Rudolf Barshai

Biography

Born: October 1, 1924; Krasnoyarsk, Russia   Died: November 2, 2010; Switzerland  
Initially best known to Western audiences for his work with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble he founded, Rudolf Barshai later turned to directing many of the Soviet Union's leading orchestras in repertory beyond the chamber works that brought him his first recognition. Immigration to Israel in the 1970s led to several other Western engagements before the breakdown of Communism encouraged him to return to Russia in 1993 for several Read more important performances. He brought to both his chamber and full symphony interpretations a scrupulous musicianship and attention to tonal subtleties, as well as dynamic contrasts some found too keenly emphasized. Barshai trained as a violinist at the Moscow Conservatory with Lev Zeitlin, a pupil of Leopold Auer. Barshai then pursued study of the viola at the conservatory under the tutelage of Vadim Borisovsky, celebrated as an uncommonly astute violist and chamber player. Barshai, too, moved in the direction of chamber music, founding the Philharmonic Quartet (later reorganized as the Borodin Quartet) and making a reputation as a solo player as well. Barshai subsequently co-founded the Tchaikovsky Quartet, finding himself also included in chamber ensembles led by violinist Leonid Kogan and performing often with such luminaries as Emil Gilels, Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, and Mstislav Rostropovich. Having harbored a not-yet-satisfied urge to direct, Barshai took up conducting studies with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, a move that led to his formation of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 1955. With this ensemble, Barshai was able to implement his ideas about chamber performance, foremost among them being firm, supple tone and clarity in execution. Both his Beethoven and Mozart symphony cycles were noteworthy in their day, embracing performance ideas that would be carried further during the growth of the period performance movement, then just beginning. With the MCO, Barshai was able to tour extensively in Western countries, becoming one of the Soviet Union's most widely recognized conductors as he also began undertaking recording projects with Western artists. In the late 1960s, Barshai began to conduct other, larger orchestras in the Soviet Union. In 1969, he was assigned the premiere of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 14, whose concentrated orchestration was ideally suited to the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. In 1976, Barshai immigrated to Israel and began active participation in the nation's musical life. His leadership of the Israel Chamber Orchestra began with his arrival and continued until 1981; during that period he also directed the New Israel Orchestra. From 1982 until 1988, he was engaged as artistic adviser of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, also serving the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as music director from 1985 to 1988. Barshai was also principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de France beginning in 1987. He has guest-conducted a number of the world's other leading orchestras. Barshai's return to Russia in 1993 was the result of an invitation to lead the Russian National Orchestra in a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 9. In May 1999, a group of 20 Swiss musicians established the Camerata Rudolf Barshai, having chosen Barshai to direct their ensemble. Aside from his conducting and viola performances, Barshai has significantly added to the chamber music literature with a number of transcriptions and arrangements, in particular the several derived from Shostakovich's string quartets. Read less

There are 54 Rudolf Barshai recordings available.

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Biography

Born: October 1, 1924; Krasnoyarsk, Russia   Died: November 2, 2010; Switzerland  
Initially best known to Western audiences for his work with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, an ensemble he founded, Rudolf Barshai later turned to directing many of the Soviet Union's leading orchestras in repertory beyond the chamber works that brought him his first recognition. Immigration to Israel in the 1970s led to several other Western engagements before the breakdown of Communism encouraged him to return to Russia in 1993 for several Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Ritual Dances from 'The Midsummer Marriage': Prelude - Transformation - Preparation for the first dance -
Ritual Dances from 'The Midsummer Marriage': First Dance: The Earth in Autumn (The hound chases the hare) - Transformation - Preparation for the second dance -
Ritual Dances from 'The Midsummer Marriage': Second Dance: The Waters in Winter (The otter chases the fish) - Transformation - Preparation for the third dance -
Ritual Dances from 'The Midsummer Marriage': Third Dance: The Air in Spring (The hawk chases the bird) - Preparation for the fourth dance -
Ritual Dances from 'The Midsummer Marriage': Fourth Dance: Fire in Summer (The voluntary human sacrifice)
Little Music for string orchestra: II. Fugue (Allegro moderato (a tempo doppio più mosso))
Little Music for string orchestra: III. Air (Andante espressivo)
Little Music for string orchestra: IV. Finale (Vivace)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op.44: I. Allegro brillante
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op.44: II. Andante non troppo
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op.44: III. Allegro con fuoco
I. Trauermarsch
II. Sturmisch bewegt, mit grosster Vehemenz
III. Scherzo
IV. Adagietto
V. Rondo-Finale
I. Allegretto
II. Moderato con moto
III. Allegro non troppo
IV. Adagio
IV. Moderato
I. Allegro
II. Andantino
III. Allegretto
IV. Allegretto
I. Moderato
II. Moderato
III. Allegro molto
IV. Allegro
I. Largo
III. Allegretto
II. Allegro molto
IV. Largo
V. Largo
IV. Allegretto
III. Adagio
II. Allegretto furioso
I. Andante
Concert Fantasy for piano and orchestra Op.56: I. Quasi rondo: Andante mosso
Concert Fantasy for piano and orchestra Op.56: II. Contrastes: Andante cantabile - Molto vivace
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op.23: I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op.23: II. Andantino semplice - Prestissimo - Tempo primo
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op.23: III. Allegro con fuoco
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op.44: I. Allegro brillante
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op.44: II. Andante non troppo
Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Major, Op.44: III. Allegro con fuoco
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op.110a - orch. Barshai - 1. Largo (attacca:)
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op.110a - orch. Barshai - 2. Allegro molto (attacca:)
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op.110a - orch. Barshai - 3. Allegretto (attacca:)
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op.110a - orch. Barshai - 4. Largo (attacca:)
Shostakovich: Chamber Symphony, Op.110a - orch. Barshai - 5. Largo
I. Allegro
II. Andantino
III. Allegretto
IV. Allegretto
I. Allegretto
II. Moderato con moto
III. Allegro ma non troppo
IV. Adagio
V. Moderato
I. Allegretto - Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro
III. Lento
IV. Allegro molto
I. Allegretto poco moderato - Presto
II. Moderato con moto
III. Largo - Allegro
I. Moderato
II. Allegretto
III. Largo
IV. Allegro non troppo
I. Largo
II. Allegro
III. Presto
I. Allegretto
II. Moderato (poco allegretto)
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro non troppo
I. Adagio - Allegro non troppo
II. Allegretto
III. Allegro non troppo
IV. Largo
V. Allegretto
I. Allegro
II. Moderato
III. Presto
IV. Largo
V. Allegretto
I. Moderato
II. Allegro
III. Allegretto
IV. Andante
I. The Palace Square
II. The 9th of January
III. In Memoriam
IV. The Tocsin
I. Revolutionary Petrograd
II. Razliv
III. Aurora
IV. The Dawn of Humanity
I. Babi Yar
II. Yumor (Humor)
III. V Magazine (At the Store)
IV. Strachi (Fears)
V. Kariera (Career)
I. De profundis: Adagio
II. Malaguena: Allegretto
III. Loreley: Allegro molto
IV. The Suicide: Adagio
V. On the Watch: Allegretto
VI. Madam, look!: Allegretto
VII. In the Sante Prison: Adagio
VIII. Reply of the Zaporozhye Cossacks to the Sultan of Constantinople: Allegro
IX. O Delvig, Delvig!: Andante
X. Death of the Poet: Largo
XI. Conclusion: Moderato
I. Allegretto
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto
IV. Adagio
I. Allegretto
II. Moderato (poco allegretto)
III. Adagio - Trio: Moderato risoluto
IV. (attacca) Allegro non troppo
Moment of Silence and Meditation; Applause
I. Andante comodo
II. Im Tempo eines gemachlichen Landlers - Etwas tappisch und sehr derb
III. Rondo-Burleske: Allegro assai
IV. Adagio - Sehr langsam und noch zuruckhaltend


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