Kastalsky, Alexander (Dmitrievich)

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Kastalsky, Alexander (Dmitrievich)

Kastalsky, Alexander (Dmitrievich) , Russian choral conductor and composer; b. Moscow, Nov. 28, 1856; d. there, Dec. 17, 1926. He was a pupil of Tchaikovsky, Taneyev, and Hubert at the Moscow Cons. (1875–81). In 1887 he joined the faculty of Moscow’s Synodal School; in 1910 he was appointed director of the school and principal conductor of the choir. In 1911 he took the choir on an extended European tour. In 1918 the Synodal School became a choral academy; in 1923 it merged with the Moscow Cons. Kastalsky was also a teacher of conducting at the Moscow Phil. Inst. (1912–22), and in 1923 he was appointed prof, of choral singing at the Moscow Cons. He wrote Osobennosti narodno- russkoy muzïkalnoy sistemi (Peculiarities of the Russian Folk Music System; Moscow and Petrograd, 1923; 2nd ed., 1961); V. Belaiev ed. his Osnovï narodnovo mnogogolosiya (Principles of Folk Polyphony; Moscow and Leningrad, 1948). He also wrote the article “My Musical Career and My Thoughts on Church Music” Musical Quarterly (April 1925). He was a notable composer of Russian sacred music, into which he introduced modern elements, combining them with the ancient church modes.


dramaticClara Militai, opera (1907); incidental music. orchPictures of Russian Festivities (1912); A Marketplace in Ancient Russia (1924); Rustic Symphony (Moscow, Dec. 13, 1925). vocal:Brotherly Prayer for the Dead for Soloist, Chorus, and 17 Instruments (1916); To Lenin: At His Graveside for Reciter, Chorus, and Orch. (1924; perf. at Lenin’s funeral); cantatas; numerous choral pieces. other: Various editions and arrangements, folk- song collections, etc.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Kastalsky, Alexander (Dmitrievich)

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