Composers Datebook®

Reinhold Gliere

Reinhold Glière (1875 – 1956) –Russian Sailors' Dance, from The Red Poppy (Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy, cond.) BMG 63313 Reinhold Glière (1875 – 1956) –Symphony No. 3 (Ilya Murometz) (London Symphony; Leon Botstein, cond.) Telarc 80609


Composer's Datebook - 20220623

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June 23, 2022

Synopsis

Today we remember the Russian composer Reinhold Glière, who died in Moscow on today’s date in 1956. These days Glière is probably best known for the popular “Russian Sailor’s Dance” from his ballet “The Red Poppy.”

Glière was born in Kiev in 1875, and studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where he later became professor of composition. That was after the Russian Revolution, and Glière could count among his students Sergei Prokofiev and Nikolai Miaskovsky. With the success of works like “The Red Poppy,” Glière is often cited as the founder of Soviet ballet.

Glière also wrote several symphonies, all intensely Russian in color and character. The most famous of these is his Third, subtitled “Ilya Murometz” after a legendary Russian folk hero.

Glière was also intrigued by the folk music of the far eastern republics of the then USSR, incorporating folk themes from the Soviet Union’s Trans-Caucus and Central Asian peoples into some of his orchestral scores.

He was a very prolific composer, but apart from a handful of very popular works, most of Glière's operas, ballets and orchestral works remain largely unfamiliar to most music lovers in the West.

Music Played in Today's Program

Reinhold Glière (1875 – 1956) –Russian Sailors' Dance, from The Red Poppy (Philadelphia Orchestra; Eugene Ormandy, cond.) BMG 63313

Reinhold Glière (1875 – 1956) –Symphony No. 3 (Ilya Murometz) (London Symphony; Leon Botstein, cond.) Telarc 80609

On This Day

Births

  • 1824 - German pianist and composer Carl Reinecke, in Altona;

Deaths

  • 1956 - Soviet composer Reinhold Glière, age 80, in Moscow;

Premieres

  • 1972 - David Ward-Steinman: "Sonata for Piano Fortified," by Gary Wolf at the University of South Florida, Tampa;

  • 1982 - Persichetti: Harpsichord Sonata No. 2, in Cleveland, by harpsichordist Elaine Comparone.