Symphony No. 1 (Myaskovsky)

  • I Lento, ma non troppo
  • II Larghetto, quasi andante
  • III Allegro assai e molto risoluto

The Symphony in C minor, Op 3 is the first symphony by the composer Nikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky.


The first sketches for the symphony originated already in the time of Mjaskowskis studying in St. Petersburg in February 1908. The following summer he used initially for piano arrangement, so on 1, 9 and 27 July respectively the sets in the piano version were done. In September, the orchestration was then completed. Mjaskowski recognized already in this early phase of his talent and his passion for the genre of the symphony, but did not dare to present the work of his composition teacher Anatoly Ljadow for evaluation. Instead, he went with his friend and fellow student Prokofiev Alexander Glazunov, who immediately introduced him funding available. 1921 revised Myaskovsky Symphony. This version he published in 1929, 1931, appeared a version for piano four hands.


The musical language and mood of this early symphony is dedicated to the great Russian romantics like Tchaikovsky, Glazunov and Taneyev. At the same time Mjaskowski also tried to address the modern trends of music, even if the music is not so ' modern ' is that the contemporary Russian composers made him regarded as one of their own, whatever it was that the focus of this symphony melody and voice leading is, as he had learned it with Rimsky -Korsakov. The first symphony already has characteristics that are typical for the music Mjaskowskis were later: The extensive presentation and variation of themes, the use of polyphony and counterpoint and of course the preference for minor keys and the sonata form. The outer movements of the symphony are and end in C minor, the second slow movement, in A flat major.

Reception and criticism

As Mjaskowski Prokofiev showed his designs to the first symphony, this expressed itself horrified to some passages. At one point in the final, at the Mjaskowski entangled four themes each other Prokofiev asked why he had done this: " You do not mean for Ljadows counterpoint lessons? ". In the revised version of 1921 Mjaskowski underlined this point. Other changes are the length of the outer movements and the instrumentation. The completion of the symphony had a direct negative impact on Myaskovsky: he suffered in the aftermath of depression and took a long time for it to return a symphonic work, the symphonic poem "The Silence ", composed. Boris Assafjew ​​commented on this symphony, they would rather remember Mussorgsky's song cycle Sunless. The premiere took place under the direction of AP Aslanow and the conductor felt so excited by Mjaskowskis music that he asked later to the score of the Third Symphony. The Polish conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg interested in 1914 also for the score of the First Symphony, a message that was particularly pleased to at this time fighting in World War Myaskovsky.