Preludial Update

With school over I've got some free time to... keep doing school stuff, especially keep tracking down those pesky, difficult to find Soviet prelude sets. My wish list, scrapped together from different online resources, dictionaries, and searching for "24 and preludes" in library databases, consists of over thirty-five composers. It ranges from pre-Soviet composers like Lev Gurliev, Blumenfeld, and Cui to those of the latest twentieth century like Chugunov and Kholminov. It really helps to divide them up into chronological groups where the historical factors really come into play. Here's some of my progress:

As it stands I've got the 1930s pretty well in hand: Shostakovich, Zaderatsky, Zhelobinsky, and Biryukov; only Goltz eludes me at every turn. I've emailed Soviet Music performers, concert pianists, Scriabin's son-in-law's webmaster, professors, and Russian libraries. My Russian speaking skills are getting better, and perhaps a letter по-русски will do the trick.

Of the 40s and 50s I only have Kabalevsky's. A violinist of the Beethoven Quartet, Shirinsky, wrote a set in the 60s as did Kara Karaev, a pupil of Shostakovich and native of Azerbaijan, and Dmitri Tolstoy, of whom I know absolutely nothing. These as well as the composers of the 70s (Kasianov, Abramyan, and Chugunov) on the surface have very similar styles which extend the Soviet style established in the 30s. Only Kholimonv's cycle (2006) creates something new. Large repetitive chords of sound oscillate minimalistically in and out of varying blocks of dissonance. He also seems to have a lot of pieces for bayan which brings to mind Gubaidulina and her style of cluster chords.

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