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HomeLatest NewsComposer Kuzma Bodrov: Music can really save the world - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Composer Kuzma Bodrov: Music can really save the world – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: July 14, 2024 Time: 14:06:43

In 2011, he composed several works for the Pope’s (then Benedict XVI) Mass, performed before millions of young people around the world. In early February 2022, on the stage of the Maly Theater, Sergei Garmash and Yuri Bashmet presented a play about the monstrous power of self-destruction “The Meek”: Bodrov’s music for Dostoevsky’s story has its own role here: placing beacons. before humanity that rushes towards the abyss. His Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra was performed at the Trans-Siberian Art Festival. After the world premiere, we met with the composer and had our ears checked.

Kuzma Aleksandrovich, his Second Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was fantastically performed by Vadim Repin and the Novosibirsk Symphony Orchestra conducted by Dimitris Botinis. But there is another interpreter: time…

Kuzma Bodrov: The fact is that the premiere took place shortly after the terrible events at the Crocus Town Hall and, according to many, the music suddenly began to resonate with these events. Everyone says that it is about good and evil, life and death… But I wrote, naturally, without thinking “about good and evil.” As a composer, I thought about form. The composition is dedicated to Vadim Repin and is based on the monogram of his name: the notes A-D-E: vADiM REpin. This monogram permeates the entire concert and undergoes several metamorphoses, from the most mysterious to the most tragic. But it all ends with a hymn to love and life.

The composition also has a philosophical concept, although I am a big opponent when people start philosophizing in music, but here it happened naturally. We agreed in advance that the concert would last 20 minutes, not a minute longer, and I planned to write it in a classical style in three parts: fast, slow, fast. And now I’m halfway through the second movement, and I’m already eighteen minutes into the music, and I realized that the music here should unexpectedly reach a big coda. He is like a person who thinks that many, many more things lie ahead of him, but in reality, only once did a tree fall on his head. Or a drone has arrived. Or the disease has overcome… And it turns out that everything: the point is here and now. Therefore, there are no drafts in life. You should write clean copy right away.

I am glad that the public felt this music, that it reached the listener and was in tune with their experiences. In the end, we don’t write for colleagues and critics…

The world premiere of the Concerto No. 2 for violin and orchestra took place in Novosibirsk, with Vadim Repin as soloist. Photo: Courtesy of Trans-Siberian Art Festival

This seems like a very old-fashioned idea. Composers, and not only them, write today precisely for critics: for them melody and harmony are hopelessly obsolete and do not reflect our dissonant world.

Kuzma Bodrov: There are notable dissonant works, for example “Lament for the Victims of Hiroshima” by Krzysztof Penderecki. Or his “Passion of Lucas”. Or “Requiem” by Gyorgy Ligeti. This is all bare nerve, but there is also a beautiful harmony there. In my work, I rely on the fact that if the soul asks to write euphonious consonants, then it must be done. Rodion Konstantinovich Shchedrin, with whom I am lucky to communicate, always tells me: “Kuzma, you will hear from everyone that you create ancient music, that they do not write like that, but don’t trust anyone, go your way.”

This may sound pretentious, but I really see the purpose of music as giving people comfort, beauty, healing, and sometimes encouraging them to do something. And this medicine is not always sweet, it can be bitter when music makes a person suffer, as in Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, for example.

That is why the Second Concerto for violin and orchestra is an important stage for me. The premiere was really good and Vadim Repin is determined and inspired to continue playing. This year there will be several performances, one of the closest will be in Yaroslavl at the Yuri Bashmet Festival.

By the way, maestro Bashmet performs your music at each of his festivals. This year’s winter festival in Sochi will be remembered for two world premieres of his compositions: the Concerto for rebab and orchestra “Night Visions of the Alhambra” and the music from the work “Secret People.” How did your creative friendship come about?

Kuzma Bodrov: It all started thanks to my beloved teacher Alexander Vladimirovich Tchaikovsky. He advised the teacher to take a closer look at me. But it wasn’t love at first sight. Yuri Abramovich treated me well as a human being, but he did not know my music and as a creator he looked at me with caution. Then he gave the order so carefully: maybe it will turn out well. Then another. And then came our performances, which made it to the top ten: “Don’t Leave Your Planet” with Konstantin Khabensky, “Love Stories” with a whole constellation of actors from the Moscow Art Theater. Chekhov, “Requiem” based on the poetry of Robert Rozhdestvensky, “The Meek” with Sergei Garmash…

His overture to “The Meek,” in my opinion, is like a vaccine against the cruelty and murderous passion that Dostoevsky wrote about. Do you agree with this comparison?

Kuzma Bodrov: I was looking for the key to Dostoevsky for a long time and had several options for the overture. The world in “Meek” is a real nightmare and all feelings are in tatters, as is often the case with Fyodor Mikhailovich. But in our performance the spectator should not immediately feel all the horror; In our production the suicide occurs at the end and not at the beginning, as in the story.

The decision came to me in Khutyn, this is a village near Veliky Novgorod, my friends live there and I try to go there on free days. And so I was sitting in his house, looking at the Varlaamo-Khutyn Spaso-Preobrazhensky monastery, where Derzhavin was buried, watching the Volkhov River flow and playing some chords, and suddenly some chords began to evoke something in me, so strong. feelings, and I realized that “The Meek” should be told in the language of love. The music begins with very transparent luminous chords, but then they are repeated a large number of times, the beauty begins to lash, tear off the skin, in the end you realize that this is a scorching beauty. This is how we accidentally managed to get into the nerve of the story. Tickets for the performance are sold out at the Maly Theater.

And now you, the teacher and Bashmet have decided to confront Pushkin…

Kuzma Bodrov: I have to work with Sergei Prokofiev’s music for the play “Egyptian Nights”. We don’t want to do a performance, but it won’t be a concert, something in between, and as a composer I need to finish composing something, shorten something, change something, re-orchestrate. On the one hand, it is an editorial work, on the other, it is a co-creation of the composer, since you are working with the material of a great genius.

“Egyptian Nights,” like the music from the ballet “Romeo and Juliet,” recently revived by the Bolshoi Theatre, Prokofiev wrote on the eve of World War II. As if he was trying to stop it, save the world from suicide.

Kuzma Bodrov: I agree! I will tell you a story on the topic of whether music can save the world. In our conservatory, where I studied and now teach, once a strange woman, a holy fool, worked as an elevator operator. And one day she said something surprising: the appearance of Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony, also called “Resurrection”, saved the planet from destruction. How did those thoughts reach your grandmother, far from art? And she said it in such a way that it sank into my soul, I still remember it.

Music has energy, an incredible spirit lives in it, an absolute beauty, therefore, when things like Mahler’s Second and Eighth Symphony, Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, Prokofiev’s symphonies, Berg’s Violin Concerto appear, They extinguish the dark energy that certainly exists in the world. .

How do composers feel about it?

Kuzma Bodrov: When Notre Dame burned down, I had a feeling of anxiety and expectation of something bad, because this is one of the symbols of the world, these shrines do not simply burn. The pandemic soon occurred. Then the whole world went completely downhill…

So what should we do?

Kuzma Bodrov: Exactly, there is no need to shake things up. I have many friends who have a different civic position than me, but as human beings we treat each other well and simply do not raise these issues. Nobody offends anyone, it’s just that now is a time when it is impossible to disturb society. And if you can help the country and society, help.

What should we do? It’s good to do your own thing at home. this is patriotism

What should we be doing now? I will not walk through the streets shouting: “We are for Russia.” But I will write music for our Russian listener. I think this is patriotism: doing the job well at home. And if there is a commission from a European orchestra, I will be happy to write for them too. The beauty of music is in its diversity, in the fact that it draws on different juices. Russian composers were influenced by Italians, Germans and Spanish, but Russian music also influenced a large number of great composers. And what is born from emptiness, from one-sidedness, from incest? Only dwarfs, like in the painting “Las Meninas” by Velázquez.

Russian culture is in no danger of becoming isolated. We have turned strongly towards the East and this pushes creators to look for new unusual solutions, new genres and new languages ​​are born. I am convinced that in ten years we will see how much our cultures have influenced each other. And there is nothing wrong with this influence.

His work has already become one of those bridges that continue to connect Russian culture with European culture. How did you decide to perform your music in one of the European capitals for an entire square, the king and the Pope?

Kuzma Bodrov: A clergyman I know gave an album with my music to the Catholic episcopate, which was looking for someone to commission the writing of works for the Pope’s meeting with young people. It’s called World Catholic Youth Day. Consequently, the music had to resonate with millions of young people between 18 and 25 years old. The bishop listened to the record and said, let him try to write. I wrote “Sanctus” (Seraphic Song) and the number Totus tuus (Everything is yours) based on the words of John Paul II, and my writings were accepted.

In 2011, World Youth Day was celebrated in Madrid, my music played in the presence of the Pope, the Kings and more than two million people in the Plaza de Cibeles and on the outskirts, at the military base where all the participants were. . of the demonstration were housed. The music was performed by the JMJ Orchestra. Since then, my friendship with this wonderful group has continued, they now exist outside the church, but nevertheless give concerts regularly and send me commissions regularly, I remain their composer-in-residence… Also in Spain, I continue teaching at the Katharina Gursky. Higher School of Music.

You are often asked: how did a boy from the Kyrgyz city of Osh become such a sought-after Russian composer? Although the answer is obvious: hard and gigantic work is the “culprit” of everything…

Kuzma Bodrov: We hit the nail on the head! I came to the first year of the Moscow Conservatory with full confidence that everyone who leaves these walls is a star. Six months later I realized: this is not so. The conservatory does not teach classes, the conservatory gives you the opportunity to study, if you want, you can take it. And I sat in the reading room and every day, from morning until night, I learned the secrets of music. But it is also important here who your teacher is. I was incredibly lucky that my teacher was Alexander Tchaikovsky, a very generous man when it came to supporting young talents. He also helped ensure that he obtained my first major commission in Germany and that my Symphony Concerto for Violin and Orchestra was performed at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn.

You are among the composers who are not afraid of artificial intelligence. Aren’t you afraid that it will kill the spirit of the music you’re talking about?

Kuzma Bodrov: I met the AI ​​twice, and both tasks were similar: the AI ​​produced musical material, shapeless and emotionless, which needed to be “revived.” We can say that we were co-authors: I composed a certain structure based on the neural network material and orchestrated it. One of the experiments was carried out at Yuri Bashmet’s Digital Dawn festival. I am sure that over time AI will greatly speed up the process of designing a musical text, will be able to correct errors in it, and will tell composers what can and cannot be performed on a particular musical instrument. Maybe the AI ​​could even write some background music…

But a neural network will definitely never be able to create a melody that makes a person think about what he is doing in this world. This is also not possible for many people.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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