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This profile was last updated on 4/14/12  and contains information from public web pages.

Aleksandr Abramovich Krein

Wrong Aleksandr Abramovich Krein?

Active Member

Local Address: Moscow, Russia
Society for Jewish Folk Music
 
Background

Employment History

  • Roles

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Secretary of the Artistic Section
    Muzo-Narkompros
  • Jury Member
    State Publishing House
Web References
Of special importance is the fact ...
www.adamsstreet.org, 14 April 2012 [cached]
Of special importance is the fact that they will be performing Aleksandr Krein's String Quartet-Poeme, Op.9. Aleksandr Krein (1883-1951) was one of the leading modernist composers of the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. His works are comparable to late Impresionists such as Debussy, Ravel, and Scriabin. However, due to the Iron Curtain and the repressive Soviet regime, his music has been sadly inaccessible and forgotten in the West. This is only its second performance in the USA.
However, this concert promises to have something for everyone! The program includes klezmer, Israeli folk, liturgical, and Classical styles.
Aleksandr Krein was born in the Russian city of Nizhni Novgorod into a family of traditional Jewish klezmer musicians. His father, Abraham, was a klezmer violinist, seven of whose ten children became professional musicians, notably David (1869-1926), the concertmaster of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater orchestra, and Gregory (1879-1975), also a composer, in addition to Aleksandr.
...
After a childhood spent playing klezmer music in his father's band, Krein entered the Moscow conservatory at age thirteen as a cello student. He went on to study music theory and composition with composers Sergey Taneev and Boleslav Yavorsky. While still a student, he began to compose song settings for Russian and French symbolist poetry.
By the time he graduated in 1908, he had developed a highly original style that combined the new harmonic language of modern composers such as Debussy, Ravel, and Scriabin, with the lyrical melodies and distinctive modes of Jewish folk music.
This piece represents one of his first efforts in this direction. His string quartet, written in 1909, takes the listener through unorthodox harmonies, rich in chromaticism and nervous energy, juxtaposed with lyrical and lush flowing melodies based on melodies from his own father's klezmer repertoire. It was written after composer Joel Engel had encouraged Krein to explore his own Jewish musical heritage.
...
Krein played a major role in the emerging school of Jewish national music as a composer and active member of the Society for Jewish Folk Music's Moscow Branch (1913-1919) and its successor organization, the Society for Jewish Music (1923-1929). In the Soviet era he served in a variety of roles in the Music Section of the Soviet Ministry of Education and later the editorial board of the State Music Publishing House.
Beginning in 1917 he composed extensively for the theater, including Moscow's Hebrew-language Habimah Theater and the Moscow, Ukrainian and Byelorussian State Yiddish theaters. During the 1920s he wrote several important works, including the symphonic cantata Kaddish (1921), the First Piano Sonata (1922) and the First Symphony (1922-25).
In these compositions, Krein embraced both Jewish folk and liturgical melodies as part of his search for a distinctive, non-European Jewish sound. As the Communist regime grew more and more ideologically restrictive in the late 1920s and 1930s, Krein struggled to reconcile his art with the increasing political pressures.
In spite of obvious political compromises in the form of works such as the cantata Funeral Ode in Memory of Lenin (1926) and the symphonic oratorio The U.S.S.R.-Shock Brigade of the World Proletariat (1932), Krein continued to boldly explore Jewish musical and literary themes in his work well into the 1940s.
His opera Zagmuk (1929) concerned the Jewish uprising in ancient Babylon and was staged as the first Soviet opera at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow (1930). In 1934 he was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Soviet Union.
As late as 1941 Krein composed music for the productions of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater and his Second Symphony (1945), a meditation on the historic sufferings of the Jewish people from ancient times through the Holocaust.
Planet Tree Music Festival: commentary
www.planettree.org, 1 Jan 2000 [cached]
Aleksandr Abramovich Krein (1883‚1951) was born in Nizhniy-Novgorod. His father Abram had moved from his native Lithuania in 1870. He was a collector of Jewish folk music and was active as a 'badhan' and klezmer musician. He gave his seven sons their first musical education and three of these became well-known musicians: in addition to Aleksandr, David (1869‚1926) was a violinist, leader of the orchestra of the Bol´shoy and a member of the Moscow Trio while Grigory (1879‚1955) was a noted composer (as was his son, Yulian, born in 1913). At the age of 14 Aleksandr entered the Moscow Conservatory where he studied the cello with Aleksandr von Glehn; he also took composition classes with Leonid Nikolayev, Sergey Taneyev and Boleslav Yavorsky. He then studied music theory for one further year at the music school attached to the Moscow Philharmonic Society.
...
Krein returned to teach at the conservatory (1912‚17) before he was appointed secretary of the artistic section of Muzo-Narkompros; he later served as the secretary of the academic and ethnographical sections of that organization. From 1922 he held a post as a jury member of the State Publishing House. During the 1920s, he wrote music for several plays staged in the Habimah, the Ukrainian, the Moscow and the Belorusian Jewish theatres. The opera 'Zagmuk' (1929‚30) concerned the Jewish uprising in Babylon in the 8th century BCE and was his last work to show Jewish influence openly. That such subject matter was to be avoided as early as 1934 is demonstrated by the publication, in that year, of a 'Melodiya' ('Melody'), op.43, for cello and piano; five years previously, Sabaneyev had listed this work in his book on Krein as 'Yevreyskaya melodiya'.
...
The Spanish-influenced ballet 'Laurentsiya' written in the mid-1930s enjoyed some success but it, while colourfully scored and undoubtedly the work of a talented composer, is devoid of the singular harmonic and melodic invention of Krein's earlier music. Although some of Krein's later works (such as his Second Symphony written during his evacuation to Nal´chik during World War II) demonstrate his interest in Armenian, Syrian and Turkish folksong, they possess little of the colour and vitality which were derived from his Jewish roots and his harmonic adventurousness.
Krein's finest works were written between 1910 and about 1928. In these, Krein absorbed the contours and inflections of Jewish folk music into a harmonic language which, being characterized by the use of altered dominant ninth and eleventh chords, is clearly related to that of Skryabin with whom Krein became acquainted around 1910. In these, Krein absorbed the contours and inflections of Jewish folk music into a harmonic language which, being characterized by the use of altered dominant ninth and eleventh chords, is clearly related to that of Skryabin with whom Krein became acquainted around 1910.
Of special importance is the fact ...
www.adamsstreet.org, 1 Dec 2011 [cached]
Of special importance is the fact that they will be performing Aleksandr Krein's String Quartet-Poeme, Op.9. Aleksandr Krein (1883-1951) was one of the leading modernist composers of the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. His works are comparable to late Impresionists such as Debussy, Ravel, and Scriabin. However, due to the Iron Curtain and the repressive Soviet regime, his music has been sadly inaccessible and forgotten in the West. This is only its second performance in the USA.
However, this concert promises to have something for everyone! The program includes klezmer, Israeli folk, liturgical, and Classical styles.
Aleksandr Krein was born in the Russian city of Nizhni Novgorod into a family of traditional Jewish klezmer musicians. His father, Abraham, was a klezmer violinist, seven of whose ten children became professional musicians, notably David (1869-1926), the concertmaster of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater orchestra, and Gregory (1879-1975), also a composer, in addition to Aleksandr.
After a childhood spent playing klezmer music in his father's band, Krein entered the Moscow conservatory at age thirteen as a cello student. He went on to study music theory and composition with composers Sergey Taneev and Boleslav Yavorsky. While still a student, he began to compose song settings for Russian and French symbolist poetry.
By the time he graduated in 1908, he had developed a highly original style that combined the new harmonic language of modern composers such as Debussy, Ravel, and Scriabin, with the lyrical melodies and distinctive modes of Jewish folk music.
This piece represents one of his first efforts in this direction. His string quartet, written in 1909, takes the listener through unorthodox harmonies, rich in chromaticism and nervous energy, juxtaposed with lyrical and lush flowing melodies based on melodies from his own father's klezmer repertoire. It was written after composer Joel Engel had encouraged Krein to explore his own Jewish musical heritage.
...
Krein played a major role in the emerging school of Jewish national music as a composer and active member of the Society for Jewish Folk Music's Moscow Branch (1913-1919) and its successor organization, the Society for Jewish Music (1923-1929). In the Soviet era he served in a variety of roles in the Music Section of the Soviet Ministry of Education and later the editorial board of the State Music Publishing House.
Beginning in 1917 he composed extensively for the theater, including Moscow's Hebrew-language Habimah Theater and the Moscow, Ukrainian and Byelorussian State Yiddish theaters. During the 1920s he wrote several important works, including the symphonic cantata Kaddish (1921), the First Piano Sonata (1922) and the First Symphony (1922-25).
In these compositions, Krein embraced both Jewish folk and liturgical melodies as part of his search for a distinctive, non-European Jewish sound. As the Communist regime grew more and more ideologically restrictive in the late 1920s and 1930s, Krein struggled to reconcile his art with the increasing political pressures.
In spite of obvious political compromises in the form of works such as the cantata Funeral Ode in Memory of Lenin (1926) and the symphonic oratorio The U.S.S.R.-Shock Brigade of the World Proletariat (1932), Krein continued to boldly explore Jewish musical and literary themes in his work well into the 1940s.
His opera Zagmuk (1929) concerned the Jewish uprising in ancient Babylon and was staged as the first Soviet opera at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow (1930). In 1934 he was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the Soviet Union.
As late as 1941 Krein composed music for the productions of the Moscow State Yiddish Theater and his Second Symphony (1945), a meditation on the historic sufferings of the Jewish people from ancient times through the Holocaust.
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