“Leningrad” symphony by Boris Tishchenko
In the music of an outstanding composer of the second half of the 20th century Boris Tishchenko, program and non-program symphonism occupy approximately equal positions. The programmatic nature of the literary and poetic word became one of the most important elements of Tishchenko’s works, developing alongside his “pure” symphonic style. The article examines the symphony The Chronicle of the Blockade, which is based on his piece for stage and is filled with both visible theatricality and symphonic drama. Music of The Chronicle of the Blockade contains vivid non-musical associations and, despite the fact that the symphony does not have a specific program, its content is extremely bright and prominent. Tishchenko’s work is unique, it is not just a symphony associated with the war, it is a monumental musical canvas in which war, destruction, death, overcoming and victory are described by the composer literally, step by step. Tishchenko looks into the face of war, brutal and merciless, having at his disposal a colossal symphony orchestra. Much is available in music when it comes to portrayal of the surrounding world, and Tishchenko uses the full extent of its possibilities. The work also contains many parallels with Dmitry Shostakovich’s Leningrad symphony.
Tishchenko is a symphonist of a huge scale, and one of his most important and strong sides is his understanding of drama, which, as we can see on the example of The Chronicle of the Blockade, can create a variety of musical forms. Tishchenko did not consider his program symphonies to be full-fledged and did not give them a serial number in his catalog. But it was them, and above all – The Chronicle of the Blockade, which prepared the creation of the composer’s main work — The Choreo-symphonic Cycliade Beatrice (Dante Symphonies). In the piece, “pure” and programmatic symphonic styles came together and merged in an amazing unity, turning out to differ only in the most insignificant details.
Boris Tishchenko, program symphony, symphony orchestra, Dmitry Shostakovich, blockade of Leningrad, “sonoric omens”.
Serov Yu. “Leningrad” symphony by Boris Tishchenko // South-Russian musical anthology. 2021. No. 1. Pp. 18–24.