A Russian composer whose modernity seems to be inherent in him rather than something artificial or over-intellectualized. His natural feeling for melody and rhythm -- by turns humorous (Peter and the Wolf), lyrical (Concerto for Piano & Orchestra no. 3), elegiac (Visions fugitives), aggressive (Scythian Suite), or all of the above (Lieutenant Kije Suite) -- is wedded to a desire for direct communication with the listener and a quality of continually interesting invention. From the piano sonatas, we can see that his style was established at an early age and flowed from his character. It is strange, then, that he should have been criticized on one hand by Soviet authorities for "formalistic deviations and anti-democratic musical tendencies," and on the other by American critics on his 1921 tour for expressing Bolshevism in music. He was guilty of neither, and now we can appreciate his wonderful pieces for what they are. ~ Blue Gene Tyranny, RoviPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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