MIKHAIL KUZMIN (1872-1936): Music for the Play The Society of Honored Bell Ringers, Music for the Drama Masquerade, Music for the Play Hinkemann the German, 3 Sacred Songs for Voice and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 04Q057
Description: In January of 2012 we offered a disc of Kuzmin's songs on the Northern Flowers label (01N047) where we introduced him as a poet as well as a composer and the first major gay figure in Russian literature. Well, turns out he also wrote quite a bit of instrumental music for plays as well as a 23-minute triptych of Sacred Songs (to his own poetry) which date from 1901-02 and are strongly influenced by one of his teachers, Rimsky-Korsakov (in terms of ancient Russian sacred and secular music - the Rimsky of the choral chant arrangements offered below). The incidental music is, of course, in brief "cues" which establish mood, or in dance forms contemporary with the action of the play; the 15-minute group from the anti-war Hinkemann (1923) is a bit edgier than the rest, the author having been the German Communist who was President of the Bavarian Soviet Republic for seven days in 1919. Transliterated Russian-English texts. Mila Shkirtil (mezzo), Petrozavodsk State University Male Choir, Karelia State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (Petrozavodsk); Yuri Serov.