Requiem for Piano Quintet, Op.11
Mikhail Gnesin (1883-1957) was born in the Russian town of Rostov on Don. He studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Georgi Conus, Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov. After graduating he taught in Germany and then back in his home town of Rostov. In 1923, he traveled to Palestine where he collected folk music. Returning to Russian, he taught at the Gnesin Conservatory, founded by his family, in Moscow.
Gnesinís oeuvre falls into two periods or categories. In the first and earliest period he associated with Russian avant garde composers such as Nikolai Roslavets and Alexander Mosolov among others. Their music subsequently has be labeled as a movement known as Russian Futurism. His second and later period was devoted to music involving Jewish folk music. He was one of the founders of the Russian Society for Jewish Folk Music.
The Requiem is a work from his first period and was composed in 1913. It is a tonal work which shows the influence of Scriabin in its use of wayward transitional passages and out of tune harmonic coloring. It is in one movement with four loosely connected sections. Very original in conception. This is an historically important work but also deserving of concert performance on its own merits.
Out of print for many decades, we are pleased to make it available and hope it will interest professionals and amateurs alike.