Yevgeny Malinin (Evgeny Malinin) |

Yevgeny Malinin (Evgeny Malinin) |

Evgeny Malinin

Date of birth
Date of death
the USSR

Yevgeny Malinin (Evgeny Malinin) |

Yevgeny Vasilyevich Malinin was, perhaps, one of the most striking and attractive figures among the first Soviet laureates of the post-war years – those who entered the concert stage in the late forties and early fifties. He won his first victory in 1949 in Budapest, at the Second International Festival of Democratic Youth and Students. Festivals at that time played an important role in the fate of young artists, and the musicians who received the highest awards at them became widely known. Some time later, the pianist became a laureate of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw. However, his performance at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris in 1953 had the greatest resonance.

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Malinin showed himself superbly in the capital of France, fully revealed his talent there. According to D. B. Kabalevsky, who witnessed the competition, he played “with exceptional brilliance and skill … His performance (Rakhmaninov’s Second Concerto.— Mr. C.), bright, juicy and temperamental, captivated the conductor, the orchestra, and the audience” (Kabalevsky D. B. A month in France // Soviet music. 1953. No. 9. P. 96, 97.). He was not awarded the first prize – as happens in such situations, attendant circumstances played their role; together with French pianist Philippe Antremont, Malinin shared second place. However, according to most experts, he was the first. Margarita Long publicly declared: “The Russian played the best” (Ibid. S. 98.). In the mouth of the world-famous artist, these words in themselves sounded like the highest award.

Malinin at that time was a little over twenty years old. He was born in Moscow. His mother was a modest choir artist at the Bolshoi Theater, his father was a worker. “Both selflessly loved music,” recalls Malinin. The Malinins did not have their own instrument, and at first the boy ran to a neighbor: she had a piano on which you could fantasize and select music. When he was four years old, his mother brought him to the Central Music School. “I remember well someone’s dissatisfied remark – soon, they say, babies will be brought in,” Malinin continues to say. “Nevertheless, I was accepted and sent to the rhythm group. A few more months passed, and the real lessons on the piano began.

War soon broke out. He ended up in an evacuation – in a distant, lost village. For about a year and a half, a forced break in classes continued. Then the Central Music School, which was in Penza during the war, found Malinin; he returned to his classmates, got back to work, began to catch up. “My teacher Tamara Alexandrovna Bobovich gave me great help at that time. If from my boyish years I fell in love with music to the point of unconsciousness, this, of course, is its merit. It is difficult for me now to describe in all details how she did; I only remember that it was both smart (rational, as they say) and exciting. She taught me all the time, with unremitting attention, to listen to myself. Now I often repeat to my students: the main thing is to listen to how your piano sounds; I got this from my teachers, from Tamara Alexandrovna. I studied with her all my school years. Sometimes I ask myself: has the style of her work changed during this time? Maybe. Lessons-instructions, lessons-instructions more and more turned into lessons-interviews, into a free and creatively interesting exchange of opinions. Like all great teachers, Tamara Alexandrovna closely followed the maturation of the students … “

And then, at the conservatory, the “Neuhausian period” begins in the biography of Malinin. A period that lasted no less than eight years – five of them on the student bench and three years in graduate school.

Malinin remembers many meetings with his teacher: in the classroom, at home, on the sidelines of concert halls; he belonged to the circle of people close to Neuhaus. At the same time, it is not easy for him to talk about his professor today. “So much has been said about Heinrich Gustavovich lately that I would have to repeat myself, but I don’t want to. There is another difficulty for those who remember him: after all, he was always so different … Sometimes it even seems to me that this was not the secret of his charm? For example, it was never possible to know in advance how the lesson would turn out with him – it always carried a surprise, a surprise, a riddle. There were lessons that were later remembered as holidays, and it also happened that we, the students, fell under a hail of caustic remarks.

Sometimes he literally fascinated with his eloquence, brilliant erudition, inspired pedagogical word, and on other days he listened to the student completely silently, except that he corrected his game with a laconic gesture. (He possessed, by the way, an extremely expressive manner of conducting. For those who knew and understood Neuhaus well, the movements of his hands sometimes spoke no less than words.) In general, few people were so subject to the whims of the moment, artistic mood, as he was. Take at least this example: Heinrich Gustavovich knew how to be extremely pedantic and picky – he did not miss the slightest inaccuracy in the musical text, he exploded with angry maxims because of a single wrong league. And another time he could calmly say: “Darling, you are a talented person, and you yourself know everything … So keep working.”

Malinin owes a lot to Neuhaus, which he never misses an opportunity to recall. Like everyone who ever studied in the class of Heinrich Gustavovich, he received in his time the strongest impulse from contact with the Neuhausian talent; it stayed with him forever.

Neuhaus was surrounded by many talented young people; it wasn’t easy to get out there. Mali didn’t succeed. After graduating from the conservatory in 1954, and then from graduate school (1957), he was left in the Neuhaus class as an assistant – a fact that testified for itself.

After the first victories at international competitions, Malinin often performs. There were still relatively few professional guest performers at the turn of the forties and fifties; invitations from various cities came to him one after another. Later, Malinin will complain that he gave concerts too much during his student days, this also had negative sides – they usually see them only when they look back …

Yevgeny Malinin (Evgeny Malinin) |

“At the dawn of my artistic life, my early success served me poorly,” recalls Evgeny Vasilievich. “Without the necessary experience, rejoicing at my first successes, applause, encores, and the like, I easily agreed to tours. Now it is clear to me that this took a lot of energy, led away from real, in-depth work. And of course, it was due to the accumulation of repertoire. I can state with all certainty: if in the first ten years of my stage practice I had half as many performances, I would have ended up with twice as much … “

However, then, in the early fifties, everything seemed much simpler. There are happy natures to whom everything comes easily, without apparent effort; Evgeny Malinin, 20, was one of them. Playing in public usually brought him only joy, difficulties were overcome somehow by themselves, the problem of the repertoire at first did not bother him. The audience inspired, reviewers praised, teachers and relatives cheered.

He really had an unusually attractive artistic appearance – a combination of youth and talent. Games captivated him with liveliness, spontaneity, youthful freshness of experience; it worked irresistibly. And not only for the general public, but also for demanding professionals: those who remember the capital’s concert stage of the fifties will be able to testify that Malinin liked all. He did not philosophize behind the instrument, like some of the young intellectuals, did not invent anything, did not play, did not cheat, went to the listener with an open and broad soul. Stanislavsky once had the highest praise for an actor – the famous “I believe”; Malinin could believe, he really felt the music exactly as he showed it with his performance.

He was especially good at lyrics. Shortly after the pianist’s debut, G. M. Kogan, a strict and precise critic in his formulations, wrote in one of his reviews about Malinin’s outstanding poetic charm; it was impossible to disagree with this. The very vocabulary of the reviewers in their statements about Malinin is indicative. In the materials devoted to him, one constantly flashes: “soulfulness”, “penetration”, “cordiality”, “elegiac gentleness of manner”, “spiritual warmth”. It is noted at the same time artlessness lyrics by Malinin, amazing naturalness her stage presence. The artist, in the words of A. Kramskoy, simply and truthfully performs Chopin’s B flat minor sonata (Kramskoy A. Piano evening E. Malinina / / Soviet music. ‘955. No. 11. P. 115.), according to K. Adzhemov, he “bribes with simplicity” in Beethoven’s “Aurora” (Dzhemov K. Pianists // Soviet Music. 1953. No. 12. P. 69.) etc.

And another characteristic moment. Malinin’s lyrics are truly Russian in nature. The national principle has always clearly made itself felt in his art. Free spills of feeling, a penchant for spacious, “plain” songwriting, sweeping and prowess in the game – in all this he was and remains an artist of a truly Russian character.

In his youth, perhaps, something Yesenin slipped in him … There was a case when, after one of Malinin’s concerts, one of the listeners, obeying him only an understandable internal association, recited Yesenin’s well-known lines unexpectedly for those around him:

I am a careless guy. Do not need anything. If only to listen to songs – to sing along with my heart …

Many things were given to Malinin, but perhaps in the first place – Rachmaninov’s music. It harmonizes with the spirit itself, the nature of its talent; not so much, however, in those works where Rachmaninoff (as in later opuses) is gloomy, severe and self-contained, but where his music is imbued with spring elation of feelings, full-bloodedness and juiciness of the worldview, iridescence of emotional coloring. Malinin, for example, often played and still plays the Second Rachmaninov Concerto. This composition should be specially noted: it accompanies the artist throughout almost his entire stage life, is associated with most of his triumphs, from the Paris competition in 1953 to the most successful of the tours of recent years.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that listeners still remember Malinin’s charming performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto to this day. It really never left anyone indifferent: a magnificent, freely and naturally flowing cantilena (Malinnik once said that Rachmaninov’s music should be sung on the piano in the same way as arias from Russian classical operas are sung in the theater. The comparison is apt, he himself performs his favorite author in exactly this way.), an expressively outlined musical phrase (critics spoke, and rightly, of Malinin’s intuitive penetration into the expressive essence of the phrase), a lively, beautiful rhythmic nuance … And one more thing. In the manner of playing music Malinin had a characteristic feature: the performance of extended, voluminous fragments of the work “on one breath‘, as reviewers usually put it. He seemed to “raise” the music in large, large layers – in Rachmaninoff this was very convincing.

He also succeeded in Rachmaninov’s climaxes. He loved (and still loves) the “ninth waves” of the raging sound element; sometimes the brightest sides of his talent were revealed on their crest. The pianist always knew how to speak from the stage excitedly, passionately, without hiding. Being carried away by himself, he attracted others. Emil Gilels once wrote about Malinin: “… His impulse captures the listener and makes him follow with interest how the young pianist reveals the author’s intention in a peculiar and talented way…”

Along with Rachmaninov’s Second Concerto, Malinin often played Beethoven’s sonatas in the fifties (mainly Op. 22 and 110), Mephisto Waltz, Funeral Procession, Betrothal and Liszt’s B minor sonata; nocturnes, polonaises, mazurkas, scherzos and many other pieces by Chopin; Second Concerto by Brahms; “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Mussorgsky; poems, studies and Scriabin’s Fifth Sonata; Prokofiev’s fourth sonata and cycle “Romeo and Juliet”; finally, a number of Ravel’s plays: “Alborada”, a sonatina, a piano triptych “Night Gaspard”. Did he have clearly expressed repertoire-stylistic predilections? One thing can be said with certainty – about his rejection of the so-called “modern”, musical modernity in its radical manifestations, about a negative attitude towards sound constructions of a constructivist warehouse – the latter have always been organically alien to his nature. In one of his interviews, he said: “A work that lacks living human emotions (what is called the soul!), Is only a more or less interesting object of analysis. It leaves me indifferent and I just don’t want to play it.” (Evgeny Malinin (conversation) // Musical life. 1976. No. 22. P. 15.). He wanted, and still wants, to play the music of the XNUMXth century: great Russian composers, Western European romantics. . ..So, the end of the forties – the beginning of the fifties, the time of Malinin’s noisy successes. Later, the tone of criticism of his art changes somewhat. He is still given credit for his talent, stage “charm”, but in the responses to his performances, no, no, and some reproaches will slip through. Concerns are expressed that the artist has “slowed down” his step; Neuhaus once lamented that his student had become “comparatively undertrained.” Malinin, according to some of his colleagues, repeats himself more often than he would like in his programs, it is time for him to “try his hand at new repertory directions, expand the range of performing interests” (Kramskoy A. Piano evening E. Malinina//Sov. music. 1955. No. 11. p. 115.). Most likely, the pianist gave certain grounds for such reproaches.

Chaliapin has significant words: “And if I take something to my credit and allow myself to be considered an example worthy of imitation, then this is my self-promotion, tireless, uninterrupted. Never, not after the most brilliant successes, did I say to myself: “Now, brother, sleep on this laurel wreath with magnificent ribbons and incomparable inscriptions …” I remembered that my Russian troika with a Valdai bell was waiting for me at the porch, that I have no time to sleep – I need to go further! .. ” (Chaliapin F.I. Literary heritage. – M., 1957. S. 284-285.).

Would anyone, even among well-known, recognized masters, be able to say with sincere frankness about himself what Chaliapin said? And is it really such a rarity when, after a streak of stage triumphs and victories, relaxation sets in – nervous overexertion, fatigue that has been accumulating over the years … “I need to go further!”

In the early seventies, significant changes took place in Malinin’s life. From 1972 to 1978, he headed the piano department of the Moscow Conservatory as dean; since the mid-eighties – head of the department. The rhythm of his activity is feverishly quickening. A variety of administrative duties, an endless string of meetings, meetings, methodological conferences, etc., speeches and reports, participation in all kinds of commissions (from admissions to the faculty to graduation, from ordinary credit and examinations to competitive ones), finally, a lot other things that cannot be grasped and counted with a single glance—all this now absorbs a significant part of his energy, time, and forces. At the same time, he does not want to break with the concert stage. And not just “I don’t want to”; he would not have had the right to do so. A well-known, authoritative musician, who today has entered a time of full creative maturity – can he not play? .. The panorama of Malinin’s tour in the seventies and eighties looks very impressive. He regularly visits many cities of our country, goes on tour abroad. The press writes about his great and fruitful stage experience; at the same time, it is noted that in Malinin over the years his sincerity, emotional openness and simplicity have not diminished, that he has not forgotten how to speak with listeners in a lively and understandable musical language.

His repertoire is based on former authors. Chopin is often performed – perhaps more often than anything else. So, in the second half of the eighties, Malinin was especially addicted to the program, consisting of the Second and Third Sonatas of Chopin, which are accompanied by several mazurkas. There are also works on his posters that he had not played before, in his younger years. For example, the First Piano Concerto and 24 Preludes by Shostakovich, the First Concerto by Galynin. Somewhere at the turn of the seventies and eighties, Schumann’s C-major Fantasia, as well as Beethoven’s concertos, became entrenched in Yevgeny Vasilyevich’s repertoire. Around the same time, he learned Mozart’s Concerto for Three Pianos and Orchestra, the work was done by him at the request of his Japanese colleagues, in collaboration with whom Malinin performed this rare-sounding work in Japan.

* * *

There is another thing that attracts Malinin more and more over the years – teaching. He has a strong and even in composition class, from which many laureates of international competitions have already come out; It’s not easy to get into the ranks of his students. He is also known as a teacher abroad: he has repeatedly and successfully held international seminars on piano performance in Fontainebleau, Tours and Dijon (France); he had to give demonstrative lessons in other cities of the world. “I feel that I am becoming more and more attached to pedagogy,” says Malinin. “Now I love it, perhaps no less than giving concerts, I could hardly have imagined that this would happen before. I love the conservatory, the class, the youth, the atmosphere of the lesson, I find more and more joy in the very process of pedagogical creativity. In the classroom I often forget about the time, I get carried away. I happen to be asked about my pedagogical principles, asked to characterize my teaching system. What can be said here? Liszt once said: “Probably a good thing is a system, only I could never find it …””.

Perhaps Malinin really does not have a system in the literal sense of the word. It would not be in his spirit… But he undoubtedly has certain attitudes and pedagogical approaches developed in the course of many years of practice – like every experienced teacher. He talks about them like this:

“Everything that is performed by a student should be saturated with musical meaning to the limit. It is most important. But not a single empty, meaningless note! Not a single emotional neutral harmonic revolution or modulation! This is exactly what I proceed from in my classes with students. Someone, perhaps, will say: it’s, they say, just like “twice two.” Who knows… Life shows that many performers come to this far from immediately.

I remember, once in my youth, I played Liszt’s B minor sonata. First of all, I was concerned that the most difficult octave sequences would “come out” for me, finger figurations would turn out without “blots”, the main themes would sound beautiful, and so on. And what is behind all these passages and luxurious sound outfits, for what and in the name of what they were written by Liszt, I probably did not imagine it especially clearly. Just intuitively felt. Later, I understood. And then everything fell into place, I think. It became clear what is primary and what is secondary.

Therefore, when I see young pianists in my class today, whose fingers run beautifully, who are very emotional and very much want to “more expressively” play this or that place, I am well aware that they, as interpreters, most often skim over the surface. And that they “do not get enough” in the main and main thing that I define as meaning music, content call it whatever you like. Perhaps some of these young people will eventually come to the same place that I did in my time. I want this to happen as soon as possible. This is my pedagogical setting, my goal.

Malinin is often asked the question: what can he say about the desire of young artists for originality, about their search for their own face, unlike other faces? This question, according to Yevgeny Vasilyevich, is by no means simple, not unambiguous; the answer here does not lie on the surface, as it might seem at first glance.

“You can often hear: talent will never go the beaten path, it will always look for something of its own, new. It seems to be true, there is nothing to object to here. However, it is also true that if you follow this postulate too literally, if you understand it too categorically and straightforwardly, this will not lead to good either. These days, for example, it’s not uncommon to meet young performers who resolutely do not want to be like their predecessors. They are not interested in the usual, generally accepted repertoire – Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff. Much more attractive to them are the masters of the XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries – or the most modern authors. They’re looking for digitally recorded music or something like that – preferably never performed before, unknown even to professionals. They are looking for some unusual interpretive solutions, tricks and ways of playing …

I am convinced that there is a certain line, I would say, a demarcation line that runs between the desire for something new in art and the search for originality for its own sake. In other words, between Talent and a skillful fake for it. The latter, unfortunately, is more common these days than we would like. And you need to be able to distinguish one from the other. In a word, I would not put an equal sign between such concepts as talent and originality, which is sometimes tried to be done. The original on stage is not necessarily talented, and today’s concert practice confirms this quite convincingly. On the other hand, talent may not be evident to its unusual, otherness on the rest – and, at the same time, to have all the data for fruitful creative work. It is important for me now to emphasize the idea that some people in art seem to do what others would do – but on qualitatively different level. This “but” is the whole point of the matter.

In general, on the topic – what is talent in the musical and performing arts – Malinin has to think quite often. Whether he studies with students in the classroom, whether he takes part in the work of the selection committee for the selection of applicants for the conservatory, he, in fact, cannot get away from this question. How not to avoid such thoughts at international competitions, where Malinin, along with other members of the jury, has to decide the fate of young musicians. Somehow, during one interview, Evgeny Vasilyevich was asked: what, in his opinion, is the grain of artistic talent? What are its most important constituent elements and terms? Malin replied:

“It seems to me that in this case it is possible and necessary to talk about something common both for performing musicians and for actors, reciters – all those, in short, who have to perform on stage, communicate with the audience. The main thing is the ability of direct, momentary impact on people. The ability to captivate, ignite, inspire. The audience, in fact, goes to the theater or the Philharmonic to experience these feelings.

On the concert stage all the time something must take place — interesting, significant, fascinating. And this “something” should be felt by people. The brighter and stronger, the better. The artist who does it – talented. And vice versa…

There are, however, the most famous concert performers, masters of the first class, who do not have that direct emotional impact on others that we are talking about. Although there are few of them. Units maybe. For example, A. Benedetti Michelangeli. Or Maurizio Pollini. They have a different creative principle. They do this: at home, away from human eyes, behind the closed doors of their music laboratory, they create a kind of performing masterpiece – and then show it to the public. That is, they work like, say, painters or sculptors.

Well, this has its advantages. An exceptionally high degree of professionalism and craftsmanship is achieved. But still… For me personally, due to my ideas about art, as well as the upbringing received in childhood, something else has always been more important for me. What I was talking about earlier.

There is one beautiful word, I love it very much – insight. This is when something unexpected appears on the stage, comes, overshadows the artist. What could be more wonderful? Of course, insights only come from born artists.”

… In April 1988, a kind of festival dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the birth of G. G. Neuhaus was held in the USSR. Malinin was one of its main organizers and participants. He spoke on television with a story about his teacher, twice played at concerts in memory of Neuhaus (including at a concert held in the Hall of Columns on April 12, 1988). During the days of the festival, Malinin constantly turned his thoughts to Heinrich Gustavovich. “To imitate him in anything would, of course, be both useless and ridiculous. And yet, some general style of teaching work, its creative orientation and character for me, and for other Neuhaus students, comes from our teacher. He is still in front of my eyes all the time … “

G. Tsypin, 1990

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