"Problems of technique, style, form and other components of a composer's creativity are wholly subordinated to the mystery of music as a self-conceived and self-organized structure. The only goal is to let this mystery come true".
Alexander Aslamazov, a composer from Saint-Petersburg, was born in Vladikavkaz (Ordzhonikidze far back then) in 1945 and it was there that he started studying music. On graduating from the local High School of Music he carried on studying in Leningrad Conservatory tutored by Professor Orest Evlakhov in his composition classes. He was given a composer's diploma in 1969 and since 1974 he has been a member of the Russian Composers' Union. He also works as an editor in Russia's two biggest publishing houses, “Music” and “Composer” (formerly “Soviet Composer”).
His works, which count up to 50 and most of them having been published in Russia, characterize him as abiding by the sphere of chamber and symphonic music as well as aspiring to reveal himself in various genres of these spheres, like symphonies or pieces for children, instrumental sonatas or vocal cycles, operas, oratorios and concert pieces for solo instruments or ensembles.
Melody, timbre and rhythm are the most important tints brushed by Aslamazov. The composer's evident tendency to melodic development and linear structure entails all kinds of melodic ideas. It's a heavy cantilena developing slowly at one side and fastidious decorations growing impetuously like arabesques at the other. The composer keeps looking for extraordinary combinations of timbres in the world of sound colors using various percussion and often putting together habitual and exotic timbres. The cooperation of a tape recording with live performance expands the sound area of Aslamazov's music. The riches and variety of rhythmic patterns constitute a prominent feature of his works, one of them even called "The pulse of rhythm".
Of all the instruments the composer implements one is of special value. It's clarinet, for which there have been written three solo sonatas and two concerto pieces called Lamentation and Voice. In Voice the performer comes into a dialogue with himself by means of a tape recording done during performance. Turning to clarinet (as well as to any other leading Instrument) the composer challenges him (and he also challenges the performer who is expected to be a virtuoso). The instrument doesn't only have to demonstrate its natural facilities but also discover a new sound that nobody ever heard before.
The culture of the West, the East and Russia at their borders influence Aslamazov's music altogether. There is no lateral accent. However it's evident that the composer's Armenian lineage didn't only bear fruit in his vocal cycle called "From Armenian Lyrics". Oriental elements can be seen in other works, however impeding in no way the Western features (like in the Second Symphony) or Russian folk motifs (like in Spring Songs).
Aslamazov's works excited a number of prominent musicians as intriguing one's ear by the strained development and unexpected improvisatory shifts while they are deep philosophically and bright as far as live features are concerned. Many performers took part at the first nights of these works, including the leaders of Saint-Petersburg Opera-House, the famous Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, etc.
Aslamazov's music was played at international festivals, concerts and radio programs In Russia, Sweden, Poland, Yugoslavia and the USA. A number of his works were published in England and Germany. All the three sonatas are going to be published in the United States with Bruce Cadet's comments. Constantly growing interest to Aslamazov's works in Russia and in the West, not to mention publications, has been witnessed by the International Biography Center in Cambridge which included the composer's biography in three prestigious books Who is Who of Intellectuals, Men of Achievement and Dictionary of International Biography.