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Alexander Grechaninov

Biography

Born: October 25, 1864; Moscow, Russia   Died: January 4, 1956; New York, NY  
The long-lived Alexander Grechaninov was, until the latter twentieth century, a largely neglected figure seen as having written a few worthwhile liturgical works and some attractive children's music, but little more. Then, his five symphonies and other orchestral compositions garnered some attention, while his many stage works awaited rediscovery. Stylistically, he was very conservative, and as neo-Classical, serial, and other progressive Read more techniques took hold in the twentieth century, his music was increasingly viewed as outdated. Had it not been for the stubborn opposition of his uneducated father, who could barely read, Grechaninov may have developed sooner. He began study on the piano at the relatively late age of 14, mainly owing to the urging of a caring sister-in-law. Grechaninov enrolled at the Moscow Conservatory in 1881 over the objections of his father. There he studied piano first with Nikolai Kashkin, then later with Vasily Safonov. He also took instruction in composition from Taneyev and Arensky, the latter largely in fugal writing. He left Moscow in 1890 for further study with Rimsky-Korsakov at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. His Concert Overture (1892 - 1893) gave Grechaninov his first success, and his 1894 String Quartet captured a prize at the Belyayev Chamber Music Competition. He supported himself and his wife (whom he married in 1891) during this time as a piano teacher. Perhaps his greatest success in the nineteenth century was the 1895 premiere of his Symphony No. 1 (led by Rimsky-Korsakov). In 1896, he relocated to Moscow once again, where he taught piano and worked on several compositions, chief among them his opera Dobrinya Nikitich (1895 - 1901) and the first of his four Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom (1897). He also wrote incidental music for plays during this time, such as his score for The Death of Ivan the Terrible (1896). In the first decade of the twentieth century, Grechaninov arranged many songs of ethnic origin for children, producing several popular numbers and giving him great prominence among Russian composers. In 1906, he accepted teaching posts at the Moscow Conservatory and Gnessin School of Music. Throughout his career, Grechaninov composed many works in the sacred genre and in recognition of this continuing work, the Tsarist government granted him a yearly stipend of 2,000 rubles. After the Bolshevik Revolution, he lost the stipend and ultimately his faith in his homeland, feeling his religious and political convictions were at odds with those of the Communist regime. After several trips abroad, he emigrated to Paris in 1925, where he established a career as a pianist and still managed to devote much time to composition. He completed his third St. John Chrysostom Liturgy there (1917 - 1926), as well as his Suite for cello and orchestra (1919 - 1929). In 1929, he made the first of several trips to the United States, a country he felt increasingly drawn toward. In 1939, he emigrated to the United States, ultimately making New York his home (1940). He continued to compose in his adopted homeland, especially in the sacred realm, producing several important works, including Et in terra pax, a Roman Catholic Mass (1942). He also wrote chamber works, but his output steadily declined in the 1940s. He became a U.S. citizen in 1949, at the age of 85. His last composition came in 1950, the piano work Lettres amicales. Grechaninov was well enough to attend a 1954 concert in New York Town Hall, held to celebrate his 90th birthday. Read less
Grechaninov: Symphony No 1 & 2 / Wildner, Edlinger, Et Al
Release Date: 07/17/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555410   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 87 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Most Wanted Recitals - Arnold Van Mill Sings Favourite Opera Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002067902 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Otto Nicolai,  Albert Lortzing,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Arnold Van Mill,  Raphaele Arie,  Wilfrid Parry
    Conductor:  Robert Wagner,  Anatole Fistoulari
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  • 2.
    Alexander Grechaninov: Complete Music For Viola And Piano
    Label: Toccata Classics   Catalog: 234 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Grechaninov
    Performer:  Elena Artamonova,  Nicholas Walker
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  • 3.
    Clarinet & Piano: Favourite Pages
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2152 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Alexander Grechaninov,  Paul Hindemith,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Ivan Stolbov,  Kim Ja Ran
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  • 4.
    The Sacred Spirit of Russia / Conspirare
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 807526 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexandr Kastalsky,  Vladimir Martynov,  Pavel Tchesnokov,  Protopsaltes Ioannes  ... 
    Performer:  Dann [Tenor (Vocal)] Coakwell,  Nicole Greenidge,  Julie McCoy,  Sonja DuToit Tengblad  ... 
    Conductor:  Craig Hella-Johnson
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  • 5.
    Russian Treasures / Nigel Short, Tenebrae
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 900 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Grechaninov,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Golovanov,  Nikolai Kedrov  ... 
    Performer:  Nicholas Madden
    Conductor:  Nigel Short
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  • 6.
    Russian Songs
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951881 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Glazunov,  Reinhold Gliere,  Alexander Grechaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Larissa Gergieva,  Ekaterina Sementchuk
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  • 7.
    Voices of Russian Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 280342 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Feodor Chaliapin,  Marianne Tcherkasskaya,  Boris Christoff,  Mela Bougarinovitch  ... 
    Conductor:  Max Steimann,  Igor Markevitch,  Georgi Pozemkovsky,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Belgrade Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Pater Noster (Our Father)
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 261 Release Date: 05/14/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Apostol Nikolaev-Strumsky,  St. John Koukouzeles,  Nikolai Kedrov,  Petr Konstantinov Dinev  ... 
    Performer:  Nikolina Pankova,  Dimitar Bonev,  Alice Bovarian,  Sasho Kostov  ... 
    Conductor:  Stoyan Kralev,  Dimitar Grigorov,  Kiril Popov,  Miroslav Popsavov
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  • 9.
    Grechaninov: Piano Trios / Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55399 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Grechaninov
    Performer:  Victor Yampolsky,  Mikhail Tsinman,  Natalie Savinova
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rachmaninoff Trio
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  • 10.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 11.
    Glad Tidings: Carols For Christmas
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1267 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elisabeth Poston,  William James Kirkpatrick,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Viktor Kalinnikov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sarah Tenant-Flowers
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  • 12.
    Nunc Dimittis
    Label: Claudio   Catalog: 60122 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robin White,  Alexander Grechaninov,  Igor Buketoff,  Pavel Chesnokov  ... 
    Conductor:  Robin White
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  • 13.
    A Year In Exeter Cathedral
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 1066 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Jackson,  Colin Mawby,  Michael Praetorius,  Edward Naylor  ... 
    Performer:  David Davies
    Conductor:  Stephen Tanner
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  • 14.
    Sonetti Romani
    Label: Northern Flowers   Catalog: 99103 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolay Myaskovsky,  Arthur Vincent Lourié,  Vissarion Yakovlevich She,  Alexander Grechaninov
    Performer:  Mila Shkirtil,  Yury Serov
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  • 15.
    Vespers - Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Gretchaninov [5-CD Set]
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9233 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Grechaninov
    Performer:  Olga Borusene,  Yuri Korinnyk,  Mykhaylo Tyshchenko
    Conductor:  Evgen Savchuk,  Valeri Polyanskii,  Vivian Klochkov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka",  Russian State Symphony Cappella,  National Choir of Ukraine  ... 
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  • 16.
    Music For A Royal Celebration
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2041 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  George Frideric Handel,  Gerald Finzi,  Peter Maxwell Davies  ... 
    Performer:  Gordon Hunt,  Ekaterina Semenchuk,  Roger Judd
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green
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  • 17.
    Dame Joan Sutherland - Complete Decca Studio Recitals  [23-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619502 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Nadine Sautereau,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Richard Conrad,  Ambrose Gauntlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 18.
    Russian Romance / Rubtsov, Kvitko
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 233 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Griboyedov,  Alexander Glazunov,  Alexander Grechaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Kvitko,  Maxim Rubtsov
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  • 19.
    Sacred Songs And Ballads Of Yesteryear
    Label: Griffin   Catalog: 4073 Release Date: 08/16/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stuart Hamblen,  Arthur Sullivan,  Charles Gounod,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Locke,  Oscar Natzka,  Mario Lanza,  Joan Hammond  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glasgow Orpheus Choir,  Paris Choir Of The Metropolitan Russian Church
    CD: $13.99
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  • 20.
    Gretchaninov: Vespers / Stephen Layton, Holst Singers
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55352 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Grechaninov
    Performer:  James Bowman
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holst Singers
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  • 21.
    Ikon II / Stephen Layton, Holst Singers
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67756 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai S. Golovanov,  Pavel Chesnokov,  Alexander Grechaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Layton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Holst Singers
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  • 22.
    Prima Voce - Boris Christoff
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7961 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Caldara,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Gerald Moore,  Boris Christoff
    Conductor:  Gui,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Issay Dobroven  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Gretchaninov: Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostom No 4 / Cantus
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1069 Release Date: 03/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Grechaninov
    Conductor:  Ludmila Arshavaskaya
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantus Sacred Music Ensemble
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  • 24.
    The Record of Singing - The Very Best of Vols 1-4
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28956 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Arthur Sullivan,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Anderson,  Kosti Vehanen,  Dame Clara Butt,  Richard Crooks  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Schmalstich,  Clarence Raybould,  Georges Lauweryns,  Nat Finston  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    Label: Da Chiesa   Catalog: 5637212617 Release Date: 12/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Hay Malotte,  William Byrd,  Henry Purcell,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Deborah Thoreson,  Charley Snell
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