Symphony cycle. The unusually orchestrated cello work was written for Rostropovich, who was given an extended soliloquy-cadenza as an opening statement (nearly a quarter of the piece). This becomes increasingly agitated before subsiding into a series of questioning dialogues with at first a solo trumpet, then other winds. The mood darkens and the theme comes under increasingly dissonant attack from the ensemble, leading to a thunderous tutti passage before the soloist reasserts a semblance of calm at the end. Suzdal is the score to a film about that historic city, and consists of nine brief, aphoristic and atmospheric sections, economically scored but vividly descriptive.