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Tair Khisambeev’s introduction to Russian music

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In terms of popular music, my tastes are eclectic. I listen to everything. I like some music more, some music less, but in general I have varying taste in genres and styles. I do, however, find that I can’t listen to music without constructive analysis, even when listening to the simplest of songs.

This means that for me, music is not something that can sit in the background. I need to listen, examine, and really absorb what I’m hearing. Listening to classical music is different for me. It’s not only about the pleasure, but a way of self-development. The classical world is so large and diverse that I do not cease to discover its new facets.

As a musician from Russia, I would like to provide you with my playlist of interesting works by the most famous composers of Russian academic music from its formation to the present day.

Each of the composers presented to you is worthy of close study, and I chose such opuses that can serve as keys to their worlds and offer you a chance to discover their legacy. In some cases these are well-known works, but in others they may be pieces you have never heard.

In my playlist, I used many recordings of Russian and Soviet musicians, so that in parallel with the works of composers, you could get acquainted with the style of Russian performance. The Russian performance of a Russian composer creates a sort of synergy… an example of what can happen when the performer and composer are on the same “wavelength”.

Such, for example, the recording of Shostakovich Fourth Symphony with Mstislav Rostropovich as the conductor. But of course, I also wanted to include recordings of my beloved MSO. You will hear Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony and Medtner’s first concerto with pianist Jayson Gillham, both pieces are, in my opinion, excellently performed.