LEONID DESYATNIKOV born in 1955) is one of the most oroginal and widely performed among the Petersburgian composers. He is a graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory and a member of the Composers Union. He has been a freelance composer since 1984.
Desyatnikov has penned four operas, several cantatas, and numerous vocal and instrumental compositions. The composer defines his style as “the emancipation of consonance, the transformation of the banal, minimalism with a human face”; his favorite genre is the “tragically naughty bagatelle”. His principal compositions include Rosenthal's Children (an opera in two acts; Vladimir Sorokin, libretto), Poor Liza (a chamber opera in one act; Leonid Desyatnikov, libretto, after the novella by Nikolai Karamzin; Gift (a cantata based on the verses of Gavrila Derzhavin), A Leaden Echo (a piece for voice and instruments based on the verses of Gerard Manley Hopkins) and The Rite of Winter 1949 (a symphony for choir, soloists and orchestra).
Since 1996 Desyatnikov has worked closely with Gidon Kremer, both as a composer (Wie der Alte Leiermann, the chamber orchestra version of Sketches for “Sunset”, Russian Seasons and as an arranger of compositions by Astor Piazzolla. He has also composed the music for such films as Sunset, Lost in Siberia, Moscow Nights, Hammer and Sickle, Giselle's Mania, His Wife's Diary, The Prisoner of the Mountains and Moscow (Grand Prize, 4th Biennial Film Music Festival, Bonn, 2002).
“Tracing Astor” is woven according to Piazzolla's piece “Milonga per tre” (however, not only on the base of this composition). Frankly speaking, my milonga seems to be lame a bit, for its main time is 5/4.
“Tracing Astor” is the kind of attempt, implying to reflect the impressions, aroused by the Argentinian master's music, trying to estimate this music as cool-mindedly as possible. The effect was achieved by means of pure graphics. I had curb probably the most attractive sides of the “new tango” style, i. e. its pathos and hypersexuality — and everything I did, was for the sake of the pure experiment. Thus I;d like to define this piece's humour as “Piazzolla extra dry”.