EARLY XX CENTURY RUSSIAN MUSIC
Instrumentation: trumpet and piano
Status: in an ongoing development, parts of it being performed since late 2021
It is still unclear to me what the final shape of this project might be, but I have been fascinated with this period of Russian music for a long time. It holds significance not only in the history of music but specifically in the history of the modern trumpet, which emerged as an established solo instrument during this "golden age." If I were to frame it somehow, the "ground zero" for this program would be St. Petersburg in the year 1899, with the first valved trumpet concerto ever, written and performed by Oskar Böhme. From there, we would navigate through roughly three decades where radical modernism intersected with ripe romanticism before being overshadowed by the "music for the masses" era. Currently, there is no coherent dramaturgical thread, but there is a list of original trumpet works, arrangements by Timofey Dokshizer and others, as well as my own arrangements of pieces originally written for voice, violin, violoncello, or theremin.
For now, I continue to freely select pieces from this list and create customized recital programs whenever opportunities arise. Every program presents an exciting clash of aesthetics, where the microtonal 1/6 tone scales of Wishnegradsky's "Scriabinesque" Meditation and A. Kreyn's traditional Jewish melodies with a twisted harmonic background, meet the simple elegance of early Shostakovich's fantastic dances and the brutal, almost animalistic, expressiveness of Obukhov's simultaneously modernist and archaic Balmont songs, before being immersed in the luscious romanticism and carefree virtuosity found in any of the concertos. Apart from the standard Bb, I'm using the C-trumpet (Roslavets, Shostakovich), flugelhorn (Glazunov), piccolo trumpet (some parts of Obukhov) and the soprano trombone, which is an excellent replacement for the theremin in the Schillinger's miniatures.
O. Böhme: Trumpet concerto in E
V. Schelokov: Trumpet concerto no. 1
A. Goedicke: Trumpet concerto
A. Glazunov: Saxophone concerto
(arr. by Dubravko Marković)
D. Shostakovich: Three fantastic dances
(arr. by Timofey Dokshizer)
E. Goldstein: "Albumblatt" and "Concert Waltz"
(falsely signed as A. Glazunov and A. Arensky)
V. Blazhevich: Scherzo
N. Obukhov: 4 Balmont songs
I. Wishnegradsky: Meditation op. 4
N. Roslavets: Meditation
A. Kreyn: Ornaments op. 42
Y. Schillinger: Short pieces for Theremin
I: Vocalise no. 1
II: Mouvement electronique pathetique