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of Maria Yudina
Quartet E-Dur for piano, violin, viola and cello, op.20.
Quintet g-moll, for piano, two violins, viola and cello op.30
She was my
parishioner; we spent with her long hours when I was visiting sick
people. She, with her walking stick and in her famous black loose
overall was persistently following and always kept up with me. She
was a personality of an exceptional profundity and subtle intellect
notwithstanding some eccentricity and the desire to look and behave
Father Alexander Men
Yudina's "outer" and "inner"
biographies differed from each other as day and night. She studied
at the Petrograd Conservatoire under the tutorship of Leonid Nikolaev.
And at the same time she studied at the Petrograd University, Department
of history and philosophy. Then she worked at the Leningrad (1921
- 1930), Tbilisi (1932 - 1934), and Moscow (1936 - 1951) Conservatoires,
at the Gnessins' Institute of Music (1944 - 1960). She died in 1970.
This is a "dotted line" of her life.
But then there was another life. She maintained good friendship
with Mikhail Bakhtin, Pavel Florensky, Marina Tsvetaeva, Dmitry
Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Boris Pasternak, and Nikolai Zabolotsky.
She was member of some philosophical societies and in particular
took part in the meetings of the Alexei Losev's group. She maintained
correspondence with the classics of the postwar musical avant-garde,
Shtockhausen and Bulez. And she played the prewar classics, Schonberg,
Webern, Berg. She wrote a letter to a thankful listener, Joseph
Stalin, who happened to catch a Mozart concerto on the Soviet radio
played by Yudina. He was so impressed that asked for a gramophone
record to be sent to him. Yudina and the entire orchestra were brought
to the studio at four in the morning to make a recording by the
next afternoon. Yudina received a "material assistance"
from Stalin and in return sent him these notes: "I will pray
for you day and night to ask God to forgive your terrible sins before
people and the country. God is merciful and will forgive you. And
I will pass the money to the church of which I am a parishioner".
She was fired from all institutions where she worked (for propaganda
of religion and "worshiping of the formalism"). She read
poetry of the disgraced Pasternak strait from the stage at her recitals.
And she wrote and read tremendous essays about Bach and Mussorgsky
examining the music through the prism of the Gospel.
Finally, about her concerts, recitals and recordings. She played
an immense repertoire, from Bach to the music of the 20th century.
But with all the fantastic diversity of the composers the Gods of
music of the modern time for her were Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and
Yudina's achievements in chamber music deserve a special mention.
She discovered unexplored depths and invisible horizons in interpreting
Brahms and Taneev's Piano quintets. And the quality of her piano
art is so high that, paraphrasing Schumann, the best way to talk
about it is to keep silence.
In a modern world of art which is poisoned by "competition
mania" and the music is transformed into sort of professional
sport where the number of notes for the unit of time becomes a criteria
of quality Maria Yudina remains a high standard of moral and professional
purity and perfection.
"The Great Art belongs to Eternity. It inevitably
and invariably gives projection to the Future". - An outstanding
Russian pianist Maria Yudina once said this. And it could be said
about her distinctive and significant performing art. Her presentation
of a great number of compositions, from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich
and Stravinsky, despite and may be because of the original and daring
interpretation, even today projects some astonishing magnetic power
thus expanding the frontiers of our perception to an unprecedented
Yudina was capable of hearing a work of a composer in a broad historical,
philosophical and religious context, in a context of Eternity. A
famous German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen once said that artists
like Yudina picked up "the sound of time at a distance, then
rendered a great impact on the present and influenced the future".
This is what makes Yudina's performing art a part of spiritual culture.
а student and a friend of Maria Yudina
Total time: 76.33
Recorded: 1953 (1-3); 1957 (4-7)
Dmitri Tsyganov, V. Shirinsky, violin
Vadim Borisovsky, viola
Sergei Shirinsky, cello