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The Royal Conservatory's ARC Ensemble Releases The World Premiere Of Chamber Works By Dmitri Klebanov


New recording shines a light on a composer undeservedly relegated to obscurity through Soviet repression.

Chamber Works by Dmitri Klebanov, the fifth recording in the acclaimed Music in Exile series by the Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble (Artists of The Royal Conservatory), has been released worldwide today. The album furthers ARC's mission to explore how war, tyranny, and bigotry changed the course of musical history, and represents the first commercial release of these exhilarating Klebanov pieces.

A casualty of Soviet-era cultural suppression and anti-Semitism, Jewish-Ukrainian composer, conductor, pianist, violinist and educator, Dmitri Klebanov (1907 - 1986) is among the scores of musicians whose works are largely forgotten and rarely performed. Fortunate not to have been among those artists and intellectuals arrested, killed, or sent to forced labour camps during Stalin's brutal reign, Klebanov understood that his career and survival depended on producing works that glorified Soviet accomplishments. But he also managed to produce compositions that reveal a boundless imagination, a spirited vivacity, and melodic confidence, all of which justify his inclusion in the classical canon.

Chamber Works by Dmitri Klebanov begins the long-overdue process of gaining recognition for a composer undeservedly relegated to obscurity. Klebanov's legacy includes nine symphonies, two concertos each for violin and cello, chamber pieces for violin and piano, several operas, and ballets, some one hundred songs, and nearly two dozen film scores.

"When we're choosing a composer to record, we're hoping to find those pulse-quickening moments that engage, affect, and, sometimes, overwhelm the listener," says ARC Ensemble Artistic Director Simon Wynberg. "In Klebanov's work, we found that excitement, emotional appeal, and an inspiring honesty."

For this recording, the ARC Ensemble revives Klebanov's vivacious String Quartet No. 4, the stunning Piano Trio No. 2, and boldly dramatic String Quartet No. 5, three pieces that offer a tantalizing taste of a composer worthy of serious attention.

The Chamber Works of Dmitri Klebanov recording features Erika Raum and Marie Bérard (violins), Steven Dann (viola), Thomas Wiebe (cello), and Kevin Ahfat (piano).

Read more here.

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