One in a long row of Soviet composers who suffered from intense censorship, Dmitri Klebanov finally gets his due with the latest release by the ARC Ensemble.
Comprised of senior faculty and guest artists, the ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) Ensemble is the resident musical group at the prestigious Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School in Toronto. The group has garnered international praise, awards and acknowledgements for their discovery and performance of hitherto unknown masterworks through the “Music in Exile” series.
Keeping with the ensemble’s mandate to explore how war, tyranny, and bigotry changed the course of musical history, Jewish-Ukrainian composer Dmitri Klebanov (1907-1986) is the latest to have his music step into the spotlight.
“The music was just so extraordinary that I felt we no option… we had to look at it,” says ARC Ensemble Artistic Director Simon Wynberg. “He had to play this game like most Soviet composers where you were trying to do what you wanted to do but you also had to do what the powers that be… required you to do.”
Featuring the premiere recordings of Fourth Quartet (1946), Piano Trio No. 2 (’58), and Fifth Quartet (’65), the album showcases Klebanov’s progression from a charming and accessible Romantic to a more angular and spiky 20th Century maverick.
For Wynberg, the latter composition marks a point of arrival and freedom for Klebanov. “He could write what he wanted,” explains Wynberg. “He wasn’t going to get shot or put in jail for it. He might be just marginalized and forgotten and no one would take any notice of it… but he could write with impunity.”
Thankfully, the ARC Ensemble has taken notice of Klebanov’s music and with this outstanding recording, more people likely will as well.
Learn more about the life of Dmitri Klebanov in the full interview with ARC Ensemble Artistic Director Simon Wynberg. Discover more details on the music; hear about the cruel twist of fate that was the death of Klebanov’s son, Yuri, just months before the release of the CD; and, what the ARC Ensemble has planned next.