Nikolay Myaskovsky
Title Details

582 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

37 b/w, 70 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Nikolay Myaskovsky

A Composer and His Times

by Patrick Zuk

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
  • Reviews
Drawing on a wealth of unexplored sources, this biography offers the first comprehensive critical reappraisal of the life and works of Nikolay Myaskovsky. Zuk's account is far removed from Cold War clichés of the regimented Soviet artist or sentimental stereotypes of persecuted genius.
Drawing on a wealth of unexplored documentation, this biography reappraises the life and work of Nikolay Myaskovsky (1881-1950) - a central figure in twentieth-century Russian musical culture.

The story of Myaskovsky's unlikely rise to prominence is an absorbing one. Destined by family tradition for a military career, he was 25 before he could leave the army and devote himself to music. He had just begun to emerge as a young composer of promise when he was called up for active service on Russia's western front in August 1914. On returning to civilian life in 1921, he played a major role in revitalising professional musical activity after the depredations of the Civil War years. His career vividly illustrates the challenges facing artists as they sought to work out a modus vivendi with Soviet power.

Zuk's account depicts the composer and his milieu against the backdrop of his turbulent times, examining his involvement with Soviet musical institutions and his relationships with Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and other notable musicians. The portrait is far removed from Cold War clichés of the regimented Soviet artist or sentimental stereotypes of persecuted genius. Myaskovsky emerges as a man who displayed remarkable courage and integrity in the face of many pressures. The book also brings into focus the distinctive nature of Myaskovsky's creative achievement and affirms his stature as a leading symphonist of the era.
Beginnings: 1881-1902
Apprenticeship: 1903-1911
Emergence: 1911-1914
War and Revolution: 1914-1917
Aftermath: 1918-1921
Expanding Horizons: 1921-1923
Cross-Currents: 1924-1926
'Sheer Overcoming': 1927-1931
Time of Troubles: 1932-1941
Endurance: 1941-1945
Final Years: 1946-1950
Appendix I: A Note on Recordings
Appendix II: List of Published Works
Bibliography

PATRICK ZUK is Professor of Music at Durham University.

"Both in word and in deed, Myaskovsky was truly "the artistic conscience of Soviet music." How rarely such warm words came his way during his lifetime. But at long last now, 71 years after his death, we have a book that reveals how richly deserved they were.... Zuk has done music lovers an immense service in this book. In its depth of research, it is far and away the finest study of its subject, and it stands alongside the best books on Soviet music: its accounts of the ideological turning points of Revolution, Cultural Revolution and Socialist Realism are models of their kind." David Fanning, Gramophone
"Nikolay Myaskovsky (1881-1950) and his milieu are masterfully portrayed by the erudite and scholarly Patrick Zuk in this monograph which took nearly seven years to complete. It is comprehensively researched and would be enjoyed by professional musicians, students and laymen alike." Andrew Lorenz, Stringendo, Journal of the Australian Strings Association
"In this groundbreaking endeavor, Zuk (Durham Univ., UK) presents an in-depth biography of Soviet composer Nikolay Myaskovsky . . . . [T]he first-ever comprehensive and objective study of the man and his music. This is an important book." D. Arnold, University of North Texas, CHOICE

Hardcover

9781783275755

June 2021

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9781787448155

June 2021

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Title Details

582 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

37 b/w, 70 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press