VISSSARION YAKOVLEVICH SHEBALIN
Shebalin is one of the outstanding Soviet composers. His creativity is characterized by the depth and significance of the designs, the brightness of the figurative incarnation, the clarity of compositional thinking, the perfection of professional mastery.
Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin was born on June 11 (new) in 1902 in Omsk. He received his first musical education there in the school. After his graduation (1923) he entered the Moscow Conservatoire in the composition class of N. Myaskovsky, who brought up a whole galaxy of wonderful Soviet musicians. Successfully completing his education in 1928, Shebalin himself becomes a teacher of composition at the Moscow Conservatory; for the time of work in it, he prepared for the independent creative life several generations of young musicians.
Along with the pedagogical, intensive creative and social activity of Shebalin is developing. The composer paid much attention to
the chamber genres. His pen belongs to numerous romances on the words of Pushkin, Lermontov, Heine, Blok, Yesenin and others, a number of quartets (the most famous of them is the Fifth – “Slavic”, 1942), string trio, sonatas for piano, violins, viola, cello and others works. Familiar choirs without accompaniment to the texts of Russian classical and modern Soviet poets have also gained popularity. His major vocal and symphonic works were the cantata “Blue May” for the words of N. Aseev (1930), “Moscow” for the text of B. Lipatov (1946) and especially the dramatic symphony “Lenin” for the reader, soloists, choir and orchestra to the text of V. Mayakovsky (1931).
Particularly active interest of the composer was for various kinds of theatrical music. He created music for many dramatic plays (Shakespeare, Schiller, Pushkin, Mayakovsky, Vishnevsky, etc.) and movies (Gobsek, Pugachev, Sadko, Glinka, etc.). In 1955 in concert performance for the first time his opera “The Taming of the Shrew” (according to V. Shakespeare) was performed. Soon the next opera
“The Sun over the Steppe” (1957), dedicated to the Civil War era, was completed.
A special area of Shebalin’s work is the work on the completion and editing of outstanding works of Russian classical music: Glinka’s Symphonies and Overture and Mussorgsky’s Sorochinsky Fair.
Prominent musical and public figure V. Ya. Shebalin was repeatedly nominated for leadership positions. For several years he was chairman of the Moscow branch of the Union of Composers, director of the Moscow Conservatory.
Shebalin died on May 28, 1963 in Moscow.