Georgy Catoire

by popularity


3 Pieces, Op.24 Pieces, Op.124 Pieces, Op.344 Preludes, Op.174 Romances, Op.14 Songs, Op.115 Pieces, Op.106 Pieces, Op.66 Poems de Balmont, Op.326 Poems de Soloviev, Op.33


Caprice, Op.3Chants du crépuscule, Op.24


Elegie for Piano and Violin, Op.26Etude, Op.8


Piano Concerto, Op.21Piano Quartet, Op.31Piano Quintet, Op.28Piano Trio in F minor, Op.14Prélude et Fugue, Op.25


String Quartet, Op.23String Quintet, Op.16


Tempest Etude, Op.35


Valse, Op.30Valse, Op.36Violin Sonata No.1, Op.15Violin Sonata No.2, Op.20
Georgy Lvovich Catoire (or Katuar, Russian: Гео́ргий Льво́вич Катуа́р, French: Georges Catoire) (Moscow 27 April 1861 – 21 May 1926) was a Russian composer of French heritage.
Catoire studied piano in Berlin with Karl Klindworth (a friend of Richard Wagner) from whom he learned to appreciate Wagner. He became one of the few Russian 'Wagnerite' composers, joining the Wagner society in 1879.
Catoire graduated from Moscow University in mathematics in 1884 with outstanding honours. Upon graduating, he worked for his father's commercial business, only later becoming a full-time musician. It was at this time that Catoire began taking lessons in piano and basic harmony from Klindworth's student, V. I. Willborg. These lessons resulted in the composition of a piano sonata, some character pieces, and a few transcriptions. The most famous of these transcriptions was the piano transcription of Tchaikovsky's Introduction and Fugue from the First Orchestral Suite (which Jurgenson later published at the recommendation of Tchaikovsky).
Not satisfied with his lessons with Willborg, Catoire went to Berlin in late 1885 to continue his lessons with Klindworth. Throughout 1886, he made brief trips to Moscow, and on one of these trips, he became acquainted with Tchaikovsky, who was greatly pleased with Catoire's set of piano variations. Tchaikovsky told the younger composer that, "it would be a great sin if he did not devote himself to composition". It was during this visit to Moscow that Catoire was introduced to the publisher Jurgenson. Catoire continued to study piano with Klindworth in Berlin throughout 1886, and simultaneously studied composition and theory with Otto Tirsch. Not satisfied with Tirsch's instruction, he began study with Philipp Rüfer. These lessons were also short-lived but resulted in the composition of a string quartet.
Catoire returned to Moscow in 1887. He declined to make a debut as a concert pianist, despite Klindworth's recommendation. Catoire met Tchaikovsky again, and he showed him (along with Nikolai Gubert and Sergei Taneyev) the string quartet which he had written in Berlin for Rüfer. They all agreed that the work was musically interesting but lacking in texture. On Tchaikovsky's recommendation, Catoire went to Rimsky-Korsakov in St Petersburg with a request for composition and theory lessons. In a letter to Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky later described Catoire as, "very talented... but in need of serious schooling."
Rimsky-Korsakov gave Catoire one lesson before passing him to Lyadov. This single lesson resulted in three piano pieces which were later published as Catoire's op.2. With Lyadov, Catoire studied counterpoint and wrote several pieces, including the lovely Caprice op.3. Lyadov's lessons concluded Catoire's formal schooling.
After returning to Moscow, Catoire became quite close to Anton Arensky. It was during this period that he wrote his second quartet (which he later rewrote as a quintet) and his cantata, "Rusalka", op.5, for solo voice, women's chorus and orchestra.
Catoire's family, friends, and colleagues were not sympathetic to his choice of career in composition, so in 1899, after a series of disappointments, he withdrew to the countryside and nearly gave up composing altogether. After two years of withdrawal from society, and having broken off almost all connections with musical friends, the opus 7 Symphony emerged in the form of a sextet as a result of this seclusion.
From 1919 Catoire was professor of composition in the Moscow Conservatory. He wrote several treatises on theory and composition during his tenure. Nikolai Myaskovsky had great regard for Catoire's students.
Today Catoire is very little known, although a few recordings exist of his piano works by Marc-André Hamelin, Anna Zassimova and Alexander Goldenweiser, while David Oistrakh and Laurent Breuninger have recorded the complete violin music. His music has a certain semblance to the works of Tchaikovsky, the early works of Scriabin, and the music of Fauré. Catoire's compositions demand not only high virtuosity but also an ear for instrumental colour.
Georgy Catoire is the uncle of author and musician Jean Catoire.
Morceaux Op. 6 Reverie, Contraste, Paysage. Prélude As-Dur [Composition du jeune age]; Op. 12, Quatre Morceaux: Chant du Soir, Méditation, Nocturne, Etude fantastique; Op.34, Poème No.1 e-moll , Poeme Op. 34 No.2 C-Dur. Anna Zassimova. CD „Vergessene Weisen“ – Russian Music at the turn of the 20th Century.