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Dmitri Kabalevsky

Biography

Born: December 30, 1904; Russia   Died: February 14, 1987; Russia  
The music of Russian composer and teacher Dmitri Kabalevsky was hailed by Communist authorities as the finest incarnation of their artistic vision. Born in St. Petersburg in 1904, he lived during a notoriously difficult time for composers in that country. In 1918, Kabalevsky moved with his family to Moscow, where he studied at the Scriabin Music School. At the age of 18, Kabalevsky began to compose, primarily for the piano. His early pieces were Read more studies for his young students, a practical facet of his compositional output which would remain with him throughout his career. He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1925, studying piano with Goldenweiser and composition with Miaskovsky, the latter being particularly influential on Kabalevsky's developing musical outlook. By the end of the 1920s Kabalevsky was gaining notoriety as a composer; in 1928 the premiere of his First Piano Concerto launched him into the forefront of Soviet composers, while at the same time, the charming C major Sonatina for piano brought him international acclaim.
From his appointment to the composition faculty of the Moscow Conservatory in 1932 to his death in 1987, Kabalevsky produced a steady stream of works which sought to embody Soviet musical ideals through the use of diatonic tonality and accessible structural contours. He is perhaps best known for the overture to his opera Colas Breugnon (1936) which Arturo Toscanini conducted worldwide in the 1940s and 1950s. His suite The Comedians (1940), is another well-known work, especially the Galop, which has become a pops concert favorite, while the Piano Concerto No. 2 (1935) is likely his finest purely musical achievement. A series of concertos for young players (Violin 1948, Cello 1949, and the Third Piano Concerto of 1952) has greatly enriched the literature for student soloists. Kabalevsky's Requiem, Op. 72, completed in 1962, is a memorial to those who lost their lives during World War II. The text is based on a poem written by Robert Rozhdestvensky.
In addition to his compositional activities, Kabalevsky was a frequent contributor to pedagogical magazines and he held positions on various State educational bodies. Kabalevsky joined the Communist Party in 1940; by 1941 he received the Medal of Honour from the Soviet government for his musical prowess. During World War II, Kabalevsky wrote several inspirational songs and battle hymns. In 1942, his Great Homeland, and Avengers of the People were written to inspire heroism and patriotism. Kabalevsky's popular The Taras Family (1947) used music from the opera In the Fire. It became a success in spite of the 1948 party decree on music, probably because Kabalevsky's music had become more lyrical in nature. Kabalevsky was one of the few well-known Soviet composers who escaped the infamous 1948 condemnation of composers by the Central Committee of the Communist Party. (The scapegoats, including Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Khachaturian, and Miaskovsky were censured for indulging in "decadent formalism.")
Later in life, Kabalevsky became more involved in choral music. Kabalevsky continued to be a force in musical education. He was elected the head of the Commission of Musical Esthetic Education of Children in 1962, as well as being elected president of the Scientific Council of Educational Esthetics in the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of the U.S.S.R. in 1969. Kabalevsky also received the honorary degree of president of the International Society of Musical Education. Read less
Prokofiev, Kabalevsky  / Leonard Elschenbroich
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Onyx (Classical Label)  
Catalog: 4122   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Comedians Suite, Op. 26

Browse 1-9 of 9 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Kabalevsky: Romeo And Juliet; The Comedians; Spring; Overtures / Lapunov, Byelorussian Radio & TV Orchestra
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 2017 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Conductor:  Anatoly Lapunov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Byelorussian Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Lightly Classical
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5172 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Holst,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Challet,  Angela Morley,  Sir William Walton,  Frank De Vol  ... 
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  • 4.
    Leonard Slatkin Conducts Russian Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5661 Release Date: 06/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Sabre Dance / Newman, Irving, Philharmonia Orchestra, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65922 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Alfred Newman,  Robert Irving
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Kabalevsky: Piano Concertos No 2 & 3 / Stott, Sinaisky, Bbc
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10052 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Performer:  Kathryn Stott
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite;  Kabalevsky / Kondrashin
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 63302 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Aram Khachaturian
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Kabalevsky: Romeo & Juliet, Colas Breugnon, Etc / Jelvakov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553411 Release Date: 09/17/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Conductor:  Vasily Jelvakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Kabalevsky, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky / Barra, San Diego CO
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7042 Release Date: 01/25/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Conductor:  Donald Barra
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Diego Chamber Orchestra
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