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Chmoulevitch, Vsevolod

Chmoulevitch, Vsevolod (1970-)

Born in 1970 in Russia, Vsevolod Chmoulevitch studied composition and conducting at the St.Petersburg State Conservatory with professor Boris Tistchenko and at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon with Gilbert Amy. In 1992 he participated in the summer course of the Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau and he studied with Philippe Manoury during the Académie Européenne of the Aix-en-Provence festival. Mr. Chmoulevitch has been a winner of several International Competitions starting as early as 1992 with the prize from the Tenth International Composer's Competition in Hitzacker to the Henri Dutilleux International Composer's Competition in 1999. He has also won the First Prize of the Molinari Quartet's First International Composition Competition. He has had many commissions from, among others, the Soros-Foundation, the Académie Européenne du Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, the Oskar Back Foundation, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain de Lyon, the Ensemble Inter-Instrumental de Châteauroux, the Académie Musical de Villecroze and the Festival Usedommer. Founder and conductor of the New Music Group (St. Petersburg) Chmoulevitch conducts his works as well as works from other contemporary composers with orchestras and contemporary music ensembles in France and Russia. He works also for the theater, especially with Lev Dodine and is the author of the musical comedy "Aibolit and Barmalei" composed for the Young Public Theatre of St. Petersburg. The music of Chmoulevitch has been premiered by such ensembles as Court-Circuit, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, EOC de Lyon, Noordhollands Philharmonisch Orkest, Danel Quartet, Ensemble Novicento, Musica da Camera at international festivals (Festival d'art lyrique d'Aix-en-Provence, Musique en Scène in Lyon, Gaudeamus Music Week, Sound Ways in St. Petersburg). His music is played in Russia, France, Germany, United States, Italy and Holland.

« Romantique » Quartet (2001)

The time it took me to write this quartet! Indeed, the project turned into an experiment because over a period of three years, all the original ideas I had would reveal themselves through excerpts for string quartet. And even if the direction was determined from the start, the content kept changing and transforming itself. The final step consisted in bringing all these "patchwork" elements into a single global process, according to the narrative dimension and what I would call the "message" I wanted to put forward. I had two major concerns : develop the complexity of my language as much as I could, since that would be interpreted as "professionalism". As well, I wished to use that complexity in a performer-friendly manner, to create a musical discourse that would be "romantic" (hence the title) with post-serial means of inspiration. There was another challenge: to write fast music that would not be too short: that is one of the problems composers are faced with, writing lots of notes that go by too fast! The quartet is divided into two movements: the first is extraverted and kinetic, while the second is more introverted, a sort of reaction to the issues raised in the first (I am only speaking in a general manner). Since each movement comprises two parts, the whole work is divided into four episodes outlining the following scheme : allegro – scherzo – adagio – allegro (a repeat of the material from the first episode). This structure alludes to the mixed sonata form that was so successful in the Romantic period and of which Liszt appears to have been the first proponent. This is the second reason which led me to choose this work’s title. A look at the score will reveal an in-depth exploration of rhythm. Two principles oppose one another, according to the character of the material. The first approach consisted in notating melodic lines with precise values, to achieve an expressive character. With the second, aleatoric lines (yet still subordinate to a global pulse) pertain to a more destructive continuum, which ultimately takes over the first one, another Romantic trait! The third Romantic "stigmata" is made manifest through harmony. Indeed, with its intense sonority recalling Scriabin or Schoenberg, the first chord takes on the function of a theme, first through its invasion of the vertical structures and later when it is repeated in an obsessive manner, in the fourth episode. -

Vsevolod Chmoulevitch (Translation: Marc Hyland)



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