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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sergei Vasilenko - Concerto for Balalaika and Orchestra, "Springtime," Suite for Flute and Orchestra (1973)

Liner Notes:

The composer S. N. Vasilenko (1872-1956), worked in many different musical forms. He is the composer of symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music ensembles, vocal cycles and scores for theatre and movies. He puts special emphasis on folk music. His work is filled with songs and instruments of his native land. He is interested in finding ways to apply folk-music to new works for folk instruments.

In 1929, S. N. Vasilenko wrote a concerto for balalaika and symphony orchestra, it was acclaimed with enthusiasm by the listeners.

The most significant trait of this three-part work is, its national character: the music is saturated with Russian songs and motives of Russian musical folklore. It contains the folk-tune "Oh, you little night, little dark night", "Against the bright sun", "Our street is wide", also dance songs. The beauty of the Russian melodies and the mastery of the composer, which is obvious in his concerto, drew a wide circle of listeners. The concerto for balalaika and orchestra was the start to create many works dedicated to folk instruments.

In the late part of the last century, the talented musician Vasili Andreyev introduced to the public, the strange, and until then little known instrument, the Russian balalaika. Its rich, artistic possibilities, achieved very soon the conquest of the widest audience.

Andreyev's Orchestra of national instruments, performed with the greatest success in Russia and abroad.

Andreyev's tradition survives and develops in the art of excellent national ensembles and soloists. One of the foremost is Pavel Necheporenko, outstanding master, virtuoso balalaika player.
Upon graduation from the Leningrad Concervatory (1949) in conducting, Necheporenko became permanent conductor of the National instruments Orchestra, named after Andreyev. Simultaneously he performs as balalaika-soloist, he performs often in soviet cities and also abroad. The listeners, warmly applaud the art of Pavel Necheporenko.

He has a complete mastery of the virtuoso technique, the musician is also extremely sensitive and delivers the melodious span of the folksongs beautifully. The sound of his instrument is distinguished by its softness and harmony.

In Necheporenko's repertoire can be found—adaptations of various national and contemporary songs, works, written specially for the balalaika, by Russian composers: (Concerto for balalaika and orchestra by S. Vasilenko, variations by P. Kulikov and N. Budashkin, his own variation on the theme of Paganini etc.)
Necheporenko's adaptations of classical works are extremely exciting.

The mastery of Pavel Necheporenko has received wide acclaim. He is an award winner of the All union competition for performers of national instruments, he has been honored with a State prize and honorable mention as an artist of the RSFSR.

The concert suite by S. N. Vasilenko "In Springtime" is a repertoire piece. It conveys the poetry of spring, awakening of nature, light feeling of happiness and love.

There are five parts in the suite: 1—Prelude; 2—Valse caprice; 3—Across the desert; 4—In the forest; 5—Spring streams.

In the prelude we find a picture of the arrival of spring. You can hear the voices of its messengers—the voices of birds.

The rainbow colored sunshine is painted in an elegant and gracious "Waltz caprice". The procession of a caravan is pictured in the part entitled "Across the desert", the melody of an oriental song is played by a flute.

The poetic picture of "In the forest" whose music evokes the awakening of nature, is bathed in the beams of a rejoicing spring sun. The finale—"Spring streams" is written in an ever accelerating tempo. The music conveys the first murmurs of new brooks, flowing into the rushing waters of the streams.

The suite "Spring time" belongs to the most outstanding works in the literature of flute music. It was dedicated to its first performer, Alexandre Korneyev. Pupil of the Moscow Conservatory, Korneyev is the winner of many national and international competitions, he is the first flute player in the great Symphony Orchestra of the all union Radio and Television.

The mastery of his performance, is marked by great expressiveness and a fine artistic taste. These qualities permit him to perform with great success, a large and diversified repertoire.


Concerto for Balalaika and Orchestra
  • Pavel Necheporenko, balalaika
  • Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic

"Springtime:” Suite for Flute and Orchestra
  • Alexandre Korneyev, flutist
  • Nikolai Anosov conducting the Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic

Track List:

  1. Allegro moderato
  2. Andante
  3. Allegro moderato
IN SPRINGTIME: Suite for flute and orchestra op. 138
  1. Prelude
  2. Waltz-caprice
  3. Across the desert
  4. In the forest
  5. Spring streams
Download links: Enjoy the music, or here. (pswd:
A vinyl copy of this recording can be found on

Other Recordings of music by Sergei Vasilenko:

Other recordings featuring flutist Alexandre (Alexander) Korneyev:


    1. Wow- I must say i am pleasantly surprised (and grateful!) to find your generous posting of this rare recording; indeed i was just on amazon looking at the lp hoping that i'd be able to find the files somewhere. I bought the marco polo cd years ago featuring Vasilenko's 'chinese' and 'indian' suites; it's atmospheric listening but rather uneventful in my opinion. His chamber music (that i have heard) is much more interesting.. I have never heard the music on this lp so i'm really excited. Again thanks so much for sharing it! -Jared

    2. damned if i was going to leave without at least one bit of interesting music. this depositfile link was still live - classical balalaika sounds interesting.
      thanks very much.