Nikolai Roslavets (1881-1944) And Nikolai Myaskovsky (1881-1950)



Donald Macleod examines the music and lives of two Russian composers, both of whom fell foul of Stalin's regime, Nikolai Myaskovsky and Nikolai Roslavets.
Roslavets: Chamber Symphony (1st mvt)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)
Roslavets: Sonata for Viola and Piano No 1
Yuri Bashmet (viola)
Muntian Mikhail (piano)
Myaskovsky: 13th String Quartet in A minor, Op 86
The Leningrad Taneiev Quartet.


Neither Myaskovsky nor Roslavets started out as musicians. Donald Macleod finds out what they were doing in their early careers and how they managed to move into the world of music.
Roslavets: First Violin Sonata
Mark Lubotsky (violin)
Julia Bochkovskaya (piano)
Myaskovsky: Cello Sonata No 1
Truls Mork (cello)
Jean Yves Thibaudet (piano)
Myaskovsky: Symphony No 21 (Op 51)
The New Philharmonia Orchestra
David Measham (conductor).


Myaskovsky and Roslavets were progressive composers, they both helped set up an Association of Contemporary Music in Moscow, while Roslavets devised a completely new system of tonality. Join Donald Macleod as he attempts to get to grips with 'the synthetic chord'.
Roslavets: Three Compositions Allegretto Grazio
Marc Andre Hamelin (piano)
Roslavets: Third Piano Trio
Trio Fontenay
Myaskovsky: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op 44
Vadim Repin (violin)
Kirov Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev (conductor).


The years of civil war in Russia from 1917 to 1920 were appalling, many composers including Prokofiev left while they could. However, Myaskovsky and Roslavets stayed.

Despite opposition from those who felt that music's goal in the new regime was to be both understood and performed by the masses, the pair enjoyed, for a few years, the freedom to compose as they pleased. With Donald Macleod.

Myaskovsky: Grillen Nos 1 and 6

Sergei Prokofiev (piano)

Myaskovsky: Symphony 6 in E flat minor (4th mvt)

Slovak National Opera Choir

Czech Slovak Symphony Orchestra

Robert Stankovsky (conductor)

Roslavets: Piano Sonata No 5

Marc Andre Hamelin (piano)

Myaskovsky: Symphony No 13 in Bb minor, Op 36

Russian Federation Academic Symphony Orchestra

Evgeny Svetlanov (conductor).

05 LAST20070330

As Stalin took over the reins of power in the Soviet Union, arguments between musicians as to what post-revolutionary music should be were over, as refusal to go by State-dictated guidelines for composition could be fatal.
As Donald Macleod discovers, this spelled the end of Roslavets' career and even the more compliant Myaskovsky was unable to avoid censure.
Roslavets: String Quartet No 3
Leipzig Quartet
Roslavets: 24 Preludes, Nos 21 to 24
Mark Lubotsky (violin)
Julia Bochkovskaya (piano)
Myaskovsky: Cello Concerto, Op 66
Mstislav Rostropovich Philharmonia Orchestra
Malcolm Sargent (conductor).