Mosolov, Alexander (Vasilievich)

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Mosolov, Alexander (Vasilievich)

Mosolov, Alexander (Vasilievich), Russian composer; b. Kiev, Aug. 11, 1900; d. Moscow, July 12, 1973. He fought in the Civil War in Russia (1918–20), being wounded and decorated twice with the Order of the Red Banner for heroism. After the war, he studied composition with Glière in Kiev; then studied harmony and counterpoint with Glière, composition with Miaskovsky, and piano with Prokofiev and Igumnov at the Moscow Cons. (1922–25). He played his 1st Piano Concerto in Leningrad on Feb. 12, 1928. In his earliest works, he adopted modernistic devices; wrote songs to texts of newspaper advertisements. His ballet Zavod (Iron Foundry; Moscow, Dec. 4,1927) attracted attention because of the attempt to imitate the sound of a factory at work by shaking a large sheet of metal. However, Mosolov’s attempt to produce “proletarian” music by such means elicited a sharp rebuke from the official arbiters of Soviet music. On Feb. 4, 1936, he was expelled from the Union of Soviet Composers for staging drunken brawls and behaving rudely to waiters in restaurants. He was sent to Turkestan to collect folk songs as a move toward his rehabilitation. After settling in Moscow in 1939, he continued to make excursions to collect folk songs in various regions of Russia.


dramatic:opera:Geroy (The Hero; 1927; Baden-Baden, July 15,1928); Plotina (The Dam; 1929); The Signal (1941); Maskarad (Masquerade; 1940). musical comedy:Friedrich Barbarossa. orch.: 2 piano concertos (1927, 1932); 6 syms. (1928, 1932, 1937, 1942, 1947, 1950); 5 suites: No. 1, Turkmenian (1933), No. 2, Uzbekian Dance (1935), No. 3, Native Lands, with Folk Instruments (1951), No. 4 (1955), and No. 5, Festive (1955); Harp Concerto (Moscow, Nov. 18, 1939); Concerto for Orchestra (1943); Cello Concerto (1946); Elegiac Poem (1961). chamber: 2 string quartets (1926, 1942); Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1926); Piano Trio (1927); Cello Sonata (1927); Viola Sonata (1928); Dance Suite for Piano Trio (1928). p i a n o: 4 sonatas (1923, 1924, 1925, 1926). vocal: 4 oratorios, including Mi. Kalinin (1940) and Moscow (1948); cantatas, including Minin and Pozharsky; Kirghiz Rhapsody for Mezzo-soprano, Chorus, and Orch. (1933); Ukraine for Soloist, Chorus, and Orch. (1942); choruses; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire