CATALOGUE

 

 

The entire Ivan Wyschnegradsky collection is deposited at the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basle (Switzerland).

 

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information about the catalogue and scores:
contact@ivan-wyschnegradsky.fr

 

 

NB The works for several pianos are divided up as follows:
→ in the category ‘Chamber music’ : works for 2 pianos, for 2 pianos and another instrument, for 3 pianos.
→ in the category ‘Instrumental ensemble’ : works for 4 and for 6 pianos.

 

 

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[14 works]
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Opus 23a Premier Fragment symphonique (First Symphonic Fragment, 1934/67)

For orchestra, 2 trp., 2 horns, 3 trb, 1 b trb. or tub, 2 perc, 2 pnos tuned a quarter-tone apart (4 pianists), strings (8-8-6-6-2) – (1934-35, rev. 1963 and ’67).

details

Playing time: 11′

Unpublished

First performances: 22 October 1988, in Graz (Austria) by the ORF Symphony Orchestra, Elgar Howarth conducting.




Opus 33 Cinq Variations sans thème et conclusion (Five Variations without theme and conclusion, 1952, rev. 1964)

For orchestra: 2 fl., 2 trp., 2 horns, 4 trb. (3 t., 1 b.), 2 perc, 2 pnos tuned a quarter-tone apart, strings (8-8-8-8-6).

details

Playing time: 15′

Unpublished

First performance: April 1964 in Strasbourg, by the Strasbourg Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Bruck.

 




Opus 39 Polyphonies spatiales (Spatial Polyphonies, April 1956)

For chamber orchestra: piano, harmonium, ondes Martenot, percussion, strings (6-6-6-6-4).

details

Playing time: 8′

Unpublished

First performance: 1980, Hilversum Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Ernest Bour.

 




Opus 45b Étude sur les mouvements rotatoires (Etude on the Rotary Movements, 1967)

For three pianos tuned a sixth of a tone apart, ondes Martenot and orchestra: 3 trp., 4 horns, 3 trb., 1 percussion, mixed chorus, strings (8-8-8-6) – (1967)

details

Playing time: 8′

Unpublished




Opus 45c Étude sur les mouvements rotatoires (Etude on the Rotary Movements, 1961/64)

For chamber orchestra: 2 pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart (4 pianists), 1 trp., 1 horn, 1 trb., 1 percussion, strings (6-6-4-4-2) – (1961/64)


details

Playing time: 7′

Publisher: Belaïeff

First performance: 6 April 1971, Paris, O.R.T.F. Chamber Orchestra, André Girard conducting.

 

This piece is remarkable for its alternation of order (symmetry) and relative disorder (break of simmetry). It is in five interconnected parts.
The first offers a regular movement on cyclic non-octaval intervals of the thirteenth régime. This regime implies leaps of 13 semitones from the minor ninth and 13 quarter-tones from the minor fifth. The balance is perfect when the cycles of this regime are perfect. It is imperfect when it undergoes distortion from quartertone slides. The pianos in the orchestral score have a cristalline role while the string support provides an echo surface. This movement has two subdivisions. The first includes four successive levels or stopovers, while the second joins up with the second part via a series of ritardandos and rallentandos.
The second part itself introduces the irregularities mentioned earlier in connexion with the semblance of disorder. The interconnexions are achieved by echoes. Trumpet, horn and trombone stress the separate levels – blurred by quarter-tone slides – which eventually come to rest on the form chord, as in Skryabin’s Prométhée, with many subtle variations of rhythm achieved by acceleration and deceleration. There is then a conclusion and a preparation for the third part.
This third part returns to the opening position of the first part. We in fact get a contrariwise reprise of the very start of the piece. A stepwise sequence descending diminuendo by downward quarter-tones leads via a short disintegration to the fourth part.
Whereas the third part was an ordered movement, here we reach the climax or agogic cadence, preceded by an initial cluster on the strings and finally the maximal chord with a huge fortissimo thesis sounding the form chord in its first position. Finally, the coda brings us an extremely serene pianissimo. Whereas Wyshnegradsky’s Carré magique functioned by disintegrations and integrations, here we get the opposite in the shape of coupled waves of sound.
Claude Ballif (CD 2e2m), translated by Heinrich Boffelheirn.

 




Opus 51b Symphonie en un mouvement (Symphony in One Movement, 1969)

For large orchestra: 1 fl., 1 ob., 1 clar., 1 bsn., 2 trp., 2 horns, 4 trb. (3 t., 1 cb.), 2 pnos tuned a quarter-tone apart (4 pianists), 3 ondes Martenot, 2 perc., strings (8-8-8-8-6).

details

Playing time: 10′

Unpublished

 




Andante religioso et funèbre (March 1912)

Score lost.

details

Unpublished

First performance: May 1912 at the Pavlovsk Theatre, Saint Petersburg, conducted by Aslanov – April 1913, second performance at the Pavlovsk Theatre.

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote in his journal: ‘March 1912: I wrote and orchestrated Andante religioso et funèbre. I showed it to Sokolov who offered to play it at the Pavlovsk. 22 April, I’m 19. May. Performance of the Andante at the Pavlovsk, conducted by Aslanov in the presence of Cui. After the concert, I met him. He congratulated me on my moderation. April 1913: At the Pavlovsk, second public performance of my Andante.’ (Note by Franck Jedrzejewski – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)




Ballade (1912)

Score lost.

details

First performance: 13 July 1913 (or 30 June 1913, old calendar) at the Pavlovsk Theatre, Saint Petersburg.

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote in his journal: ‘September 1912: With Sokolov, I’m studying fugue and practicing orchestration. I orchestrated the Ballade and showed it to Sokolov. 30 June 1913: First public performance of my Ballade at the Pavlovsk. 3 August 1916: performance of the Ballade in Yalta, conducted by Orlov. I went.’ (Franck Jedrzejewski – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)




Elégie (Elegy, 1915)

Score lost.

details

Unpublished

First performance: 4 June 1918, at the Pavlovsk Theatre, Saint Petersburg, conducted by Nikolai Malko.

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote in his journal: ‘November 1915: I am composing and orchestrating an elegy (short work). 4 June 1918: performance of my Elégie at the Pavlovsk, under the direction of Malko.’ (Note by Franck Jedrzejewski – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)




Etude sur le Prologue à l’Eternel Etranger (Etude on the Prologue to The Eternal Stranger, 1964)

For large orchestra: 2 clar., 2 horns, 4 trb., 2 perc., 2 pnos tuned a quarter-tone apart, strings (8-8-8-8-6).

details

Playing time: 6’

Unpublished

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote in his journal: ‘April 1942: I’ve gone back to working on the Mystère de l’incarnation, which will later be l’Eternel Etranger. September 1942:I am getting down to composing Le Mystère de l’incarnation. I’m revising the first tableau and writing the third. Nonetheless, work is going badly. Artificial efforts and the feeling that I’m not on the right track. I’m dissatisfied with the result. The first tableau is not completely clear. In the third, there are gaps.’ (note by Franck Jedrzejewski – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)

 




La Journée de l’Existence (The Day of Existence, 1916-17, revised in 1929-30 then in 1939-40)

For narrator, large orchestra and mixed chorus ad libitum.


details

Text by the composer

Playing time: 55′

First performance: 21 January 1978 at the Maison de Radio France, Paris, by Mario Haniotis, narrator, and the Nouvel Orchestra Philharmonique, conducted by Alexandre Myrat.

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky had to wait sixty years to hear the first performance of his masterwork, La Journée de l’Existence, which he had conceived and composed beginning in 1916 in Saint Petersburg. And we have had to wait another thirty years to have it on disc and be able to listen to it as we please. This is also the outcome of twenty-five years of work within the Association Ivan Wyschnegradsky, founded in 1983 under the chairmanship of Claude Ballif.
The emotion was tremendous the evening of the premiere, which took place in the Large Auditorium of Radio-France. Listeners were swept away by the work’s intensity, the conviction and dramatic power of the narrator, Mario Haniotis, and the presence of the composer, who, in the dusk of his life, had come to attend the realization of the score conceived in his youth in a moment of illumination and exaltation. We’ve corne full circle, and miraculously, the emotion of the premiere is fully intact on the disc.
This work in itself is a veritable alchemy of speech and sound.
The text was written and revised several times, the earliest versions, titled La Journée de Brahmâ (The Day of Brahmâ), being written in Russian then in French, in all likelihood beginning in 1927. Ivan Wyschnegradsky’s archives, left to the Paul Sacher Foundation in Basle, show that the composer continued to revise and transform this poem up until the year following the first performance, and that on the very copy of the concert programme, so it was indeed a ‘work in progress’ that accompanied him throughout his life.
As with most of his works, Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote several versions of La Journée de l’Existence, including one with chorus
ad libitum. Martine Joste (excerpt booklet CD Shiiin – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)

 




Œuvre sans titre (Untitled work, 1965)

For large orchestra: 2 cl., 2 trp., 2 horns, 2 trb., 2 pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart (4 pianists), 2 perc., strings (8-8-8-8-4).

details

Unpublished




Poème dramatique (Dramatic Poem, 1913)

For orchestra. Score lost.

details

Unpublished

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote in his journal: ‘June 1913: I am working on the theory of enharmonic scales and beginning to write works. I’m thinking of the Poème dramatique. Then, further on: I am working at the piano and have begun composing the Poème dramatique. October 1913: I showed the Poème dramatique to Sokolov and orchestrated it under his supervision. March 1914: Rehearsal of the Poème dramatique in the orchestral version, conducted by Varlich. I attend with Elatchich and his wife who smokes.’ (Franck Jedrzejewski – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)




Poème dramatique n°2 (Dramatic Poem No.2, 1915)

For orchestra. Score lost.

details

Unpublished

 

Ivan Wyschnegradsky wrote in his journal: ‘May 1914: I am thinking of a second poème dramatique (first part of a symphony). June/July 1915: I am writing the second poème dramatique. September 1915: I am finishing the orchestration of the second poème dramatique.’ (Franck Jedrzejewski – English translation: John Tyler Tuttle)




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