Jon Appleton | The Russian Music

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Classical: Film Music Classical: Chamber Music Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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The Russian Music

by Jon Appleton

Classical instrumental music: solo piano, two pianos, chamber music for piano and 'cello, piano and violin, solo 'cello, concerti for piano and strings, 'cello and strings, concerto grosso. Early 20th Century.
Genre: Classical: Film Music
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Tracks

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1. Julia for Solo Piano: No I.
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2:24 $0.99
2. Julia for Solo Piano: No II.
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1:03 $0.99
3. Julia for Solo Piano: No III.
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4:39 $0.99
4. Julia for Solo Piano: No IV.
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2:19 $0.99
5. Julia for Solo Piano: No V.
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2:13 $0.99
6. Julia for Solo Piano: No VI.
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3:04 $0.99
7. Julia for Solo Piano: No VII.
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2:57 $0.99
8. Julia for Solo Piano: No VIII.
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8:12 $0.99
9. Julia for Solo Piano: No IX.
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2:55 $0.99
10. Duobatoni for Two Pianos
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2:52 $0.99
11. The Turkina Suite for Two Pianos: I.
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4:01 $0.99
12. The Turkina Suite for Two Pianos: II.
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4:35 $0.99
13. The Turkina Suite for Two Pianos: III.
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4:04 $0.99
14. The Turkina Suite for Two Pianos: IV.
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2:41 $0.99
15. The Turkina Sonata for Two Pianos: I.
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3:15 $0.99
16. The Turkina Sonata for Two Pianos: II.
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2:18 $0.99
17. The Turkina Sonata for Two Pianos: III.
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4:18 $0.99
18. Sonata for Cello and Piano: I.
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4:12 $0.99
19. Sonata for Cello and Piano: II.
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3:43 $0.99
20. Sonata for Cello and Piano: III.
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2:20 $0.99
21. Sonata for Cello and Piano: IV.
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7:03 $0.99
22. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano: I.
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6:39 $0.99
23. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano: II.
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4:52 $0.99
24. Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano: III.
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5:17 $0.99
25. Petite Suite for Solo Cello in Seven Moverments
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10:01 $0.99
26. Ilya (for Lydia) Theremin and Chamber Ensemble
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4:09 $0.99
27. Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello and Piano and String Orchestra
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4:07 $0.99
28. Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello and Piano and String Orchestra
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4:55 $0.99
29. Concerto Grosso for Violin, Cello and Piano and String Orchestra
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7:32 $0.99
30. Fantasy or Cello and String Orchestra
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11:11 $0.99
31. Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra: I.
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6:26 $0.99
32. Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra: II.
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3:52 $0.99
33. Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra: III.
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3:47 $0.99
34. Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra: IV.
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5:05 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jon Appleton

How I Became a Russian Composer


I was raised in Hollywood, California during World War II by my mother and stepfather, a Russian musician named Alexander “Sasha” Walden. Although at first I wanted to be a pianist like Vladimir Horowitz, early on I took more pleasure composing my own music. I was mostly influenced by the music of Tchaikowsky, Katchaturian, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev and Stravinsky: this was the music I heard at home and at concerts by the Los Angeles Philharmonic where my stepfather played double bass.

When the United States and the Soviet Union ended their friendship following World War II, my parents (ardent - and later blacklisted members of the Communist party), still insisted that everything in Russia was wonderful. As a small boy it was difficult for me to disagree since I loved Russian music so much.

It was not until I was a student of composer Andrew Imbrie at the University of California that I was told “we don’t compose that kind of music any longer.” I was mystified. How could the Russian music I loved, as well as that of Chopin, Brahms, Ravel and others be out of fashion? When I entered graduate school I struggled to compose in a modernist tradition but these student works now seem cold and inauthentic to me.

Oddly it was the then-emerging field of electronic music that was to earn me respect as a composer during the last third of the 20th century. I am still known today as a pioneer in this field in part because of my participation in the development of the first, commercial digital synthesizer, the Synclavier.

I spent much of my life teaching young composers about electronic music at Dartmouth College and elsewhere including the Theremin Center at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. It was by chance that I came there in 1993 on a visit with the late Dmitri Pokrovsky. One connection led to another: Andre Smirnov, founder of the Theremin Center introduced me to his mother, the pianist Julia Turkina and his aunt, the late Galina Turkina. The sisters were Russia’s preeminent duo-piano team for fifty-six years and they asked me to compose a work for them. The Turkina Suite was a huge turning point in my life as a composer – my Russian revolution. The many instrumental and choral works I have composed since then are often performed in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia but rarely in Europe or the United States. My friends and colleagues here don’t understand how I could leave my quite-original electronic music for the retro, tonal style of my instrumental music. The answer is that they simply occupy quite different places in my musical brain. I’m still listening to and occasionally composing electronic music. I tell friends and colleagues that I’m a bipolar composer but I suspect I’m really just a Russian composer at heart.
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All recorded in Moscow, Russia


Reviews


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KC Jacobs

A Change
Elizabeth's review is eloquent. I'll just add that I found myself "visualizing" snowy scenes while listening, complete with wonderful musical turns like wisps of snowflakes in the wind. It's beautiful music!

The packaging of the THREE cd's is superb, and the Russsian recordings are "classic" in sound - not enhanced, but placing you in the concert hall.

Elizabeth Adams

Emotional, melodic, modern
I’ve been a follower of Jon Appleton’s music since the early Synclavier days when he was known as an innovative composer of electronic pieces. But, perhaps because we’re both pianists at heart, it’s his classical compositions that have most interested me and stayed in my head and heart. Rooted in the classical tradition but thoroughly contemporary, Jon’s compositions collected here are melodic and memorable; always interesting; often surprising; and absolutely reflective of his two national identities: American and Russian.

These wonderful compositions reflect a complex and vibrant person of many moods, attuned to the humor, exuberance and complexity of the world. But it’s in his classical compositions that Jon reveals his deepest emotions, striving, as have all great composers, to say something lasting and profound about the beauty and poignancy of life itself.

Personal favourites are the “Turkina Suite”, written for the two-piano duo of Julia and Galina Turkina; the haunting and lyrical “Julia,” for solo piano, written for Julia Turkina after the death of her sister; the “Concerto Grosso” and “Fantasy for Cello and String Orchestra” with virtuoso performances by cellist Alexander Zagorinsky, and the Piano Concerto, which opens with one of the most beautiful themes Jon has yet written and closes with variations on traditional American melodies, effectively taking us on a musical journey into Jon’s Russian heritage and back home again.

Rod Ellem

Fabulous
These are wonderful Chamber and solo piano works, expertly performed. Well worth listening and buying.