Richard Pennycuick wrote:
>Browsing an online catalogue, I came across a Melodiya CD
>containing Glazunov's 4th and "Symphony No.21 in G minor (Nikolai
>Ovsianinko-Kukikovski)", conducted by Mravinsky, no less. Grove,
>Classical Net and Google all deny any knowledge of this composer.
>Does anyone on the list have knowledge of the elusive gentleman?
Elusive indeed. Ephemeral to the point of fictitious. Allan Ho and
Dmitry Feofanov have this to say in their Biographical Dictionary of
Ovsyaniko-Kulikovsky, Nikolai Dmitrievich (1768-1846)
Symphony No. 21 in g minor
It seems that this symphony was the handiwork of Mikhail
Emmanuilovich Goldstein (1917-1989). The Symphony was "discovered"
in 1948 by him in the archives of the Odessa Conservatory, where
he was then a librarian. It was premiered in Odessa and Kiev in
1948, and published in 1951 by the Soviet State Music Publishers
and edited by A.G. Svechnikov for the modern orchestra.
Ovsyaniko-Kulikovsky was an actual historical figure and landowner
who had presented his serf orchestra to the Odessa Theater in
1810. Goldstein immigrated to East Germany in 1964, leaving the
madness of this hoax behind him.
Part of the hoax was that this work was supposedly written for the opening
of the Odessa Opera House in 1805. That's probably why Mravinsky was
tricked into performing it (he recorded it in 1954), though I don't know
anything of that story.