Andrei Eshpai

Internet Edition compiled by Onno van Rijen

Last update: 9 March 2014


Born

15 May 1925 in Kosmodemhansk.

Education

At Moscow Conservatory from 1948-1953 (piano under Sofronitsky; composition under Rakov, Miaskovsky and Golubev). Postgraduate study under Aram Khachaturian from 1953-1956.

Principal Works

Nine symphonies, two piano concertos, four violin concertos, viola concerto, cello concerto, oboe concerto, symphonic dances, concerto for orchestra, two violin sonatas, piano compositions, ballets, songs and operettas.

Style

His musical expressive means are very unusual due to his usage of the folklore of his native Mari people. Typically his colourful orchestral sound seems to distill the essence of the natural world of the far north. He uses syncopated rhythms; his rhythms seem to be related to the music of Bartok. He uses often alternations of ostinato-tuttis and rhythmic shifts from folklore music.

Compositions by Andrei Eshpai

Suite for clarinet and piano (1946)

Three Mari Melodies, suite for clarinet and piano (1947)

Six Preludes for piano (1947)

Easy Pieces on Folk Themes of the Peoples of the Volga District for piano (1948)

Three Mari Songs, folk songs arranged for voice and piano (1948)

Suite for piano (1948)

Preludium, Adagio and Fugue for flute and clarinet (1949)

Sonatina No. 1 in D minor for piano (1948-1950)

Four Pieces for piano (1949-1950)

Melody and Dance for violin and piano (1950)

Passacaglia "In Memory of N. Miaskovsky" for organ (1950)

Piano Sonata No. 1 in D-minor (1950)

1. Allegro moderato.
2. Andante
3. Allegro (Toccata)
Etude in E minor for piano (1951)

"The Nightingale", Mari folk song, arrangement for piano (1951)

Symphonic Dances on Mari Themes (1951)

Duration: 13 min.
Andante sostenuto – Allegro vivo con fuoco.
Orchestra: 3(pic).3(Eh).4.2. – 4.3.3.1. – perc, xyl – cel, harp – strings.
Video:
Sapaeva Opera & Ballet Theatre Symphony Orchestra
LP Melodiya C20 17171-2: Accordion Orchestra, V. Somorov (cond)
CD
Albany Troy 286: All-Union Radio Orchestra, L. Nikolayev (cond)
Three Pieces for Children for piano (1952)

Lullabay and Dance for two pianos (1952)

LP Melodiya M10 36575-6: G. and Y. Turkina (piano)
"Hungarian Tunes", rhapsody for violin and orchestra (1952)
Duration: 14 min.
1. Lento sostenuto
2. Allegro non troppo
3. Andante
4. Allegro vivace
5. Allegro moderato con grazia
6. Final. Vivo
Orchestra: 3.3(Eh).2.2. – 4.3.3.1. – perc, xyl – cel, harp, pf – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 13773-4: Central Television and Radio SO, F. Mansurov (cond), E. Grach (violin)
Hungarian Tunes for violin and piano (1953)
LP Melodiya C10 25671: E. Grach (violin), A. Maloletkova (piano)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: L. Dmiterko (violin), Andrei Eshpai (piano)
"The Forest", Mari folk song, arranged for piano (1953)

Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor (1954)

Dedicated to the memory of Maurice Ravel.
In three movements: 1. Allegro; 2. Andante; 3. Final. Allegro vivace.
Duration: 28 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).3(EH).3(B cl).2. – 4.3.3.1. – perc – cel, harp – strings.
Two Dance Pieces (Foxtrots) for piano (1955)

"Lost Motive", foxtrot for variety orchestra

Violin Concerto no. 1 in G minor (1956)

Dedicated to Eduard Grach.
In three movements: 1. Allegro vivace; 2. Andante sostenuto. Andante; 3. Allegro vivace.
Duration: 26 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).3(EH).2.2. – 4.3.3.1. – chime-bells, xyl – harp – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 13773-4: Central Television and Radio SO, F. Mansurov (cond), E. Grach (violin)
Variations on a Theme by Glinka for piano (1956)

Symphony no. 1 in E flat minor (1959)

Epigraph: “We snatch joy from the coming days” by V. Mayakovsky.
Duration: 18 min.
Lento – Allegro vivace festivo.
Orchestra: 3(II=pic).3(Eh).3(B cl).3(dbn). – 4.3.3.1. – perc, chime-bells, xyl – cel, harp – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 05401-2: USSR State SO, K. Ivanov (cond)
CD Albany Troy 367: USSR Radio & TV Large SO, K. Ivanov (cond)
Four Children's Songs for piano (1961)

Simple Waltz for piano (1961)

Simple Waltz for variety orchestra (1961)

Symphony no. 2 in A major "Praise the Light" (1962)

Duration: 27 min.
1. Allegro molto agitato
2. Andante dolente. Semplice
3. Finale. Allegro molto vivace
Orchestra: 3(pic).3(Eh).3(B cl).3(dbn). – 4.3.3.1. – perc, chime-bells, xyl – guitar, 2 harps, pf – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 05649-50: USSR Academic SO, K. Ivanov (cond)
CD Albany Troy 286: USSR Radio & TV Large SO, K. Ivanov (cond)
Epitaph for piano (1963)

Symphony no. 3 "To the Memory of My Father" (1964)

Duration: 22 min.
1. Andante
2. Vivo
3. Largo
4. Allegro moderato
5. Molto tranquillo
LP Melodiya C10 05401-2: USSR State SO, K. Ivanov (cond)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: USSR TV Radio SO, V. Fedoseyev (cond)
Rhapsody on themes of songs for variety orchestra (1965)

Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano (1965-1966)

Duration: 14 min.
LP Melodiya C10 05649-50: E. Grach (violin), A. Maloletkova (piano)
CD MCA: Leonora Dmiterko (violin)
CD Russian Disc RDCD 10001: Levon Ambartsumian (violin), Anatoly Sheludyakov (piano)
Variations on a Theme of Symphony No. 16 by Nikolai Miaskovsky for large symphony orchestra (1966)

Variations on a Theme of Symphony No. 16 by Nikolai Miaskovsky for piano (1966)

"Alexandria", lyrical piece for piano (1966)

Bossa-Nova, Foxtrot.
"Concerto Grosso", concerto for trumpet, piano, vibraphone, double-bass and orchestra (1966-1967)
In one movement.
Duration: 14 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.3(B cl).3(dbn). – 4.3.3.1. – xyl – harp – soloists – strings.
Video:
Odense Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Vedernikov (cond), Henrik Hou Feddersen (trumpet), Jakob Weber (vibraphone), Toms Timofejevs (double-bass), Maria Eshpai (piano)
Vyacheslav Valeev (cond), Eugene Alimov (trumpet), Elena Tarasova (piano), Alexander Parsadanov (double-bass), Konstantin Semenov (vibraphone)
LP Melodiya C10 05659: USSR State SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond), A. Maksimenko (trumpet), R. Azarkhin (double-bass), P. Meshchanikov (piano), B. Stepanov (vibraphone)
CD Russian Disc RD CD 11 054: USSR State SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond), A. Maksimenko (trumpet), R. Azarkhin (double-bass), P. Meshchanikov (piano), B. Stepanov (vibraphone)
CD Albany Troy 341: USSR State SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond), A. Maksimenko (trumpet), R. Azarkhin (double-bass), P. Meshchanikov (piano), B. Stepanov (vibraphone)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: USSR State SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond), A. Maksimenko (trumpet), R. Azarkhin (double-bass), P. Meshchanikov (piano), B. Stepanov (vibraphone)
"Lenin is With Us", cantata for mixed chorus and symphony orchestra (1968)
In three movements.
On words by Vladimir Mayakovsky
Duration: 14 min.
1. “The last page of the Civil War”
2. “Few facts about St. Petersburg”
3. “Lenin is with us”
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.3(B cl).3(dbsn). – 4.3.3.1. – chime-bells, vibr – harp, 2 pianos – strings.
CD Olympia OCD 201: USSR Radio Chorus and Orchestra, I. Gusman (cond)
"Play" for piano (1968)

Rondo-Etude for piano (1968)

"Nobody is happier than me", operetta (1968-1969)

Staged under the titles “Attention, Shooting! The Girl was only Twenty” and “Movie Star”.
In two acts.
Libretto by V. Konstantinov and B. Ratser.
Etude in A minor for piano (1969)

Three Jazz Melodies for piano (1969)

Three Preludes for piano (1969)

Fifteen Mari Melodies for piano (1969)

Children's Album, piano pieces from different years (1948-1970)

Metrum and Rhythm for piano (1970)

Eight French Songs, transcriptions for piano (1970)

Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano (1970)

Duration: 14 min.
LP Melodiya C10 05649-50: E. Grach (violin), A. Eshpai (piano)
LP Melodiya C10 13773-4: E. Grach (violin), A. Eshpai (piano)
CD MCA: Leonora Dmiterko (violin)
The Bells of the Kremlin, festive overture for chorus and orchestra (1970)
LP Melodiya M60 42635-6: All-Union Radio SO, S. Skripka (cond)
Festive Overture “The Kremlin Chimes” for orchestra (1970)
Duration: 10 min.
For six harps, four pianos, vocal group, 2 violins, eight cellos and symphony orchestra.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.2. – 4.3.3.1 – chime-bells, vibr, bells – soloist.
Sonatina No. 2 in G major for piano (1971)

Mari folk tunes and songs, 29 pieces for piano (1948-1971)

Piano Concerto No. 2 (1972)

Duration: 18 min.
In one movement.
Orchestra: 4(picc.).3(EH).2.3(dbsn). – 4.3.3.1. – perc – harp, pf – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 13284: Moscow PO, D. Kitaenko (cond), V. Krainev (piano)
LP Melodiya C10 21273: Moscow PO, D. Kitaenko (cond), V. Krainev (piano)
CD Russian Disc RD CD 11 054: Moscow PO, D. Kitaenko (cond), V. Krainev (piano)
CD Albany Troy 341: USSR State SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond), A. Eshpai (piano)
"Love is Forbidden" (“Marriage by the Drawing of Lost”), musical (1973)
In two acts.
Libretto by V. Kostantinov and B. Ratser.
Prelude for organ (1973)

Arrangements of Mari folk songs for piano (1970-1973)

“Mari Bagpipe” for piano (1973)

Angara, ballet (1974-1975)

In three acts with a prologue and an epilogue.
Libretto by Yu. Grigorovich and V. Sokolov based on the A. Arbuzov’s play “This happened in Irkutsk”.
Orchestra: 3(pic).3(Eh).3(B cl).tenor sax.3(dbn). - 4.3.3.1. – perc, xyl, vibr, marimba – 2 guitars, cel, 2 harps, pf – 2 domras, balalaika – strings. There is an ensemble on the stage (2 guitars, 3 trumpets and jazz-battery).
LP Melodiya C10 11949-50 (Excerpts): Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, A. Ziuraitis (cond)
Dance from the ballet “Angara” for piano duet (1975)

Two Sad Melodies for piano (1975)

"Hungarian Notebook", Hungarian songs and tunes for piano (1975)

"DSCH", musical offering to Dmitry Shostakovich for piano (1976)

Duration: 10 min.
Violin Concerto No. 2 (1977)
In memory of Nikolai Miaskovsky.
In one movement.
Duration: 24 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.3(B cl).2. – 4.3.3.1. – chime-bells, vibr – cel, harp – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 28541: USSR SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond), E. Grach (violin)
LP Melodiya C10 16731: Moscow PO, D. Kitaenko (cond), E. Grach (violin)
CD Russian Disc RD CD 11 054: Moscow PO, D. Kitaenko (cond), E. Grach (violin)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: The Symphony Orchestra, D. Kitaenko (cond), E. Grach (violin)
“Hating Melody” for piano (1979)

Two Spanish Songs for piano (1979)

A Circle, ballet (1979-1980)

In two acts.
Libretto by I. Chernyshov.
LP Melodiya C10 16189-92: Central Television and All-Union Radio SO, E. Khachaturian (cond)
CD Albany Troy 367: Central Television and All-Union Radio SO, E. Khachaturian (cond)
Two Preludes for piano (1980)

Russian Playing Songs for two pianos (1980)

Symphony no. 4 "Symphony-Ballet" (1980-1981)

In one movement.
Duration: 35 min.
Orchestra: 4(pic).2.3.3(dbn). – 4.3.3.1. – jazz band (six saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, drum kit, bongos, 2 guitars) – perc, antique cymbals, chime-bells, vibr.
CD Russian Disc RD CD 11 051: USSR Large Television and Radio SO, V. Fedoseyev (cond)
LP Melodiya C10 19279: USSR Large Television and Radio SO, V. Fedoseyev (cond)
Two Pieces for piano (1981)

Three Mari Melodies for piano (1981)

Dance on a Mari Melody for piano (1981)

Introduction for variety orchestra (1981)

"Simon Bolivar", symphonic poem for full orchestra (1982)

Duration: 30 min.
Concerto for oboe and orchestra (1982)
Dedicated to Anatoli Lubimov.
In one movement.
Duration: 17 min.
Orchestra: 4(picc.).2.2.2. – 4.3.3.1. – timp, trgl, wood-block, side drum, cymb, bass drum – chime-bells, xyl, vibr, cel, harpsichord, harp, pf – strings.
LP Melodiya C10 24145: USSR SO, V. Sinaisky (cond), Anatoly Lubimov (oboe)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: The Symphony Orchestra, D. Kitaenko (cond), Anatoly Liubimov (oboe)
CD MCA: USSR SO, TChivzhel (cond), Anatoly Liubimov (oboe)
“Song of a Oak-Tree”, Mari melody for piano (1983)

Songs of the Mountain and Meadow Mari for flute, four French horns, harp, celesta, timpani, and string orchestra (1983)

In father’s memory.
Duration: 16 min.
LP Melodiya C10 24145: USSR SO, V. Sinaisky (cond)
CD Albany Troy 367: USSR SO, V. Sinaisky (cond)
Andante and Allegro for brass quintet (1984)
For two trumpets, French hortn, trombone and tuba.
LP Melodiya C10 26083: B. Kutuzov, J. Vlasenko, A. Parshenkov, J. Kolosov, A. Filimonov
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: Students of the Moscow Conservatory, L. Chumov (director)
Three Pieces for flute solo (1976-1985)
Dedicated to V. Shapkin.
1. Andante tranquillo
2. Allegro vivace leggiero
3. Andante quieto
LP Melodiya C10 26083: V. Shapkin (flute)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: V. Shapkin (flute)
Symphony No. 5 (1985)
Dedicated to Yevgeny Svetlanov.
In one movement.
Duration: 26 min.
Orchestra: 4(picc., alto fl).2.3(B cl).3(dbsn). – 4.4(in B).4.1. – timp, trgl, sleigh bells, side drum, cymb, big drum, tam-tam, crotales, chime-bells, xyl, vibr, bell – flute a culisse – harp, pf – strings.
Video:
Rostov Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Ponkin (cond)
LP Melodiya C10 28541: USSR SO, V. Fedoseyev (cond)
CD Russian Disc RD CD 11 051: USSR SO, V. Fedoseyev (cond)
“Mari Melody” for two cellos (1985)

Concerto for soprano saxophone and orchestra (1985-1986)

Dedicated to Sergey Gurbeloshvili.
In one movement.
Duration: 18 min 15 sec.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.3(B cl).3(dbsn). – 4.3.3.1. – timp, trgl, side drum, military drum, bass drum, cymb – chime-bells, vibr, guitar, cel, harp – sax soprano in B – strings.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: Moscow State Conservatoire Musical College Students' Orchestra, L. Nikolaev (conductor), Sergei Gurbeloshvili (saxophone)
CD MCA: USSR SO, Tchivzhel (cond), Sergei Gurbeloshvili (saxophone)
Viola Concerto in one movement (1987)
Duration: 21 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.2. – 4.3.3.1 – timp, cymb, tamb, bass drum, chime-bells, vibr – 2 harps – strings.
LP Melodiya A10 00559: Lithuanian State Philharmonic SO, F. Glushenko (cond), Y. Bashmet (viola)
CD Col legno 0647 285: USSR SO, F. Glushenko (cond), Y. Bashmet (viola)
CD Russian Disc RD CD 11 054: USSR SO, F. Glushenko (cond), Y. Bashmet (viola)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: USSR SO, F. Glushenko (cond), Y. Bashmet (viola)
“Four Pieces in difficult keys” for piano (1987)

. Symphony No. 6 "Liturgic" for mixed chorus, baritone (or bass) and symphony orchestra (1988)

In one movement.
Duration: 30 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.3(dbsn). – perc, vibr, bells – harp, pf – strings.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: USSR TV and Radio Symphony Orchestra, Valery Fedoseyev (conductor), Magnitogorsk Choir, Yu. Ivanov (conductor), Volgograd Choir, M. Kaplansky (conductor), V. Grashchenko (bass)
Four Romances for voice and piano (1988)
1. “I don’t choose her unintentionally” (verse by A.Kritsky).
2. “You will never know…” (verses by the author)
3. “I loved you” (verse by A.Pushkin)
4. “If you’re born beautiful” (verse by A.Kritsky)
From the First Letter of the Apostel Paulus to the Corinths for mixed chorus a capella (1988-1989)
LP Melodiya C10 30563: Belarussian State Academic Chorus, L. Efimova (cond)
Concerto for cello and orchestra (1989)
Dedicated to M. Rostropovich.
Duration: 20 min.
Orchestra: strings – harp, piano, cymbals, vibraphone, celesta.
Sonata for cello and piano (1990)
Arranged for violin by L. Dmiterko
Duration: 25 min.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: L. Dmiterko (violin), Andrei Eshpai (piano)
“Accord – Discord” for string quartet (1991)
In the memory of Dmitry Shostakovich.
Duration: 20 min.
Symphony No. 7 for large orchestra (1991)
In one movement.
Duration: 27 min.
Orchestra: 3.2.2.3(dbsn). – 4.3.0.1. – timp, cymb, bass drum, xyl – cel – strings.
CD Albany Troy 341: USSR State SO, Y. Svetlanov (cond)
Violin Concerto No. 3 "Bartok Concerto" (1990-1992)
Dedicated to E. Grach.
In one movement.
Duration: 20 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.2. – 4.3.3.1. – cymb, bass drum – harp – strings.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: Radio & TV SO, S. Kondrashev (cond), N. Tokareva (violin)
Concerto for flute and orchestra (1992)
In one movement.
Duration: 20 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.2. – 4.3.3.1. – cymb, bass drum, vibr – cel, harp – strings.
CD Albany Troy 367: Tchaikovsky Large SO, A. Vedernikov (cond), V. Shapkin (flute)
Violin Concerto No. 4 (1994)
Dedicated to Jennifer Koh.
In one movement.
Duration: 20 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.3.2. – 4.3.3.1. – trgl, tamb, whip, cymb, bass drum, chime-bells – harp – strings.
CD Albany Troy 286: St. Petersburg Capella, V. Chernushenko (cond), J. Koh (violin)
Concerto for clarinet and string orchestra with harp and timpani (1994)
Duration: 23 min.
"Evening Shadows", pieces for clarinet and piano (1994)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: L. Dmiterko (violin), Andrei Eshpai (piano)
String Quartet (1992-1995)
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: M.I. Glinka State String Quartet
Concerto for trumpet, trombone and orchestra (1994-1995)
Duration: 20 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).3(EH).3(B cl).3. – 4.3.3.1. – timp, side drum, cymb, Chinese cymb, sus cymb, sleight bells, temple-block, wood-block, bass drum, tam-tam, vibr – guitar, harp, pf – strings.
Concerto for double bass, bassoon and string orchestra (1994-1995)
In the memory of S. Kusevitsky.
Duration: 20 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).3(HE).2.3(C fg). – 4.3(in B).3.1. – timp, side drum, trgl, tamb, cymb, Chinese cymb, sleigh bells, temple-block, wood-block, rullante, vibr. – guitar, harp, pf. – strings.
CD Albany Troy 367: Moscow Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, G. Cherkassov (cond), R. Komachkov (double bass)
Concerto for french horn, string orchestra and four french horns in F major (1995)
In one movement.
Duration: 20 min.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: Radio & TV SO, S. Kondrashev (cond), A. Serov (French horn)
Rondo-Etude for four saxophones (1995)

"The Crossing of the Alps by Sivorov", fantasy-overture for large orchestra (1996)

Duration: 23 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.2(dbsn). – 4.3.3.1. – timp, trgl, tamb, tom-toms, whip, cymb, tam-tam, bass drum, chime-bells, bell – flute a culisse – harp, pf – strings.
Sextet for clarinet, guitars and string quartet (1996)

"Games" for large symphony orchestra (1997)

Duration: 25 min.
Orchestra: 3(picc.).2.2.3(dbsn). – 4.3(in B).3.1. – timp, trgl, sleigh bells, maracas, claves, guiro, 2 legno, tamb, 3 tom-toms, cymb, bass drum, tam-tam, crotales, chime-bells, xyl, vibr, marimbafono – guitar, cel, harp, harpsichord, pf – strings.
Meditation for flute and piano (1998)

Romance after the poems of A. Pushkin (1998)

Symphony No. 9 "Four Verses" for symphony orchestra, mixed chorus and narrators (1998-1999)

To the verses by M. Tsvetaeva, S. Esenin, M. Lermontov and F. Glinka.
Duration: 35 min.
Pieces for string orchestra (1999-2000)
1. “Lamento” 3. “Prelude”
4. “Rondo-Etude”
Symphony No. 8 for full symphony orchestra (2000-2001)
Duration: 23 min.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: Moscow State Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra, L. Nikolaev (conductor)
Concerto for tuba, string orchestra and brass (2001)
Duration: 23 min.
Orchestra: 4 French horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tube – strings.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: The Symphony Orchestra, A. Vedernikov (cond), D. Anakovsky (tuba)
Concerto “Opus Singularis” for bassoon and string orchestra (2001)
Duration: 23 min.
Divertimento for french horn solo (2001)

Espressivo molto for violin solo (2002)

Transcription of "Divertimento" by L. Dmiterko.
Duration: 10 min.
CD Moscow Musical Publishers - Harmony: L. Dmiterko (violin)

Thanks to the composer and to Onno van Asten from the Netherlands for additional information


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