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Klebanov: Viola Concerto. Japanese Silhouettes

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Audio CD, May 27, 1997
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Japanese Silhouettes (1): The Night is filling upMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Japanese Silhouettes (2): Native landsMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Japanese Silhouettes (3): Can't see the moonMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Japanese Silhouettes (4): Like lumps of soilMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Japanese Silhouettes (5): Winter day has dimmedMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 5:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Japanese Silhouettes (6): Spinning, spinningMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Japanese Silhouettes (7): Fenced flower fadesMela Tenenbaum, Natalia Biorro 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Viola Concerto: AllegroMela Tenenbaum, Philharmonia Virtuosi11:56Album Only
  9. Viola Concerto: IntermezzoMela Tenenbaum, Philharmonia Virtuosi 7:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Viola Concerto: RondoMela Tenenbaum, Philharmonia Virtuosi12:51Album Only

Product Details

  • Composer: D. Klebanov
  • Audio CD (May 27, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Essay
  • ASIN: B00000083X
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #494,060 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Saulle on April 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This disc contains the two last works of an obscure Russian master named Dmitri Klebanov, who was ostracized from the Stalinist guild of composers in the 1940s and spent the next 30 years of his life in creative exile in the Ukraine, writing almost nothing until the thaw in the 1980s, when Mela Tenenbaum, the violist on this disc, befriended him and renewed his creative energies. He wrote both of these works for her, but died before he could hear Japanese silhouettes premiered. After the premieres, the music was lost in the disintegration of the communist musical institutions of Russia, until Mela Tenenbaum in her new home as concertmaster of the Philharmonia Virtuosi, and the conductor Richard Kapp undertook to find the manuscripts and reunite the performers and conductors who had given the premieres of both works. not only is this an incredible story, but the music on the disc os fully worthy of it. These works show Klebanov to be on a par with his contemporary Shostakovich, indeed in some places more forward looking in his use of dissonance and in his use of exotic percussion and Japanese instruments in the Silhouettes. The viola concerto is a dramatic, tense and emotional work reflecting much of the artistic frustration Klebanov felt at his de facto exile. It is modern music that is both accessible and expressive while using a modern musical vocabulary. I highly recommend this disc to all with an interest in music of any era.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Saulle on November 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Dmitri Klebanov was a promising composer in Stalinist Russia with a bright career ahead of him when Stalin made his infamous attack on Soviet artists. The Soviet Composers' Union adopted the unwritten rule that one composer would be selected to take the heat for all of them-- Klebanov was it. Following thirty years in de facto exile, Klebanov thawed out with the rest of the USSR in the 80s. He befriended Mela Tenebaum, for whom he wrote these works. Unfortunately, he died not long after finishing Japanese Silhouettes, and was not able to see the financial and critical success these works have garnered for ESS.A.Y recordings, where I worked for two summers. But it's not just an amazing story. The music itself is equally mind blowing. From harsh dissonance to luminous textures and rich, romantic chords, from Russian folk tunes to juggernaut melodies which climax in all-too-human screams in the viola, this concerto has all the drama, pain, nostalgia, and beauty that one could want in a piece of music or a person's life. This is one of the few recordings I go out of my way to recommend. I came online tonight specifically to write this. Buy this recording and let it blow you away!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Parker on December 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Who was Dmitri Klebanov and why should we care? He was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, in 1907. He studied music academically as a violist, conductor, and composer, and became a professor of composition at the Kharkov Conservatory. In the late `30s and early `40s a couple of ballets, a violin concerto, and a symphony received major performances in Moscow and Kiev. Unfortunately the symphony fell afoul of Stalinist critics who found it "anti-patriotic." Although Klebanov was spared exile to Siberia, or worse, he was relegated to an obscure existence and spent the rest of his 50-year career composing politically correct works of "socialist realism" with titles like Ode for the Party and "First of May" Symphony.

Only the most dedicated idealists could have made possible the miracle of Dmitri Klebanov's rediscovery. Such people tend to gather around Richard Kapp, music director of the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York and president of ESS.A.Y Recordings. Artists like Mela Tenenbaum, who in 1983 was in Kharkov, Ukraine to play a viola concerto written for her by a pupil of Klebanov, whom she met after the concert. Klebanov suggested Ms. Tenenbaum perform his own violin concerto, and after the success of that venture the following season, he wrote a viola concerto expressly for her. This work had a positive reception in several Russian cities and Klebanov found his long-stifled creative energies reviving. Another new work followed-Japanese Silhouettes for soprano, viola d'amore and instrumental ensemble, based on haiku texts translated into Russian. This work was recorded for Radio Kiev with soprano Natalia Kraftzova, and a "rehabilitation" of Klebanov seemed imminent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G.D. VINE VOICE on December 24, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ukrainian composer Dmitri Klebanov (1907-1987) is one of a long row of Soviet composers who have more or less disappeared completely from sight. He composed in most genres, including operas and symphonies, but is previously (as far as know) only featured on a hard-to-find Angelok double-disc (his Babi Yar symphony - composed a decade before Shostakovich - and some other works), coupled with the music even more obscure Ukrainian composers. I haven't heard that one, but on the evidence of this disc, I certainly should. For this is a real find, and should really have lead to an exploration of his other works.

The Japanese Silhouettes are marvelous. It is a weird kind of combination of song cycle and viola d'amore concerto scored for a small ensemble (due, apparently, to Russian salary policies) including a celesta. The result is pure magic. Each movement opens with a sung haiku which is then followed by a longer purely instrumental part - the concept is formally quite unique, and it works excellently. There is certainly a Japanese feel to the music, although I suspect something more like mock-Japanese. It doesn't matter. For music as exquisite and wonderful as this, I'll be willing to pardon almost anything.

His viola concerto (again with a small orchestra) is a melancholic work - stylistically perhaps close to Shostakovich, but more subtle and bittersweet than the latter composer. It is an amazing work, rich and inventive. Tenenbaum is certainly a committed player, and even though her sound is, perhaps, a bit rough, she plays it poignantly. But the real amazement is the wealth of moods and colors Klebanov is able to conjure up with his small ensemble - underlined also by Richard Kapp's able conducting.

Recording quality is warm and certainly more than serviceable, and even if the performances are sometimes a little rough, the performers manage to bring out the colors in these scores. Urgently recommended.
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Klebanov: Viola Concerto. Japanese Silhouettes
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