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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » S » Spivakov, Vladimir



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Vladimir Spivakov (b9/12/1944)

As soon as his musical aptitude was noticed, Vladimir Spivakov entered the Soviet training system and was moved from his remote hometown to Moscow to attend the Central Music School. During intermediate studies at the Leningrad Conservatory he won the White Nights Festival Contest aged thirteen, putting him into public awareness before he completed his training at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Yuri Yankelevich. His solo career has followed a steady path of international appearances and recording activity, and he has given a number of premieres including works by Arvo Pärt. He conducts his own chamber orchestra, the Moscow Virtuosi, teaches at the Madrid Conservatory and directs the Colmar International Festival.

His wide-ranging discography reveals an artist of impassioned intensity, very much in the modern mould and yet also suggesting something of his Soviet heritage. His performances are characterised by a sound involving fast and relatively tight vibrato and a powerfully direct tone.

Much of his best playing can be found in Romantic and twentieth-century music, as shown here. His three Brahms violin sonatas with Alexander Ghindin (2006), of which No. 1 (Op. 78) is perhaps the best, are measured and assured performances, although the very legato phrasing (overriding, perhaps, Brahms’s fondness for shorter ‘classical’ phrase lengths) will not suit all tastes. The extremely slow movement of Op. 78 and rather heavily-pedalled piano playing may also be off-putting to some listeners.

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