Messiaen’s Emergence in Russia

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen 1908-1992

INTRODUCED TO RUSSIA the music of the greatest French composers of the 20th century, OLIVIER MESSIAEN. HAIMOVSKY PREMIERED Messiaen’s music in MOSCOW and across the USSR. He WROTE the FIRST RUSSIAN BOOK about Messiaen’s CREATIVITY and PHILOSOPHY. And  PUBLISHED the FIRST MUSICOLOGICAL EXAMINATIONS of Olivier Messiaen’s music for RUSSIAN PRESS.

PREMIERES and SCHOLARSHIP

With his own hands, literally and figuratively, Gregory Haimovsky brought the music of Olivier Messiaen to Russia. Below are the dates of his concert premieres and publications.

1964

May 5, Glinka State Conservatory of Music, Gorky, USSR. Chamber Music of the 20th Century. Georges Auric, Andre Jolivet, Olivier Messiaen, and Andre Dutilleaux. Works by Olivier Messiaen:

“Le Baiser de l’Enfant-Jesus” from Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus

Rondo

            Gregory Haimovsky, piano

Harawi

2. Bonjour toi, colombe verte
9. L’escalier redit, gestes du soleil
7. Adieu

Nina Cherednikova, soprano and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

Visions de l’Amen, 2 movements

Isaac Katz and Gregory Haimovsky, piano
November 3, Glinka State Conservatory of Music, Gorky, USSR. Music of the 20th Century. Concert on French Composers: Jean-Yves Daniel-Lesur, Darius Milhaud, Olivier Messiaen. Introductory words by Gregory Haimovsky. Works by Olivier Messiaen:

Themes and Variations for Violin and Piano

Georgi Vassiliev, violin, Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

First performance in the USSR.

1965               

“On Creativity and Theory of Messiaen.” Soviet Music, 10, pp. 119-123.

1966

December 22, Monograph Concert, Olivier Messiaen. Concert Hall of Composer’s Union. Moscow, USSR.

Visions de l’Amen

1. Amen de la Creation
2. Amen des Etoiles, de la Planete a l ‘Anneau
3. Amen de l’Agonia de Jesus
4. Amen du Desir
5. Amen des Anges, des Saints, du Chants des oiseaux

Isaac Katz and Gregory Haimovsky, piano

Harawi

1. La ville qui dormais, toi
2. Bonjour toi, colombe verte
9. L’escalier redit, gestes du soleil
7. Adieu

Nina Cherednikova, soprano and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

1. Liturgie de crystal
2. Vocalise, pour L’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
3. Abime des oiseaux
4. Intermedè
5. Louange a l’èternitè de Jesus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Foullis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
8. Louange à l’immortalite de Jesus.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

1967

January, “Getting to Know the Score of Turangalîla-Symphonie.Soviet Music. 1, pp. 104-113.

March, “Getting to Know the Score of Turangalîla-Symphonie.Soviet Music. 3, pp. 105-113.

April 27, 1st Philharmony Monograph Concert, Olivier Messiaen. Concert Hall of the Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic, Nizhni Novgorod, USSR.

Visions de l’Amen

1. Amen de la Creation
2. Amen des Etoiles, de la Planete a l ‘Anneau
3. Amen de l’Agonia de Jesus
4. Amen du Desir
5. Amen des Anges, des Saints, du Chants des oiseaux

Isaac Katz and Gregory Haimovsky, piano

Harawi

1. La ville qui dormais, toi
2. Bonjour toi, colombe verte
9. L’escalier redit, gestes du soleil
7. Adieu

Nina Cherednikova, soprano and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

1. Liturgie de crystal
2. Vocalise, pour L’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
3. Abime des oiseaux
4. Intermedè
5. Louange a l’èternitè de Jesus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Foullis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
8. Louange à l’immortalite de Jesus.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

1968

January 12, Lithuanian Official Premiere. Lithuania State Philharmony Society. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, and Olivier Messiaen. Works by Olivier Messiaen:

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

1. Liturgie de crystal
2. Vocalise, pour L’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
3. Abime des oiseaux
4. Intermedè
5. Louange a l’èternitè de Jesus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Foullis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
8. Louange à l’immortalite de Jesus.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

February 11, Official Premiere. State Philharmony, Malyi Hall, Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music, Moscow, USSR.

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

1. Liturgie de crystal
2. Vocalise, pour L’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
3. Abime des oiseaux
4. Intermedè
5. Louange a l’èternitè de Jesus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Foullis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
8. Louange à l’immortalite de Jesus.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

May 19, Moscow State Philharmony. The Hall of the House of Scientists.

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

1. Liturgie de crystal
2. Vocalise, pour L’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
3. Abime des oiseaux
4. Intermedè
5. Louange a l’èternitè de Jesus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Foullis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
8. Louange à l’immortalite de Jesus.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

August 4, Solo piano recital, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Memorial Museum. Druskininkai, Lithuania. Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Olivier Messiaen. Works by Olivier Messiaen:

Huit preludes

  1. La colombe
  2. Le nombre léger
  3. Les sons impalpables du rêve

Gregory Haimovsky, piano

October 1, Contracted by Soviet Composer to write Olivier Messiaen.

November 25, Concert Hall of Composer’s Union. Moscow, USSR.

Oiseaux Exotiques (Premiere performance in the USSR)

Chamber ensemble All-Union Radio and Television. Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor; Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

Le Merle Noir for flute and piano (Premiere performance in the USSR)

Alexander Koreev, flute; Gregory Haimovsky, piano

Isle de feux, No. 1 (Premiere performance in the USSR)

“Le Baiser de l’Enfant-Jesus” from Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus

Gregory Haimovsky, piano

1970
January, Turned in the manuscript of Olivier Messiaen to Soviet Composer.

February 1, Moscow State Philharmony Concert Hall Gnesin Institute. Moscow, USSR

Quatour pour la Fin du Temps

1. Liturgie de crystal
2. Vocalise, pour L’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
3. Abime des oiseaux
4. Intermedè
5. Louange a l’èternitè de Jesus
6. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
7. Foullis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
8. Louange à l’immortalite de Jesus.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

November, LP Recording Release. 1st recording in the USSR Quatour pour la Fin du Temps.

Mark Baranov, violin; Viktor Simon, cello; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; and Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

December 7. Club of Chamber Music of Composer’s Union

“L’Alouette Lulu” from Catalogue d’Oiseaux (Premiere performance in the USSR)

Gregory Haimovsky, piano

1971

April, 12. 600 Concerts of Chamber Orchestra. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine

  1. Antienne de la conversation interieure
  2. Séquence du Verbe, cantique divine
  3. Psalmodie de l’ubiquité par amour

Chamber Orchestra of Lithuania; Philharmonic Choir of the School of Arts; Saulius Sondeckis, conductor; Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

May 8, Official Premiere Moscow State Philharmonic. Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music. Arts Festival “Moscow Stars.”

Turangalîla-Symphonie

I. Introduction
III. Turangalîla I
IV. Chant d ‘Amour
VII. Turangalîla II
VI. Jardin du sommeil d’Amour
IX. Turangalîla III
V. Joie du sang des etoiles
USSR State Symphony Orchestra. Evgeny Svetlanov, conductor; Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

September 10, Official Premiere. Lithuania State Philharmony Society. Third All-Union Chamber Music Festival. Vilnius, Lithuania.

Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine

  1. Antienne de la conversation interieure
  2. Séquence du Verbe, cantique divine
  3. Psalmodie de l’ubiquité par amour

Chamber Orchestra of Lithuania; Philharmonic Choir of the School of Arts; Saulius Sondeckis, conductor; Gregory Haimovsky piano.

September 11, Lithuania State Philharmony Society. Third All-Union Chamber Music Festival. Kaunas, Lithuania.

Trois petites liturgies de la Présence Divine

  1. Antienne de la conversation interieure
  2. Séquence du Verbe, cantique divine
  3. Psalmodie de l’ubiquité par amour

Chamber Orchestra of Lithuania; Philharmonic Choir of the School of Arts; Saulius Sondeckis, conductor; Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

The photo is a gift to Haimovsky from photographer Semen Henkin in memory of the Soviet premiere of "Exotic Birds" in the Concert Hall of Composer's Society USSR (Moscow). November 12, 1968, under Gennady Rojdestvensky

The photo is a gift to Haimovsky from photographer Semen Henkin in memory of the Soviet premiere of “Exotic Birds” in the Concert Hall of Composer’s Society USSR (Moscow). November 12, 1968, under Gennady Rojdestvensky

Excerpts from reviews:

“He penetrated Messiaen’s breathtaking world of sound and color, evoking wonderful shivering cries in l’Alouette Lulu, an extract from Messiaen’s Catalogue of Birds.” — Bernard Holland, The New York Times

“Messiaen’s Le Baiser de l’Enfant-Jesus, a rarely performed work, further demonstrated Haimovsky’s rare ability as a sensitive colorist. His playing throughout was ethereal, presenting an evanescent glimpse of another world.” — George A. Sinclair, NAPA Register, USA

“The virtuosic command of the instrument, the lightening-like qualities of his playing, and the constructive depths of his thoughts were especially clearly displayed in L’Alouette Lulu by Olivier Messiaen, where the interpreter used the contrasts of bird calls and trills with the peals of the monotonic falling chords. A similar impression was left by Le Baiser de l’Enfant-Jesus (from Vingt Regards de Infant Jesus), infused with what seemed at first glance to be hazy mysticism.” — Jari Israchi, Maariv, Tel Aviv, Israel

“Messiaen’s Le Baiser de l’Enfant-Jesus was a tightly-controlled, sensitive rendition which exploited the piece’s dynamic breadth with loving care.” — Daniel Ziff, The Jerusalem Post, Israel

“The program ended with three pieces by Olivier Messiaen which were not much short of being awesome. Haimovsky performed some gymnastics of his own at the keyboard, and the effect of the blue-white music coupled with a dazzling virtuosic display brought the audience to its feet.” — Jonathan Bruce Brown, The Saginaw News, Michigan, USA

L’ alouette Lulu from Catalogue-d’Oiseaux

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Le Baiser from De L’Enfant Jesus

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“At times it is difficult or even impossible to establish who introduced to our country the work of one or another foreign master. In the case of Messiaen, we have this opportunity. From the source of such a phenomenon like ‘Messiaen in Russia’ stood one man. Namely, Gregory Haimovsky”  (Vladimir Nestyev, “Olivier Messiaen: Serving humanity,” Musical Life, September, 2009).

“Till now and for many people, the premiere in the Great Hall of the Conservatory of the grandiose Symphony for piano with orchestra Turangalila was a memorable day. The conductor was Evgeny Svetlanov, pianist-soloist Gregory Haimovsky.” (Sergey Jakovenko, “The encounter with on old friend,” Musical Life, January, 1996).

“Although there was a large crowd of musicians that filled the hall…Overwhelming number of audience members were first time acquainted with the music of this French composer… Turangalila had indeed stunning success, special source of which I would define with these words: ‘delight of discovery’ …The impression was as if the audience suddenly  detected totally unknown planet… The arduous score demanded colossal work from State Symphony Orchestra of USSR, its chef-conductor Evgeny Svetlanov and pianist-soloist Gregory Haimovsky.” (Gennady Shokhman, 1971. “Remarkable event,” Soviet music, No. 8).

“In 1967, Haimovsky published in Soviet music (Nos. 1 and 3) the articles ‘Getting to know the score of Turangalila-Symphony,’ which founded the beginning of our native musicology on Messiaen.  Two years after he also presented to the publishing house the book Olivier Messiaen: About creativity, life, views… In the city of Gorky … thanks to the efforts of pianist G. Haimovsky, the first monographic concert of Messiaen’s music took place. There, the following works were premiered: Vision de l’AmenQuatuor pour la fin to temps, vocal cycle Harawi. (At the concert hall of philharmony, April 27, 1967).  Messiaen’s discography in our country also started with the Quatuor, which was recorded by Melodya by Gregory Haimovsky with his friends-performers in 1970.” (Victor Yekimovsky. The presentation for conference dedicated to 100th anniversary of Messiaen’s birth, Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. 2008).

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“Getting to know the score of Turangalila-Symphony” by Gregory Haimovsky (1967, Soviet Music) above is a fragment of the 20-page article, which cemented the presence of Olivier Messiaen’s music on the Russian musicological horizon.

 

Olivier Messiaen in My Life: Ideology & Music in the Soviet Union

Olivier Messiaen in My Life

Gregory Haimovsky. Olivier Messiaen in my life. Liberty publishing house. New York. 2009. Review by Anatoly Liberman. Mosty, No. 28, 2010. Frankfurt, Germany.

I will not tell you how Haimovsky worked step by step to achieve the comprehension of Messiaen’s creativity (the chapters of the book are called  “The Music,” “On Aesthetics,” “From the beginning to the Light of beyond,” and also there are reprinted in the annexes his articles from Soviet Music for 1965 and 1967). This can be read in his autobiography, In the Search of the Island of Joy also published by Liberty…this book is written in the spirit of the poem of ecstasy: there, it explains what Messiaen means for its author. His book is about how he discovered Messiaen’s musical world and how the major part of his life was marked by meetings with it…Haimovsky’s multi-dimensional portrait of Messiaen shows us the composer not as a hermit, not as a mystic or messiah, but an “absolutely modern man” of encyclopedic culture…Haimovsky writes:  “I was and I still remain the irredeemable debtor of this most incredible, superior of all I ever had known in my long life. I was and I still remain captive and wanderer in his immense sound-and-color galaxy” (p. 188). Haimovsky had the rare good luck in his life, but not every composer so lucky, like Messiaen, to find such an unselfish interpreter and friend.

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First recording of Messiaen’s Quartet in Russia — 1969. Melodia. Mark Baranov, violin; Vladimir Tupikin, clarinet; Viktor Simon, cello; Gregory Haimovsky, piano.

 

 

Crystal liturgy

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Vocalise for the Angel who announces the end of time

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Abyss of birds

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Interlude

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Praise to the eternity of Jesus

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Dance of fury

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Tangle of rainbows, for the Angel who announces the end of time

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Praise to the immortality of Jesus

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