I’m really into weird composers right now

Actually always, but I feel like YouTube has exploded with rare gems of late, so I wanted to share some of my discoveries:

Levo Kolodub, Symphony No. 9 ‘Sensilis moderno’ (2004)

There is very little info available in English on Mr. Kolodub, but there is a Ukrainian Wikipedia page, so knock yourself out! My Ukrainian is pretty rusty, but it looks like his mother was also a composer. He completed his studies at the Kharkiv National Conservatory in 1954 and I guess he’s just been writing music ever since? Several operas, 12 symphonies, and a whole mess of concerti and chamber pieces.

Judging from this piece, I’d say his music has reminiscences of Shostakovich, Schnittke, Shchedrin, and maybe even a little Lenny/John Williams thing going on. I rate it Dope AF!!

Anton Lubchenko, Symphony No. 5 ‘Nine Variations’

Here’s an unexpected turn of events: this composer shares his name with a Simpsons character. (Well, Season 11, so really a Zombie Simpsons character.) There’s much more info on him than on Kolodub, largely because he’s also a conductor and he’s been championed by Gergiev to a certain degree.

I’d also put this composer in the post-Schnittke/Shchedrin category. I’m telling you, the former Soviet Union is the only place that classical music is still being written, and has been for say the past 40 years. I hate how Trumpian that sounds, but it’s true. With very few exceptions, the West has given up on classical music entirely and now all we have is Zombie Classical Music.

Einojuhani Rautavaara, Piano Concerto No. 1

Crazily enough, this is the most mainstream piece (or at least composer) on this list, but my wish is that this concerto will become full-on standard rep in the near futuer. It is SUUUPER Ravelian, but like in a reverent and expansive way.

OK, that’s barely scratching the surface of my recent explorations (also fueled by the r/classicalmusic subreddit), but I’ll leave it there for now. Earlier this summer I got all worked up by a clip of Daniil Trifonov’s piano concerto but when I listened to the whole thing I found the orchestration too naïve to get into. (Burn!!)


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