It’s party time and I will have no party without proper music. So here we go, bridging the nowadays-not-so-large-anymore gulf between classical music and jazz. I invited my very good friend Dmitry to this occasion, so please, take a few minutes, and with his Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 1 we will celebrate the fact that another year of a thrilling life – mine – has gone by. May there be many more. Here’s a toast to Dmitry Shostakovich, one of my favourite composers, and to Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, who have recorded the piece!
It’s hot and damp outside. As much as I like the sun, the heat today is oppressive. Inside it is fresh, calm, and I indulge a peaceful moment with nothing to do and nowhere to run to. What a relief! Since I work part-time, I am busy with all kinds of unpleasant household chores and I have come to deeply appreciate such moments. And as it happens, during my short break I enjoy Sergei Rachmaninov’s Preludes. What a delight! Perfectly suited to re-energize me with that.
“Nature gives me more than useless layers of fossilized academicalism”. To whom Edison Denisov may he have referred too? Certainly not to his teacher Dmitry Shostakovich. To the “Union of Soviet Composers” who ostracized him for the influence of Western contemporary classical music on his work? Denisov’s music did not intend to charm the ear and certainly not to conform to the official doctrine of Socialist Realism. It did rather intend to express the composer’s ideas and feelings about the Socialist reality in the Soviet Union, an ambition that the Communist party could not tolerate.
Dreaming… Do you occasionally m ake time to dream? To close your ideas, to let your thoughts wander, your mind drift, to forget about the world around you? I think this is important. It doesn’t have to be long, the conscious effort to this – that is what counts. Sometimes I just stop wherever I am, I look at the blue sky, the sun and an intense pleasure starts to glow from inside. 10, 20 seconds, a minute or two, whatever, that short moment is enough to fill me with happiness for a whole afternoon.