Tishchenko: Symphony No 8; Concerto for violin, piano and string orchestra; Three Songs to Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva

Reviewed on Tue 07 Feb, 2017

Tishchenko’s music is haunted and also neo-classically poised; it makes Haydnesque diversions, some challenging, some beguiling.

The opening of the Concerto (2006) finds the violin appealingly expressive, whereas the piano knocks on the door in a fateful manner; the spectre of Shostakovich is close by. The piano becomes more animated; a sonata for the two instruments is underway, and it takes three minutes for the orchestra to enter. The opening ‘Fantasia’ is tense, disturbed, as Boris Tishchenko (1939-2010) builds an emotional storm. There follows an off-centre Cossack dance, somewhat schizophrenic; a baleful ‘Interlude’ (a misnomer) is next, strings only; and, finally, a ‘Romance’ (the longest movement) has sweetness and touching turns if with darkness lurking, quizzical. Fascinating stuff, yet a musical tranquiliser is needed, not supplied by Symphony No 8, with its connection to Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’. Tishchenko’s music is haunted and also neo-classically poised; it makes Haydnesque diversions, some challenging, some beguiling. The songs (1970/2014, arranged Rezetdinov) are pithy and Russian-earthy. These dedicated performances are vividly recorded.
–Colin Anderson