Watch a short film on the rediscovery of legendary Russian film composer Mikhail Tariverdiev


Born in 1931 in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR to Armenian parents, Mikhail Tariverdiev was a highly esteemed artist remembered for his work in film and music in Russia. His repertoire includes scoring for successful cult TV films ‘Seventeen Moments Of Spring’ a 1973 twelve-part Soviet television series based on the novel of the same title by Yulian Semyonov and the romantic comedy ‘The Irony Of Fate’ (1976), one of the most famous and popular Soviet television productions ever made.

Tariverdiev came to public attention by working with his lifelong friend, the director Mikhail Khalik on the coming-of-age film ‘Goodbye Boys’ (Dosvedanya Malchiki) in 1964. The pair went on to produce several other films together until the early 1970s when Khalik’s refusal to cooperate with the censor led to his defection.

Although cinema and music was the root of Mikael’s passion he also enjoyed creating alternative styles of dialogue with his audience. He began to work on vocal cycles (musical settings for poetry) and although this was not usual for a cinematic audience, he began to experiment. In the film ‘A Man Follows The Sun’, directed by Khalik, his setting of Semyon Kirsanov’s poem ‘You Have Such Eyes’ against impressionistic scenes marked the beginning of an aesthetic he developed through the 1960s and called ‘The Third Trend’. Choosing to go against the formality of the Soviet musical academic establishment, he sang some vocal cycles himself, pronouncing words emotionally and so connecting with the style of French Chanson and the Russian Bard tradition.

Tariverdiev scored over 130 films during his lifetime, he also wrote classical music for more than a hundred romances, ballets, operas and chamber vocal cycles.

Film Music is a 51 track 3LP boxset of Tariverdiev’s music, and is released on the 20th of November by Earth Recordings. It comes with a 24 page booklet consisting of unseen documents and materials from the Tariverdiev home. The rare photographs come from Mikael’s personal collection including stills from the film sets he was working on, his and Vera’s apartment and images of his studio.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.