Armenian Sketches for String Quartet
First Time Available in The West
Andrei Shtogarenko (1902-1992) was born in the Ukrainian town of Noviye Kaydaki. He studied music at the Kharkov Conservatory. As a composer, he was well-known within the Soviet Union, but he and his music remain entirely unknown elsewhere. He won the USSR State Prize for his compositions in 1946 and 1952 and was awarded the prestigious title of Peoples' Artist of the USSR. During his long career, he served in many positions, including Professor of Composition and Director of the Kharkov Conservatory. He composed in nearly every genre, writing several works for orchestra, solo piano, voice, and also a number of film scores. Chamber music comprises only a small part of his output. Shtogarenko's works show the influence of Mussorgsky and Borodin in that many tend to be of a programmatic and descriptive nature.
The Armenian Sketches for String Quartet, composed in 1960, fall into this category. The opening movement, entitled, Ode to Armenia, begins with a brief, but densely scored and powerful introduction. This gives way to a slightly sad and mysterious section. What follows is a series of sketches, much like Mussorgsky's Pictures, which are meant to convey the flavor of the country. The second movement, Scherzo, is full of forward movement, traveling music which brilliantly conveys the exotic sounds of some of the instruments of central Asia. The Dramatic Etude, which comes next, is a reflective and somewhat sad essay. The lively and colorful finale, Song of Happiness, begins with a bumptious peasant dance, the lyrical second theme rises over a highly rhythmic accompaniment.
This original masterwork may never have been published. To the best of our knowledge, it has never been available in the West. Our edition, perhaps the first, is based on the score found in the Lviv Conservatory in Ukraine. It was completed by Skyler Silvertrust, an expert on 20th century Ukrainian chamber music, who has also completed our editions of the Ukrainian composer Arkady Filippenko's three superb string quartets.
Parts & Score: $36.95