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Tchaikovsky, Symphony Nr. 4. Dúo Piano with Roland Orchestra

Walter Bonaparte

August 27, 2021

For John, today the music of the Fourth Symphony is interesting above all as: a) an opening of the archetype; b) an overcoming of fatality, including fear of death and the prevailing evil; c) a language of the Good Univérsum; d) the awakening of Russia and the whole world.

THE FOURTH SYMPHONY BY TCHAIKOVSKY Interpreted by John Bereslavsky and Teo Leonov

In the series of recordings of the new piano duo format with the Roland Orchestra, Tchaikovsky’s second great work published after the Sixth symphony, is the Fourth. After knowing the novelty of the sound combinations arising from the new format created, listeners have the opportunity to apprehend new images and conceptual interpretations, apart from the original. We see that in the repertoire of John Bereslavsky, there is a work which is also considered as a cornerstone of the history of world music and Russian culture, having a special symbolic and ideological meaning.

It should be noted that the standard musicological paradigms about Tchaikovsky’s creation, based on the works of eminent critics, together with the saved quotes from the composer’s letters (saying that any fate gravitates there, etc.), in the present interpretation, are previously questioned and rejected. Instead, the doors are opened to a genuine good message; the musical gospel of our days. Since there is a reciprocal coherence between the creative sphere of the composer (Tchaikovsky) and the spiritual principles of the performer and his school (John Bereslavsky): in the creation of the Russian genius, other lines of conceptual images that never before attracted the attention to researchers and interpreters. For John, today the music of the Fourth Symphony is interesting above all as: a) an opening of the archetype; b) an overcoming of fatality, including fear of death and the prevailing evil; c) a language of the Good Univérsum; d) the awakening of Russia and the whole world.

For all these reasons, the series of conceptual solutions has a notable influence on the way of treating musical material: sometimes the indications of the tempo are changed as well as the character of the phrasing and the correlation of the form´s segments, just as it happens in the individual approaches used by conductors. This type of revolutionary approach has already manifested itself in the musical expression of several supporters of the predominantly spiritual interpretation (such as the versions of Sergiu Celibidache or the case of María Yudina, when she responded brilliantly: “NOW WE ARE AT WAR!”). In other words, the music in the school of John Bereslavsky arises from within the interpreter listening to the archetypal sphere of the original composer who tries to sound for the listeners an important or prophetic current message, being the technique, the score or the instruments a secondary means of expression.

Normally in the interpretation of the historical-musicological message, the fourth Symphony is understood as the confrontation of “the human with the force of inflexible destiny-fate.” This is considered as a Beethovenian idea. Tchaikovsky even recognized the influence of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony even in his correspondence. But the hero Beethoven is a titan-fighter and Tchaikovsky, on the other hand, expresses a living man who suffers under the blows of life looking for a way out; trying to forget itself in the memories, dreams, escape from loneliness and annoying thoughts and finding comfort in a traditional folk joy (cordial meeting with the neighbors). The fourth movement, in this case, would mean the last clash with fate and the way out of the crisis. “He goes to village and see how they knows how to rejoice!”, etc. (Here Tchaikovsky reinterprets the typical Russian folk song: ” In the Field Stood a Birch Tree, “)

However, in the recording that has been presented to you, the traditional and well-known concepts no longer have their direct reflection and are pushed to the background for losing their actuality. For example, be it the inherited conception of the “Beethoven legacy” (where the symphony appears as the first psychological drama in the history of Russian music, with the theme of fatum, thus cited also in Wikipedia), or be it the one that classifies Tchaikovsky as a “Romantic composer” who, above all, pursue an emotional nature of personal artistic expression (the lessons on television by Leonard Bernstein, etc.).

In this musical interpretation, through the prism of John, the private circumstances of the historical moment of the gestation of the work are contemplated, being raised to the meta-temporal all-human vital situation; the deep social crisis in Russia, the state of war, including the serious upheavals that Tchaikovsky experienced on a personal level when writing his first sacred works and finishing his central masterpieces, the failure of his marriage, and the fact that he sought new creative avenues and sponsorships. All of them are also circumstances applicable to our current life, linked to the existing world crisis, the global situation of social tension, the threat of life, the inadequacy in the media and social spheres and sometimes the desperate state in which entire groups of the population find themselves, including the artistic professions, etc.

Participating in the John Bereslavsky´s musical activity, fully dedicated to the ideal of the victory of universal good over evil and the awakening of archetypal consciousness, we invite our dear listeners to welcome this new interpretation of the symphony with your cordial comments and your sincere participation. We appreciate.

Music Editorial Team

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