Sometimes a work stands out so well that it deserves its own category. That was the decision of the folks who dole out the 2012 American Prize for Orchestral Composition 2012, when they reviewed Trotzky’s Train by our own David Avshalomov. David has been awarded a Special Judges’ Citation for Unique Artistic Achievement and Distinctive Merit, a special honor that did not exist before this year. The submission was the finale of the version for piano and string orchestra. Here is the composer’s description of the piece, from a recent release about the award:
This is a tragic, bittersweet neo-romantic work reflecting on the 1917 Russian Revolution and the resulting tragedy of Stalinist oppression. The finale reflects an increasingly grim Trotzkyite dialectic between the truth of Stalinism (not real Socialism) and the sweet tragic Russian soul, with a deadly and inevitable end.
A live recording, program notes and a link to the score are available on the composer’s website. You can also read David Bratman’s review of the work, as it was performed by the San José Chamber Orchestra, in the San Francisco Classical Voice. Be sure to check out his other works as well: this third-generation composer is an excellent craftsman with a taste for lush textures and grand themes, but his sense of humor gets its fair share of attention, too…
Kudos, David — we hope to hear more from you soon!