A Life in Music from the Soviet Union to Canada: Memoirs of a Madrigal Ensemble Singer - North Texas Lives of Musician Series (Hardback)
  • A Life in Music from the Soviet Union to Canada: Memoirs of a Madrigal Ensemble Singer - North Texas Lives of Musician Series (Hardback)
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A Life in Music from the Soviet Union to Canada: Memoirs of a Madrigal Ensemble Singer - North Texas Lives of Musician Series (Hardback)

(author), (editor)
£39.50
Hardback 448 Pages / Published: 30/05/2019
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The musical career of Alexander Tumanov extends from Stalinist and Soviet Russia through contemporary Canada, and as such provides an inspiring portrait of one person's devotion to his art under trying circumstances. Tumanov was a founding member of Moscow's Madrigal Ensemble of early music, which introduced Renaissance and Baroque music to the Soviet Union. The Ensemble enjoyed tremendous popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, despite occasional official disapproval by the Soviet bureaucracy. At times the compositions of the group's founder, Andrei Volkonsky, were banned. Volkonsky eventually emigrated to escape the oppressive conditions, followed soon after, in 1974, by Tumanov, and the Madrigal Ensemble continued in a changed form under new leaders.

The story of the author's subsequent life and career in Canada provides a poignant point of contrast with his Soviet period - at the musical, academic, and political levels. This book is a valuable resource for those interested in the history of music and intellectual life in Russia, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century and is the first published book on the Madrigal Ensemble.

Publisher: University of North Texas Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9781574417555
Number of pages: 448
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Alexander Tumanov has given us a moving, intimate account of twentieth-century history, from his childhood in pre-World War II Ukraine through his emigration from the USSR in the 1970s. This memorable book presents both the traumas and joys of these turbulent times, illuminating many underexplored facets of Soviet life, musical and otherwise. Tumanov's central themes are the fixations and foibles of memory, celebrating those now absent but not yet forgotten."--Peter Schmelz, author of Such Freedom, If Only Musical

"The brilliant Russian musical diaspora--composers, conductors, and virtuosi--has long been familiar to the Western reader. Less well-known is the story of early music singing, with its rich (and risky) Western repertoire, ideologically an outsider to official Soviet vocal culture. Tumanov's memoirs provide fascinating glimpses into this professional realm, its institutions (the Gnessin music school and Madrigal ensemble), their charismatic leaders, controversial programs and well-received tours. But this book is also the personal testimony of a reluctant but grateful migr who managed to re-establish himself and his family on North American soil, singing every step of the way. How fortunate we are to have his voice."--Caryl Emerson, Princeton University

"Alexander Tumanov writes that as a young student he learned an entire Tchaikovsky opera by heart. Well, happily, his prodigious memory has also yielded this vivid, cinematic book--a tender, intelligent family tale that's a complement to any library of historical accounts of the Soviet Union. With as much candor about himself as his beloved country 'run by a criminal gang, ' he shows us how music, just in its phrasing and melodies, can truly be politically subversive, and how creativity will survive routine assaults on independent thought."--Daniel Richler, radio and television journalist, producer, and writer

"Sprinkled with amusing anecdotes and detailed information on the lives of performers and the repertoire of Madrigal ensemble, Tumanov's memoirs are a valuable source for musicologists and cultural historians interested in the Soviet musical climate of the twentieth century and the Russian/Soviet migr community in Europe and North America."--Adalyat Issiyeva, McGill University

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