Polovinkin was born in Siberia but moved with his
parents to Moscow. There he studied at the University and qualified
law having at the same time studied music with Miaskovsky, Gliere
and Catoire. He was utterly dedicated and alongside his work
at the Central Children's Theatre in Moscow wrote nine symphonies,
twelve operas for children, a piano concerto, five piano sonatas,
four string quartets, two trios and two keyboard quartets as
well as much for the cinema and theatre. His music can loosely
be grouped with that of Lourié, Mossolov, Protopopov,
Wyschnegradsky, Golyschev and Obouhov.
The “Dzuba” suite is dedicated to Natalia Sats, the
Director of the Children's Theatre Moscow. The five movement
suite is angular, charming and frolicsome. Similarly gawky is
the Danse Lyrique
of 1929, written seven years before “Dzuba”.
It compares with the glinting and slow swirling vortex that is Humoresque
The Les Attraits
is Prokofiev-quirky and motoristic. There
is much more dank and brooding dissonance in the Septième
. The Valse
is more placid but is
far from straightforward. The finale Berceuse
is all gauzy
suggestion and shivering drapes of sound. The expressionist-impressionism
of the Evènements
continues into the Deux Evènements
The Fourth Piano Sonata from 1927 is surreal, fantastic and romantic
yet filtered through layers of fracture and dissonance, suggestion
and sepia tints.
Fascinating and a necessary corrective to any impression we might
have harboured from our familiarity with the piano works of Rachmaninov,
Medtner, Prokofiev or Shostakovich.
Tougher music from the deeps of the Soviet era.