Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra
Mossolav and Roslavetz were recorded in May 1994, Knipper in October 1996 at Novosibirsk Philharmonic Recording Studio.
Russinan Futurism. Vol.1
Russinan Futurism. Vol.2
Russinan Futurism. Vol.3
Russinan Futurism. Vol.4
Russinan Futurism. Vol.5
Alexander Mosolov - String Quartet No. 1, Op. 24
Nikolai Roslavets - String Quartet No. 1 : Allegretto grazioso
Nikolai Roslavets - String Quartet No. 3 : Moderato
Lev Konstantinovich Knipper - String Quartet No. 3
What was a two-disc set with the "old" Arte Nova is two single discs with the "new"; in 1997, this disc was the second in Arte Nova's Russian Futurism Vol. III, paired inexplicably with a disc of music by anti-Futurist Michael Gnesin. With its return, this combination of string quartets by Alexander Mosolov, Nikolai Roslavets, and Lev Knipper - card-carrying Russian Futurists all - is now its own disc and all the better for it. The Novosibirsk Filarmonica String Quartet tears its way through these works with a sense of both dedication and abandon; Mosolov's masterly, mechanistic String Quartet No. 1 with its long first movement and three tiny others should be required listening for anyone interested in modernism; it represents Russian Futurism much as sunlight represents the sun itself. Roslavets' string quartets No. 1 and No. 3 bears witness to a style slightly older than Mosolov's and, some might say, more advanced, being a synthesis of post-Scriabinesque tendencies and a homegrown brand of dodecaphonic organization. Knipper's String Quartet No. 3 is the most conservative of the four works here, which is to say, not very - it is reminiscent of a cross between Bartok's folk-inspired dynamics and Shostakovich's world-weary sarcasm. All of these compositions are rare and are critical entries in the Russian Futurist canon; they only could have appeared in the era following the collapse of the Soviet Union, as two of these composers were declared "non-persons" and the third forced to renounce all work like this.
Those who already bought this disc paired up with Gnesin will likely not need it again, but for those who did not, the single-disc version is a far more attractive option; this is probably the best disc Arte Nova has ever produced of twentieth century Russian music. However, the front cover image shows us a black and white photo of an empty shower stall, and one must ask the question - why?
- Uncle Dave Lewis
All Music Guide