Daniel Rayskin. Photos – Vladimir Vyatkin
Living in Amsterdam, a native of St. Petersburg, Daniel Rayskin already by the beginning of the 2000s gained a reputation as one of the most popular solo violators.
Over time, the priorities of the musician have changed in the direction of conducting. Over the past ten years, Rayskin directed symphonic collectives of German Koblenz and Polish Lodz.
In August this year, he will head the Canadian Winnipeg Orchestra.
The reason for the conversation about the meaning of the profession and the meaninglessness of many of its surrounding attributes was the recent performance of the maestro in Moscow with the Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Daniel, it’s customary for you to talk both about the viola player and about the conductor. Such a multiplicity seems to be inherited. Your father Joseph Reiskin is known as a music critic, musicologist, editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Mariinsky Theater”, chairman of the musicology section of the St. Petersburg section of the Composers’ Union. And at the same time as a physicist …
– My father was born in Samara – then still Kuibyshev. Music began for him at the age of six when he visited the premiere of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, performed by the Bolshoi Theater orchestra under the leadership of Samuel Samosud. Father was by the hand brought there by the elder cousin and sat without stirring.
Love for music became a disease for him, which then it was impossible to get rid of. However, after the war, it was first necessary to get a profession, and then to play “on your music”. Therefore, it was decided that the father will be engaged in physics. The pope sent his photo in naval form recently – the engineer-captain of the third rank of the reserve of the first rank. On Defender of the Fatherland Day, when you are already 82, you can play it sometimes …
With his professor of transformer oils, Mikhail Vladimirovich Kurlin, he played four hands Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Such in the Leningrad Electrotechnical Institute was in those years a teaching staff. Father – a man talented in all respects. In his life there was the issue of wall newspaper, poetry, military department, the development of navigation systems for the Navy, several copyright patents, teaching at the institute.
Entry at age 35 to the Leningrad Conservatoire for the Faculty of Musicology and, of course, the appearance of two sons, endlessly beating their cellos and violins. As long as I can remember, my father was always torn between the physics students who fed us and the music. At some point the music took over.
“Your brother has not been here for more than twenty years.” You very often perform with cellists. Even the Echo Klassik Award was awarded for recording with a cello. This is some kind of internally given obligation?
– The cello entered me on a genetic level. When I was born, my brother was already playing it. At us with it a difference in seven years, therefore the first sounds which surrounded me, including including sounds of false shades and etudes Romberg. Then my phony violins were added to them. We competed with each other, who no longer engaged. Deceived parents, arranging the scenery with the decomposed instruments and notes. The bad tools are not ebony, but dyed. Therefore, if you did a lot of work, your fingers got soiled. But in the same way they could be stained with a simple slate pencil.
Birthday brother – March 8. He died on March 13, 1997. And it so happened that almost all twenty years in the region of these dates I’m conducting something with a cello. This happens completely unconsciously and not specifically. I have a lot of cellist friends. A huge role in my life was played by Boris Pergamenshchikov and Natalia Gutman. This instrument, perhaps, is not so gifted with a classical repertoire with an orchestra, like a violin. But in the twentieth century a lot of works were written for one certain person – Mstislav Rostropovich, which was a crucial factor in the development of cello music.
I was with him briefly, I fell this happiness. Mstislav Leopoldovich staged at the Amsterdam Opera “Life with an Idiot” by Alfred Schnittke in Victor Erofeev. I always remember there episode, in my opinion, quite remarkable, when, after the rapid development of Fermata freezes and from the scene of the baritone is heard: “She shit on the carpet!” I sank into the soul, these two dinosaur, Pokrovsky with Rostropovich and I, 21- Summer orchestra, running to the buffet for a beer Leffe or Duvel. They loved him very much and could use this pretty strong drink in the morning.
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Once I was able to play Mstislav Leopoldovich a Brahms F-minor sonata. And I did not have an accompanist or pianoforte notes. But there was a grand piano in the room, and after a while he began to accompany me, by ear, quite close to the text. Then he said: “You know, a stagik, in general it sounds good. But your takktovka did not convince me. Here is a long line, and you somehow sound. Intonation – you hear it yourself … And shtososhchek, pcsgichek look in the finals. ” And immediately jumped on another topic: “Now Galya should pie. Pgedstavayte, vchega I stand at the plate, zagyu cutlets. And she govogit me: do not burn to me. She has a diet … Well, in general, through the pagoda of the days, let’s get lost again. “
I literally lived a week in the theater, I was engaged like a madman. After that, we met again. Rostropovich no longer sat down at the piano. He listened and said: “Stagik, a dagger kolenkog!” This was all he had. Such people sometimes do not need to say anything at all. They radiate something like that … If you ever touch the moonlight or the sunshine, they will stay with you forever.
“But the sun can be burned …”
“Of course, if you get too close.” Suffice it to recall the myth of Icarus … Any truly bright, charismatic personality who knows how to change the course of historical events is always contradictory. Sometimes, when approaching such people, you see that you are disappointed in them. Fortunately, I did not have such an opportunity with Rostropovich. I was young. Stand by, shake hands, drink beer, play 28 sounds, get it by ear, then play again and hear: old man, another calico. What else is needed at this age? For me, Rostropovich remained so.
– You said that as a child, they tortured violins around them. How did you become a viola player?
– It happened naturally. I was always pretty big, and with the violin I was somehow cramped. Once I was led to listen to one of the last concerts of Yuri Markovich Kramarov in the Capella. I was probably about eleven. I was completely dumbfounded and realized that this is my instrument and I must play it. The sound, lack of “squeakiness” (let my numerous friends-violinists do not resent me), crawling into the 28th position, some special nobility …
In addition, I was not so promising that the path of a successful violin soloist unfolded before me. And I’m absolutely not ashamed of it. What I turned out viola player, as many say, good and marketable, dispels the myth that unpromising violinist must necessarily be a bad violist.
I was very lucky with the teachers. In the school I entered Vasily Ivanovich Shulga – concertmaster of the viola group of the Academic Philharmonic Orchestra. Then he went to Finland, and I was taken to myself by the 25-year-old Daniil Grigorievich Meerovich, who had already worked at the Mariinsky Theater. This was his first set, and he fussed with us like with younger brothers.
Once before an important test I spent a whole month at his house in the kitchen. And all the time, when Daniel G. was not at work, he dealt with me – eight or nine hours a day … Then I entered the conservatory to Oleg Lvovich Balabin, who immediately went to work in Sweden – at the Royal Opera. Then I left.
– You have been living in Europe for about 30 years …
– Abroad, I was completely by accident. In the beginning of 1990 I went to Spain for a competition of youth groups as part of the Soloists Orchestra of the Leningrad Conservatory under the direction of Saulius Sondeckis. In Murcia, we naturally got the first prize. After the tour, everyone went back, and I had two foreign passports on my hands. One was issued by the Foreign Ministry for Spain, the other by the OVIR for a tourist trip to Holland. The right hand of the Soviet system did not know what the left was doing. Had a poor trip to Holland, where he played a contest in the orchestra and got a seat. And already on – he finished his studies.
Sondeckis is no more. Fortunately, Lev Marquis is still alive, who is now 86. Under his leadership, I played a lot in the Amsterdam Symphonyet. These people were making sounds. One note in a group of second violins of six people, they could paint in completely different shades.
“Second console, play a little brighter. The third – with a little more pressure. And you, the accompanist’s console, are slightly on the neck. And do not drag everything on yourself: you have to be kept all the time, but you’re driving! Play the last cello console with the last remake of the first violins. Until you are together, everyone else will never play together. ” Such were the wizards. Itself to such things you knowingly come much later. But when it comes up from somewhere, you understand – my father, how rich you are, it turned out, at one time they were equipped!
– In your repertoire more than 50 works for viola and orchestra …
– It was. I have not consciously come out on stage with the viola for ten years … In fact, almost all the alto repertoire is modern music. Take away from these fifty works Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart, Stamitz concert, and Bruch’s “Harold in Italy” Berlioz – and you will immediately find yourself in the twentieth century, if not in the twenty-first. Three violin works by Schnittke, three by Kancheli, two by Gubaidulina, two by Stankovic and so on.
– Did you achieve everything you wanted in this field?
“It’s impossible to achieve anything.” But I am grateful to the fate that I happened to be in demand both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Recently I was sorting out boxes with my notes, some of which had already been given to my daughter’s close friend, Mikhail Zemtsov, who is himself a remarkable violist. You can not do with the sonata Paganini, the concert of Bartók and the processing of brilliant violin miniatures. There is a lot of interesting music that you just need to play: the ballads of Frank Martin, the works of Bernd Alois Zimmermann and so on.
As a viola player, I always wanted to promote my instrument. And now I am one of the conductors who most often perform with viola soloists. With Dana Zemtsova, we just recorded a CD with the Estonian National Orchestra. After a while we will play in Belgrade Schnittke’s concert with Tanya Mazurenko.
– Speaking about your activities as a soloist, you always emphasize that it is left in the past …
– It is impossible to move simultaneously in two directions with the same coefficient of efficiency. Very few people in history managed to combine these things without loss of quality.
– Daniel Barenboim for many years, above all, the conductor. And, speaking as a pianist, he rarely falls short of his current conductor level with a rare exception. Several years ago, one could still argue about the violinist and conductor Pinchas Zuckerman. But let’s frankly admit that even Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich for us all was, above all, a cellist. But he was the head of the US National Orchestra in Washington for seventeen years. And the same Vladimir Ashkenazi for us, in the first place, remains a legendary pianist.
Unfortunately, the situation is as follows. A good, recognized instrumentalist starts to conduct, still playing. And it begins: “Ah, what a fine violinist, pianist, violist. Time to work is not enough. ” You do not feel like hearing it behind your back.
When you try to pull both, you fly between two chairs. Not yet a conductor, no longer an instrumentalist. It is physically and socially impossible to combine conducting with constant studies, the execution of complex programs. Everything has its time. Maybe because in my life I managed to work well and as an orchestra, and as a soloist and even poprepovat, I somehow do not feel that somewhere I did not have time and something under-played. I now transfer all the energy to conducting. But if you need to check something, put the finishing touches on it, I open my tool and I can “popilicate” something.
Of course, I did not part with the hope that one day I would take a vacation for three months or six months, restore the form and offer my friends, chamber instrumentalists, the anthology of the second viola. It sounds like a joke, but I’m sure many people will call me. After all, how much joy it is to just sit down and talk with sounds.
Sometimes you have an extreme need to do what you want to hear from others with your own hands. Sometimes, especially if it’s a youth orchestra and you can not express what you need in words, you have to take the violin from the accompanist and give something like that. And very often this is motivated by just such an instrumental hunger.
– What did you all the same prompt to become a conductor?
– Conducting is a slowly developing disease. In the beginning, you become infected with it, and then there is an endless process of understanding that you are doing everything wrong. And that you are in itself a very small and temporary phenomenon. But the contact with the music that you trust is a huge responsibility and a heavy cross. It must be realized that the conductor – a person who seems to have unlimited power and attracts all attention – is the only person on the stage who does not extract sound. Take the orchestra off and you will not be anything.
Conducting for me began with one important concept, which was instilled by my amazing (now already deceased) first teacher-conductor Lev Yakovlevich Savich – a pupil of Nikolai Rabinovich and Igor Markevich. Once, working with the orchestra of Musorgsky Musical College, he saw in my eyes an unhealthy shine. He beckoned me to him and gave me his wand. And on the consoles there were not a lot of notes of a minuet from Mozart’s “Jupiter”. I have not managed to get out yet, as I have become wet. His hands were shaking. Waved, spread a storm.
“Well, come tomorrow,” said Lev Yakovlevich. A few days later he asked me: “Are you ready for the most important thing in this profession?” – “Yes I am! Oh sure! Mahler, Shostakovich, I, the orchestra, the audience! Of course, I’m ready! “-” No, Danechka. You must be ready for solitude. This will be both a gift and a burden for you. “
Under the word “loneliness” he meant that there are a lot of musicians on the stage, the audience is full of listeners, and the conductor is always one on one with the score. He comes alone and works all week with a team where he does not know anyone. If he comes to the orchestra with whom he is familiar, he will smile twice. Already somehow warmer. But the main thing is loneliness in decision-making. You can not reveal yourself to anyone in your constant doubts. And doubt is something without which art can not be imagined …
Other conductors are the same loners. However, in my life there were exceptions. I will never forget the three older colleagues who are no longer alive. They could be called any day and hour, in a panic, not understanding in which tact to switch from two to one time, and from time to time back to four. For example, in the middle of the night to wake up in Australia, Erie Klasa, the question: “How to be at this place of the Fifteenth Symphony of Shostakovich?” And he could calm down without the score: “You do not interfere with the orchestra there. Only listen to the trombones, and the rest of the musicians will play. Do not try to help anyone. “
Or Waldemar Nelson is a conductor from Novosibirsk, the only one who conducted the opera Wagner in Bayreuth at the invitation of Karajan. He died at 66 years old from throat cancer. Or the elder of Eastern European conducting Milan Horvath. I once acted with him as a soloist in Switzerland and for several days literally did not lag behind him with the scores of Schubert.
But mostly conductors share their secrets reluctantly. Of course, if this is not some official master classes: when you become older, sometimes it’s nice to share your findings. But in the very principle of the conductor’s profession there is something wolf. In this game there are no rules: everyone is looking for something in the midst of loneliness and incomprehensibility. You often become a goal, which is very easy to get into. Let’s say they can say half a whisper to colleagues from the last console, but if the conductor hears, there will be nothing: “Well, today, it seems, we’ll have to play the accompanist.” And you already left part of your heart on this scene. Well, they did not. It happens…
And in another city you come without bright expectations, in a bad mood, hungry, having missed the plane, not having received luggage. You go on stage with loathing to yourself and to life. And in a minute you forget about where you are, because you find a group of accomplices, like-minded people. There is an act of inspiration. And in 1 hour 32 minutes the inspector shyly says: “Maestro, break”. Loneliness for a time recedes. It goes away the moment you dissolve in the music. When you get rid of the need to constantly monitor your emotions and custody of the orchestra, which you need to conduct on some obviously difficult parts of the score.
Do not take my words as a complaint. To such conclusions you come with time. And initially you experience delight. Before you Music, unlimited repertoire. And you can do everything in this Music. The way in conducting can be different. Someone comes from the orchestra, someone from the choir. Someone through playing the piano and then working as a tutor in the theater. Someone from musicology or even from philosophy, like Sinopoli. My path is purely instrumental. A violist is, above all, an orchestral filling, an average voice. It’s an amazing school.
– From the side it seems that you have an accompanist character …
– What do you, a viola player, rather, have a binding, speculative role – due to the fact that he is constantly inside, in the center. You sit, for example, in a quartet, where a cellist always swears with the first violinist. The violinist has his own problems – his notes are twice as large as those of the first violin. And you’re trying to make it so that the concert takes place, otherwise they’ll just mutter each other now. In the orchestra the same.
I have very good colleagues on which you can equal: Temirkanov, Julini, Simonov. All of them are ex-violists. In general, any conductor who has experience working in an orchestra, especially the practice of playing for the first remote with strings, gets a grand experience. You learn what you want to avoid as a conductor. Because you see, what mistakes do people who conduct you conduct.
In addition, I performed very much as a soloist, standing between the conductor and the accompanist. This is the next stage, when you study all the time to hear the orchestra. Therefore, I still like working with soloists, which many conductors often avoid. It’s very burdensome: someone to listen to, to “put under” someone, to catch. Working in the accompaniment requires a lot. It is with her, in fact, begins the conductor’s profession.
Symphony, especially repertoire, even if you give a crooked “time”, a decent orchestra will play, even without ever looking at you. And in the accompaniment of the fact that the soloist’s performance is often simply not audible, the orchestra needs constant help. And it can be provided only by a person who really owns the profession, and not conducting under the orchestra. Therefore, there is always a tour on respected competitions, where you need to accompany.
– Is it true that Kirill Kondrashin was an unsurpassed master of accompaniment?
– He was in principle an unsurpassed master in many things. Already, as Kondrashin writes about the art of conducting, speaks of his ability to deeply feel and analyze everything he did. I can not say that the canonized record from the Tchaikovsky competition, where he accompanies Van Cliburne, makes a special impression on me.
Actually, as the conductor looks, for me recently it became not so important. Well, when it’s Temirkanov’s stunning hands or Simonov’s unsurpassed technique. But all this eventually becomes secondary, when you, as a listener, close your eyes and enjoy the orchestral sound.
Recently I drove my 14-year-old daughter to the “Don Quixote” of Minkus with the Amsterdam National Ballet. Very well accompanied by a local orchestra. Conducted unknown to me, a strange looking, but extremely professional Italian. Ballet hanging, farms require great skill. And I respect people who know how. And how they look at that moment …
– Do you divide the orchestras by mentality into western and eastern ones?
– At the heart of the matter is always to put not the mentality, but quality. There are brilliant and bad orchestras in Germany, weak and bright in Poland. Remarkable and boring in Russia, medium and outstanding in France. But you are right: your mentality is inherent in many collectives, and I sometimes amazed how it turns out to be noticeable.
Two years ago I opened the season of the Moscow Philharmonic with the Belgrade Symphony Orchestra. Charismatic violinist Nemania Radulovic played Khachaturyan’s concert. Then Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony was heard. And the program began with Fantasy on the Serbian themes of Rimsky-Korsakov. Representatives of the administration of the philharmonic society then said: we have not played such a dedication for a long time. For the Serbs to come to Moscow – it’s like for any European orchestra to perform in Vienna’s Musikverein. But Moscow is closer to Serbs. Still, the Slavs, Orthodox.
This is the highest that you want to achieve, there is always the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Look at the video, as there are coordinated with each other woodwinds. Everyone carries his solo with a sense of mission. Of course, the Berliners have a pose: we are “masters”, “firmachi”. Musicians get high on how cool they are. In each unison they literally absorb each other with their ears. This produces an incredible impression. And let 95 percent of the audience not hear, high or low in F-sharp and who entered earlier – double basses or cello. People simply feel that they are witnessing something beautiful that happened right here and now.
– Do you have your own recipes for achieving this result?
– I’m more and more eager to communicate with orchestras, which allow them to try and search. Do not get annoyed if you want to repeat separate fragments of the score in the second or third time. Not because I need to invent an auktak. Often I’m looking for some paint, trying to feel what the musicians need to sound like I’d like to hear.
Huge happiness, when the orchestra manifests this generosity, is like a good string quartet or piano trio. They can say: let’s try now to play in this part of the bow. Or at this point, draw two notes up, one down. You will prolong this league, but you will be interrupted … Gennady Rozhdestvensky has a small book called “Conducting Fingering”. Of course, it says not only the aspects of manual techniques, but also about phrasing, change of breath.
Brahms, for example, could put the league on twelve bars, which you will not play for one bow. It takes three or four. So, where to change them and the whole group – this is the conductor’s fingering. If the orchestra is not ready for such things, maybe it’s worth trying to convince it. But no one will be forced to. It’s like Bernstein said: “You can not get musicians to play anything. We need to make sure that they want to do it. “
Such things do not imply a routine attitude to art. I’m not interested just to memorize some idea, and then work it out. When you, as a conductor, feel yourself heard, when the orchestra allows you to experiment in a good way – this is a very important aspect. It is not enough to rehearse with a beautiful sound and dynamics. It is necessary that the musicians and the conductor have the desire and time to live the music before it is brought to the public’s court.
Today, this is less and less. Everyone used to work very quickly. Now in three days you can collect an essay on which Mravinsky needed weeks. They, these weeks, he was required not because the orchestra could not play together, purely and beautifully. Although the quality of the number of rehearsals only won. It was necessary to live this symphony of Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Shostakovich, explain for himself. Otherwise it will be beautiful, professional, but it’s not clear what.
Sometimes you succeed, and you see a return. The orchestra suddenly feels that it began to sound somehow different. Sometimes he becomes so grateful that he invites you to another program and already then becomes truly generous. And this time musicians better, sometimes, leave alone. Maybe they had a difficult week with the chief conductor. Maybe they looked at the notes the day before and waved their hand – but we already know this symphony. And you go pregnant with it for a few months, you nurse …
Sometimes, when you are young and inexperienced, you hurt about it painfully. Over time, you stop beating your head and begin to calmly do your professional work. One must never forget that the idealism of a lone conductor is much stronger than any collective idealism. And do not expect that musicians, like you, will feel, seemingly obvious to you things.
– For many years you led the orchestra of the German Koblenz. He is grateful to you?
“At least I tell him exactly.” But without false modesty I can assume that the German musicians too. I have parted very well with Koblenz, I have already returned there many times and will soon come again. This is the first orchestra where I became the principal conductor. And this was not a mistake of the collective, which in four years it was customary to get rid of. I spent twelve years there.
Over the years we have achieved a lot. From a little-known region, Koblenz has turned into a place where something is happening musically all the time. We were awarded the Echo Klassik Award. In 2018 they won the Radio Denmark Award for the best record of symphonic Danish music. Twice went to concerts in Salzburg, performed in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Tonhalle in Zurich.
Soloists came to Koblenz, which the orchestra knew only by hearsay and by the discs in the music stores. Many musicians I took on their first job: for example, the first French horn and the first trumpet. They had to be raised later. And I myself as a conductor at that time turned out to be a year without a year.
It was a very grateful laboratory. In parallel, I worked in Polish Lodz. There was an opportunity to try the same repertoire with a collective, quite different in scale and mentality. The orchestra is much larger, and it is only engaged in symphonic programs. But when during the European tour the Lodz Orchestra lacked some positions, the musicians from Koblenz came to the rescue.
– Since August of this year, you will head the symphony orchestra of the Canadian Winnipeg. Are there any preconceptions already: musical, geographic?
– Geographic foreplay is very simple: there will be many flights. As for the musicians, in my opinion, quite a good credit of professional and human trust has already accumulated. If this loan is used correctly, with the mind, it can last for a long time. The orchestra has a remarkable reputation. In many respects it was formed thanks to my predecessors, including the conductor Andrei Boreiko, who worked there for six years.
I hope they let me work seriously and in detail. And I will try to give the orchestra an opportunity to actively perform. All the rest is a completely new form of work for me. Music in North America does not begin with the score, not with the public, not with the hanger, but … with the ticket office. Here, in Europe, we are accustomed to orchestral socialism, when 95 percent of the money is given by the state. And there you need to count every dollar and do it so that people always want to give it. I’m ready for this.
Canada is a young country. This year the Winnipeg Orchestra celebrates its 70th anniversary, which is almost half the state path. The size of the country is astounding, and this incredible territory is inhabited by only 36 million people, mainly on the coast. Therefore, due to its central location and even some kind of isolation, Winnipeg and its orchestra must develop their own cultural initiatives.
And this need to rely on ourselves creates a special kind of color. Winnipeg by Canadian standards is a big city, 850 thousand people. There is a concert hall for 2400 listeners and there is a large number of people who need classical music. The famous troupe of the Winnipeg Royal Ballet operates, there is an opera. In the course of our preliminary communication, the idea that the orchestra would like to leave its geographical shell, to build an international profile, was stressed several times.
– For 2020, you have already scheduled a tour in Europe …
– The combination of circumstances is such that in May 2020, Amsterdam and the whole of Europe will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. It was the Canadian troops that won Holland, Flanders and, above all, Amsterdam. But even more coincidentally, the main forces that liberated the capital of the Netherlands were parts from Winnipeg. And a monument to these Canadians stands literally 300 meters from my Amsterdam apartment. On the day of the commemoration – May 4, 2020 – the execution of Britten’s Military Requiem in Concertgebouw is planned with the participation of Tonkunst choir – the oldest of the Amsterdam choral bands.
In addition, we hope that our enormous efforts – bringing an orchestra to Europe without serious sponsorship support is unrealistic – will attract the attention of other European halls. I have already spoken with the Viennese Musikverein, the Cologne Philharmonic. I hope this will result in something and the orchestra will write a new page in its history. He deserves it – both soloists and critics have repeatedly expressed surprise at the high level of the collective. In communication with him, I was attracted by some kind of human and musician simplicity. You know, it happens when after a few bars you have a feeling of deja vu. That you have already been here, you know all and do not need to negotiate anything – everything happens naturally.
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