12 October 2010

In Memoriam: Pyotr Kirillovich KONDRASHIN

The mournful news came at the end of of the awful heat of Moscow Summer-2010: the famous sound producer (and engineer, supervisor, editor...)  Pyotr K. Kondrashin suddenly passed away. He was even younger than his father, great conductor Kirill Kondrashin (1914-1981), who also died too early...

Pyotr Kirillovich KONDRASHIN
[24.10.1945 – 01.08.2010]
During many years he was one of the leading Soviet/Russian sound producers, he recorded Svyatoslav Richter, Natalia Gutman, Nikolay Demidenko, Oleg Kagan, Rudolf Kerer, Evgeny Kissin, Vladimir Spivakov; he worked with such composers as Dmitry Shostakovich, Boris Tchaikovsky, Andrey Volkonsky, among many other. Pyotr Kondrashin was a really outstanding person, who made many recording of highest quality (some of them you can see following this link).
He was a very clever and kind person, with an original sense of humor. 
I had a happiness to work with him on several projects for the UK label Toccata Classics, including Grammy-nominated CD "Balakirev and Russian Folksong"Vol.1 of Weinberg's vocal works, the complete piano music of Nikolay Peyko (in two volumes, the releases are expected in 2011); as well as two works by Boris Tchaikovsky (Passacaglia & Fugue) and Spring Song by Andrey Golovin for the CD "Tribute to Boris Tchaikovsky", issued by the label Relief
Pyotr Kondrashin made several recordings with Boris Tchaikovsky music in early years, which were issued by Melodiya label on LPs (including Piano Quintet, recently reissued on the CD by Regis/Forum). 
And it was Pyotr Kondrashin, who recorded his father's last concert in USSR. One of Boris Tchaikovsky's recording - Theme & 8 Variations - appeared on the label Globe in 1991, due to the efforts of Pyotr Kondrashin. In that times in Russia it was impossible to find that CD, and one of my foreign friends (in fact, it was Uwe Rueding) found it and send me from Germany. I presented the CD to Boris Tchaikovsky (shortly before his sudden death), and later composer's widow Yanina Iossifovna told me they listened the CD and the composer was happy...
...Thousands listeners over the world (though they often do not notice or even know the names of sound producers) must be grateful to Pyotr Kondrashin for his excellent recordings... Let him be remembered forever!

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