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16 juin 2012 6 16 /06 /juin /2012 13:41

Acclaimed by critics and audiences as one of today’s most interesting composers, as a first-rate conductor and as a gripping musical personality, Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky is one of the first composers of minimalism since 1969 and he started connecting the minimalist vision with spiritual quest.


Some critics define his musical concept as a ‘musical anthropology’. His main works are all part of a global ‘work-in-progress’ called ‘Anthology of Archaic Rituals – in Search of the Centre’. “Rabinovitch-Barakovsky’s creative thinking is turned towards the culture of past centuries which he views as a whole – from the ancient esoteric theories to the art of the 19th century” (Piotr Pospelov, SOVIET MUSIC, Moscow 1991).


He has presented his works at various festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Steirischer Herbst, Witten Festival, Almeida Festival London, Alternativa Moscow and Musiktriennale Cologne as well as in Milan, Munich, Paris, Salzburg, Tokyo and Zurich. Recordings of his music have been released on the MEGADISC CLASSICS, DORON MUSIC, VALOIS-AUDIVIS and BIS labels and received several awards such as ‘LeDiapason d’Or’ and ‘Le Choc du Monde de la Musique’.


Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky is also internationally active as a freelance conductor, having conducted orchestras such as the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, the Orchestra della Svizzera-Italiana, theBelgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow and many others. He conducted in the most prestigious halls such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Copenhagen Philharmonic Hall, the Tonhalle Zurich, the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, the Tokyo Metropolitan Hall, the Teatro dal Verme in Milan and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.


His discography as a conductor is released by Emi Classics, Teldec Classics, Accord Poland, and Megadisc and includes live recordings of W. A. Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony and the first Piano Concertos by Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin with Martha Argerich and the Sinfonia Varsovia (ACCORD Poland), the Piano Concertos No. 19 KV 459 and No. 20 KV 466 by Mozart with Martha Argerich and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto (TELDEC CLASSICS), a live recording of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Renaud Capuçon and the Orchestra della Svizzera-Italiana at the Lugano Festival (EMI CLASSICS) and a DVD with the Classical Symphony and the first Piano Concerto by Sergey Prokofiev as well as the Triple Concerto by Beethoven with the Flanders Symphony Orchestra which was recorded live at the Festival de la Roque d’Anthéron (TDK).


Most recently, several live recordings of his works have been published on the MEGADISC label, including orchestral works conducted by Rabinovitch-Barakovsky such as the ‘Six états intermédiaires’, a symphonic work based on the ‘Tibetan Book of the Death’ which he did with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra at the Belgrade Festival, ‘Incantations’, a Sinfonia Concertante for amplified piano, celesta and chamber orchestra and ‘La Triade’, a Sinfonia Concertante for amplified violin and orchestra as well as ‘Maithuna’, which were recorded respectively at the Bologna Festival and at the Sala Verdi in Milan with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.


Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky left his native Russia in 1974 and now lives in Switzerland.




Press Excerpts 


      „Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky… – he is certainly the first conductor to sport a battery of kirby grips to keep his locks in place – but what a consummate musician the man is. Having whipped the adequate Flanders Orchestra through Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, everyone hanging on for dear life in the finale, with his talismanic soloist he launches into an account of the same composer’s First Concerto that mesmerises from beginning to end…” GRAMOPHONE


„…with these two amazing new releases, he confirms that in mainstream repertory as well as his own wild compositions he is a gripping musical personality… Rabinovitch-Barakovsky creates an atmosphere in which chances can be taken and adrenaline is permitted to flow without restraint. In the Schumann, he is the ideal partner for the mercurial Argerich; it is impossible to tell who is responding to whom at any given moment in a performance of great urgency and beauty…” LOS ANGELES TIMES


„Conducted by Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italianabecomes a luminous body of sound which then accompanies the classics from Schumann’s repertoire with spirit, dynamism and sparkling tonal colours. Argerich’s unconventional interpretation of the a-minor Concerto, sensing the breaking point of the work, moves at the sparsely populated heights of absolute mastery…” RHEINISCHER MERKUR


„Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, like a Harnoncourt on cocaine, draws from the orchestra abrupt phrases, astonishing counterpoints. For once, violas make their presence known. Argerich paves the way, accomplishes incredible work on rhythm, tone opposition and dynamic. A perfect example of sensitive intelligence in action – indeed of two geniuses facing a third one. We often forget it, but interpretation is a subtle form of creation.”



„The other good surprise of the evening was the substantial and harmonious presence of the Orchestra di Padova conducted by Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky… his musicality, full of sparkle and contrasts, reminded of the romantic world of Hoffmann: as was also shown by the performance of Mendelssohn's Italiana. Full of youthful freshness, such as rarely happens.” LA STAMPA


„Richard Strauss adopted this vision in his first masterpiece, the symphonic poem Don Juan that was passionately unleashed yesterday evening by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg conducted by Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky. Rabinovitch-Barakovsky portrayed the hero as a neurotic, heroic and flamboyant, but at the same time desperately lonely. Indicated by a general pause, the death chosen by Don Juan himself sounded truly terrifying…” NBC HANDELSBLAD


„Let it be said, he is an excellent and sensitive conductor who conducts from memory even while accompanying the soloists… Bravissimo indeed Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky, who started with a luminous and quick paced performance of Beethoven’s Fourth…” CORRIERE DEL TICINO


„To judge from a live recording of Mozart’s ‘Haffner’ Symphony… Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky is a first-rate conductor: It’s a performance that fizzes with life and insight.” FANFARE


,,It was Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky leading the musicians of the Sinfonia Varsovia (all merging into one), all evenly balanced, whom he swept away with a conquering enthusiasm always perfectly controlled, each gesture like a firmly held paint brush, giving the instruments their true coulor when emphasis was needed. Too much panache? That would be nonsensical. A bride can never be to beautiful..."

Le Dauphiné Libéré


,,The Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto certainly masters precision down to the slightest detail when dealing with the monumental. An Rabinovitch-Barakovsky also knows how use them in an extraordinary way. To tell the truth, Rabinovitch-Barakovsky keeps surprising us. He is a wonderfully energetic conductor of impressive rigour and determination..."

Der Zürcher Oberländer


,,The conductor Rabinovitch-Barakovsky was phenomenally good in the "Haffner" Symphony KV.385. The interpretation reminded mor of a Breugehel-style peasant dance that of an outmoded, charming minuet in powdered wig. Powerful sforzati, highly sharpened contrasts, aggressive brass section, and an outstanding kettledrum impressed and convinced here..."



,,The Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto, conducted by Alexandre Rabinovitch-Barakovsky played with unanimous passion, full of intensity and expressiveness. The evening had begun with Mozart's Piano Concerto in F-Major KV459. Rabinovitch-Barakovsky played at a grand piano and conducted the Italian Ensemble : it was a powerful, tightly impetuous performance, full og life, looking for a meaningful expression..."

Zürichsee Zeitung

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16 juin 2012 6 16 /06 /juin /2012 13:29

Cette année 1976, deux ans se sont écoulés depuis mon émigration de l'Union Soviétique. Ce constat m'a fait réfléchir sur le sens caché de la parabole du fils prodigue contenue dans l'Evangile selon saint Luc. J'étais en train d'y penser lorsque se sont proposés à moi plusieurs pôles d'attraction pour une traduction musicale de ce thème:


1) Motif-appel de la sonate op. 101 de Beethoven: allégorie musicale d'une incitation au voyage;


2) Le rythme obsessionnel de la "Wanderer-Fantaisie" op. 15 de Schubert symbolisant le voyage lui-même;


3) Les "accords de Tristan" de Wagner, qui incarnaient un certain idéal pour moi: dans le "Récit de voyage", ce motif de Tristan apparaît sous une forme défigurée et grimaçante;


4) Un deuxième motif de la "Wanderer-Fantaisie" de Schubert représentant une confusion extrême des sentiments.


Récemment, j'ai été surpris d'apprendre l'existence d'un pendant bouddhiste de la légende chrétienne du fils prodigue dans le Sutra du Lotus. Cette information a été très réconfortante pour moi quant au choix de ce sujet en tant que thème universel. Le bouddhisme étant plus profondément mystique, je me sens plus intimement marqué par cette traduction orientale centrée autour de la quête de l'illumination.


En ce qui concerne cet enregistrement ancien, je suis très reconnaissant aux interprètes qui y ont participé; leur jeu est superbe. Je ne peux que me reprocher le fait d'avoir un peu "bridé" la flamme et l'élan qui animaient leur jeu. Rétrospectivement, j'aurais aimé prendre un tempo légèrement plus emporté et moins sage.



Récita de voyage (1976)

In 1976, two years had gone by since I emigrated from the Soviet Union. This realization made me reflect over the hidden meaning of the parable of the prodigal son in the Gospel according to St. Luke. As I was thinking it over, several poles of attraction came to mind for translating this theme into music ;


1) The call-motif of Beethoven's sonata op.101 : a musical allegory of the incitement to travel ;


2) The obssessive rhythm of Schubert's "Wanderer-Fantasy" op.15, symbolizing the journey it-self.


3) Wagner 's "Tristan chords" , which represented a certain ideal for me: in "Récit de voyage"", this motif of Tristan appears distorted and grimacing ;


4) A second motif from Schubert' s Wanderer-Fantasy" representing a state of extreme emotional confusion.


To my surprise, I recently discovered in the Lotus Sutra the existence of a Buddhist counterpart to the Christian legend of the prodigal son. This information was very reassuring for me as to the choice of this theme as a universal theme. Buddhism being more profoundly mystical, I feel more deeply affected by this oriental interpretation revolving around the quest for enlightenment.


With regard to this old recording, am very grateful to the performers taking part in it. Their playing is superb.I only blame myself for somewhat restraining the fire and spirit of their playing. In retrospect, I would have chosen a slightly more restless and not such "wise" tempo.



A. Rabinovitch-Barakovsky 01.02.2001

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