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Uploaded on Jun 24, 2009
Etude No. 1 "Affettamente" of Three Etudes (1914)
Nikolai Roslavets (1881-1944) is sometimes called the "Russian Schoenberg" and was certainly the first Russian composer to use a system of tone organization similar to Schoenberg's serialism. Before the 1917 revolution, Roslavets was regarded as a cutting-edge composer comparable to Scriabin. Interestingly, Marc-Andre Hamelin describes Roslavets's music as "Scriabin on acid." After the revolution and the formation of the RAPM (Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians), Roslavets was criticized and harrassed for his modernism. In the late 1920s, he left the Communist Party and in 1931 moved to Tashkent. There he conducted for a music theater and composed simple pieces in accordance with Socialist Realism. He died in obscurity and his name and music was mostly forgotten until the 1970s.