Anton Arensky

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Anton Arensky, 1895 Arensky Anton Postcard-1910.jpg
Anton Arensky, 1895

Anton Stepanovich Arensky (Russian : Анто́н Степа́нович Аре́нский; 12 July [ O.S. 30 June] 186125 February [ O.S. 12 February] 1906) was a Russian composer of Romantic classical music, a pianist and a professor of music.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Old Style and New Style dates 16th-century changes in calendar conventions

Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are terms sometimes used with dates to indicate that the calendar convention used at the time described is different from that in use at the time the document was being written. There were two calendar changes in Great Britain and its colonies, which may sometimes complicate matters: the first was to change the start of the year from Lady Day to 1 January; the second was to discard the Julian calendar in favour of the Gregorian calendar. Closely related is the custom of dual dating, where writers gave two consecutive years to reflect differences in the starting date of the year, or to include both the Julian and Gregorian dates.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Contents

Biography

Arensky was born in a music-loving, affluent family in Novgorod, Russia. He was musically precocious and had composed a number of songs and piano pieces by the age of nine. With his mother and father, he moved to Saint Petersburg in 1879, after which he studied composition at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Saint Petersburg Federal city in Northwestern, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Saint Petersburg Conservatory music school in Saint Petersburg

The N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov Saint Petersburg State Conservatory is a music school in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In 2004, the conservatory had around 275 faculty members and 1,400 students.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov Russian composer

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. He was a master of orchestration. His best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas. Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tale and folk subjects.

After graduating from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1882, Arensky became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. Among his students there were Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Gretchaninov. [1]

Moscow Conservatory Musical educational institution with major performance venue

The Moscow Conservatory, also officially Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory is an educational music institution located in Moscow, Russia. It grants undergraduate and graduate diplomas in musical performance and musical research. The conservatory offers various degrees including Bachelor of Music Performance, Master of Music and PhD in research.

Alexander Scriabin Russian pianist and composer

Alexander Nikolayevich Scriabin was a Russian composer and pianist. Scriabin, who was influenced early in his life by the works of Frédéric Chopin, composed works that are characterised by a highly tonal idiom. Later in his career, independently of Arnold Schoenberg, Scriabin developed a substantially atonal and much more dissonant musical system, which accorded with his personal brand of mysticism. Scriabin was influenced by synesthesia, and associated colours with the various harmonic tones of his atonal scale, while his colour-coded circle of fifths was also influenced by theosophy. He is considered by some to be the main Russian Symbolist composer.

Sergei Rachmaninoff Russian composer, pianist, and conductor

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire.

In 1895 Arensky returned to Saint Petersburg as the director of the Imperial Choir, a post for which he had been recommended by Mily Balakirev. He retired from this position in 1901, living off a comfortable pension and spending his remaining time as a pianist, conductor, and composer.

Mily Balakirev 18th and 19th-century Russian composer, pianist, and conductor

Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor known today primarily for his work promoting musical nationalism and his encouragement of more famous Russian composers, notably Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He began his career as a pivotal figure, extending the fusion of traditional folk music and experimental classical music practices begun by composer Mikhail Glinka. In the process, Balakirev developed musical patterns that could express overt nationalistic feeling. After a nervous breakdown and consequent sabbatical, he returned to classical music but did not wield the same level of influence as before.

Arensky died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium in Perkjärvi, in what was then the Russian-administered Grand Duchy of Finland, at the age of 44. While very little is known about his private life, Rimsky-Korsakov alleges that drinking and gambling undermined his health. [2] He was buried in the Tikhvin Cemetery.

Tuberculosis infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. About 10% of latent infections progress to active disease which, if left untreated, kills about half of those affected. The classic symptoms of active TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing sputum, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. It was historically called "consumption" due to the weight loss. Infection of other organs can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Kirillovskoye, Leningrad Oblast human settlement in Russia

Kirillovskoye is a settlement on Karelian Isthmus, in Vyborgsky District of Leningrad Oblast, near the European route E18, and an important station of the Saint Petersburg-Vyborg railroad, being the final destination of many electric passenger trains arriving from Finlyandsky Rail Terminal. Before the Winter War and Continuation War, Perkjärvi was a village of the Muolaa municipality of the Viipuri province of Finland. In 1948 and 1949, its parts were renamed Kirillovskoye and Kirpichnoye, respectively.

Grand Duchy of Finland predecessor state of modern Finland

The Grand Duchy of Finland was the predecessor state of modern Finland. It existed between 1809 and 1917 as an autonomous part of the Russian Empire.

The Antarctic Arensky Glacier was named after him.

Music

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was the greatest influence on Arensky's musical compositions. Indeed, Rimsky-Korsakov said, "In his youth Arensky did not escape some influence from me; later the influence came from Tchaikovsky. He will quickly be forgotten." The perception that he lacked a distinctive personal style contributed to long-term neglect of his music, though in recent years a large number of his compositions have been recorded. Especially popular are the Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky for string orchestra, Op. 35a - arranged from the slow movement of Arensky's 2nd string quartet, and based on one of Tchaikovsky's Songs for Children, Op. 54.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Russian composer

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the romantic period, whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Op. 35a, a piece for string orchestra by Anton Arensky, started out as the slow movement of his String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 35, for the unusual scoring of violin, viola, and 2 cellos. It was written in 1894, the year after the death of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, in a tribute to that composer. It was based on the theme from the song "Legend: Christ in His Garden", the fifth of Sixteen Children's Songs, Op. 54.

Arensky was perhaps at his best in chamber music, in which genre he wrote two string quartets, two piano trios, and a piano quintet.

Selected works

Opera

Ballet

Orchestral

Chamber

Piano

(for solo piano unless otherwise specified)

Choral

Solo vocal

Arrangements of Arensky's music

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References

  1. See: List of music students by teacher: A to B#Anton Arensky .
  2. Nikolai A. Rimski-Korsakov, Moei muzikal'noy zhizni, 1844-1906. St. Petersburg 1909 (Translation in French)