Classically trained pianist, composer, arranger, and producer Anton Batagov was born on October 10, 1965 in Moscow. He began studying piano and musical theory at the Gnessin School of Music, and later attended the Moscow Conservatory, studying piano and composition. He won his first international award at the Concertino-Prague Competition in 1981 that was followed by the awards at the National Piano Competition in 1985, the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1986, and the Sydney Piano Competition in 1988. His concert experience included touring in Europe, the United States of America, Canada, Japan and Australia. While Batagovís musical language was heavily influenced by the heritage of the Russian and European classics, he created the style of his own developing harmonic palette and motoric pulse of the Soviet avant-garde music of the 20-30s. He was also the first Russian pianist to take advantage of interpreting works by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass among others. In the last decade of the twentieth century, Batagov came out as one of the most influential young Russian composers and performers of electronic, movie, documentary and new improvised music with trademark rhythmic vigor, unique sense of large-scale architecture, and lush, textured emotionalism. However, it is Batagovís spiritual exploration of great emotional depth and inward development, which has emerged recently as his most important contribution to the musical culture of this country.
"...Not long than thirty years ago, even if there were few ones seeking to understand the things through music and not just consuming it - at present, this is a pure entertainment... Classical music is not at all an important code carrying the Highest Knowledge: all attempts to decipher it or interpret in a "new" and "specific" way, not as is customary, by no means do not lead to a new level of knowledge - but to meaningless cultural and aesthetic games... While doing it inside a studio, not on stage, we release ourselves from the necessity to entertain others... and instead meet a challenge of that very imperfect convention, in the format of which a certain Composer tried to express something somewhere in the past..." - Anton Batagov (from "The Mistakes of Y2K").
For more information, complete catalog, and reviews visit Anton Batagov's official homepage.
Anton Batagov - piano, prepared piano, piano strings. Ilya Khmyz - other sounds. An amazing all instrumental album of haunting cinematic-ambient electro-acoustics. (9 tracks - 46 min.)
In this prayer a practitioner chants the names of all those enlightened masters who have been the holders of the Buddhist tradition for 25 centuries, and asks them to bestow their blessing. The list begins with the name of Buddha Shakyamuni, and ends with the name of a living lama. "Yeshe Lodoi Rinpoche, one of today's greatest Buddhist teachers, told me that he'd like to record this prayer and asked me to write an instrumental arrangement. He said that it would make it easier for modern practitioners to sing it with an arrangement. It was a blessing to me, and I hadn't really deserved it. The prayer was recorded in May 2009. Rinpoche chants the first part of the prayer, and Geshe Lharamba Tenzin, his closest disciple, joins him in the second part. When I began listening to this recording I realized that it would need no composer's intervention. It would be wrong to add any active sounds that would turn this recording into a composer's work. I added just a few chords accompanying the vocal part. I hope these sounds would help to emphasize the amazing combination of fathomless depth, sincere warmth and profound expression which fills every word of this prayer and every note of this simple melody. When a disciple is listening to his guru of thinking of him he weeps. There is no rational explanation of this phenomenon. It has nothing to do with sentimentality or any other ordinary emotion, but these tears are able to unlock a door to the ultimate truth which cannot be understood intellectually. Unfortunately it is difficult for us to feel like this. Even when we are listening to a monastic chants we listen either with professional musician's or critic's ears or with a music lover's ears. However, I'd like you to hear this recording in a different way. When a great lama and his closest disciple who is a lama himself are praying to all the gurus who has been transmitting the unbroken lineage of the Teaching from the Buddha to the present times their emotions are as strong as the emotions of a young boy who has just come to the monastery. No spiritual path is possible without this emotion, and only this intensive feeling can help us overcome any obstacles and sufferings. When I was working on this arrangement I tried to be a disciple, not a composer. I would be happy to transmit this feeling to everyone who is listening to this recording." (by Anton Batagov). (2 tracks - 36 min.)
"Batagov's dreamy, repetitive piano chords are accompanied only by the intermittent ringing of different sounding hand bells. His simple arrangements aren't intrusive in any way; they just further enhance the already present meditative nature of this recording. Even if you approach this recording with an open mind you'll discover that A Prayer To The Lineage Gurus is definitely a different kind of listening experience, but one that is ultimately a rewarding and enriching one in the end. (Score: 4/5)" Ė by Ryan Sparks of Sea Of Tranquility (USA) (May 2010).
An exceptional modern-creative epic based on selected chapters from the famous poem "Bodhicharyavatara" ("The Way of the Bodhisattva"), composed by the eighth-century Indian master Shantideva. Telo Tulku Rinpoche, The Shajin-Lama (Supreme Lama) of Kalmykia who at the age of seven was recognized by the Dalai Lama as the current reincarnation of Tilopa (988ó1069), a great Buddhist saint, chanted the vocal part. Amazingly, Rinpoche's traditional Tibetan-style chanting sounds with almost "rock" passion. While in the original musical score written by Anton Batagov, stylistic patterns from renaissance ballads and minimalism, Tibetan sacral music and rock, symphonic chamber textures and modern jazz, constitute a seamless unity. "This is not just a meditation music. It's a real drama which leads a listener towards deeper understanding of a heroic path of the Bodhisattvas, those who vow to become enlightened in order to help all beings awaken into the state of freedom and fulfillment." - said Telo Tulku Rinpoche about the album. Composed and recorded in December 2008 - February 2009. The release has been made possible through the generous support of Save Tibet Foundation. (4 tracks - 60 min.)
This album is an unique collaboration between a composer Anton Batagov and Lama Sonam Dorje, the first Russian Buddhist practitioner who spent 7 years in Himalayas in a strict solitary retreat. After the retreat he received permission and blessing for teaching Dharma in Russia. Lama Sonam Dorje is a disciple of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, one of the greatest Tibetan lamas of our times. From the cover notes by Anton Batagov: "Lama Sonam Dorje chose eight canonical texts and recorded all of them, along with a dzogchen meditation on a sound 'A,' in my studio. He then asked me to compose an instrumental accompaniment, along with two textless instrumental pieces: an introduction, and music for daily meditation (tracks 1 and 9). In these compositions I used the rhythmic structure of traditional Tibetan prosody. These rhythmic patterns are usually heard in Tibetan prayers. The order of all tracks on this CD was also given by Lama Sonam Dorje. It is certainly possible to play this CD from beginning to end, treating it as a multi-movement composition with its own form, dynamics, dramaturgical principles, and so forth. It is not at all necessary to be a Buddhist to set out on this trip. But if one regards oneself as a Buddhist, this CD is suitable for daily practice." (11 tracks - 49 min.)
"I was a bit worried before I started this review, that I shouldnít be able to make you realize how deep this work is. But as I just mentioned, you donít have to be a Buddhist to appreciate this. It should be a meditative record for everyone. Antonís grand piano compositions are at times some of the most beautiful pieces of modern classical piano music Iíve heard, and the drones and the bells takes it all to a completely unique level. The mantas provided by Lama Sonam Dorje may have a slight haunting approach, deep and monotonous, but his intention is certainly not to affright you - the other way around! ...Well, this album is for sure something extraordinary. No matter how you decide to listen to it, it should become very special for you. For me, itís a great experimental neoclassical album, that offer some really beautiful and soothing moments." Ė by Markus Eriksson of The Shadows Commence (Sweden) (November 2008).
Four long solo piano compositions written between July 1995 and September 1996, and recorded in January 1999 at the Radio House Studio in Moscow. These tracks remained in the Anton Batagovís archives until 2003, when the music was mastered by a Russian avant-garde composer Sergei Zagny and revealed publicly for the first time under the title Music For Piano. The album appears to be the only release to date that finds Anton Batagov performing solo piano music by Anton Batagov. This delicate, charming and highly intimate act is beyond any particularized expertise or criticism. Quoting the artist, it could help escape "the temptation of fixing personal and global errors and neurotic illusions, and then presenting all these as oneís individuality". (4 tracks - 55 min.)
"Batagov is very well known in Russia as a Piano protege, in fact, judging by the several releases he has put together, he is in huge demand for his ability. Each of the tracks is from 7 to 16 minutes in length, which at first glance seems oddly worrying for a Piano only release. Fortunately, the hype surrounding this man isn't over-hyped in the slightest. Batagov has a knack of generating beautiful, sorrowful and haunting Piano melodies. The first track grips you from the word "go", and takes on an almost delicate Eastern manner at times. This is a Ballad, a Lullaby, or even just a nice soothing number to fall asleep too. It doesn't stop here either, each of the tracks takes on a clear different approach in sound, and Anton is not only a master of his art, he's by far a modern day Composer. It feels unfair to compare this to the likes of Mozart, Beethoven etc, as the style is too stretched, but by all means, there aren't enough people out there playing original Piano music anymore. Out of those that are, Mr. Batagov is one of the best I've heard. Face it, who doesn't hear a Piano piece and think "wow"?. The question is, can you handle 54 minutes of just Piano? If you think you can, please, please get an Anton Batagov release. Preferably this one. It's calming, relaxing, Beautiful, and above all else, it gives all of you out there something in your collection you can actually play when Auntie gets married! Hurray!" Ė by T300 of Heathen Harvest (USA) (December 2006).
A landmark collection of the best compositions written in 1993-2000. This includes highlighting excerts from Anton Batagov's large-scale musical works as well as tracks written for movie and tv soundtracks. (17 tracks - 60 min.)
|Anton Batagov (piano): O.Messiaen "Vingt regards sur IíEnfant-Jesus" (1990)||3CD (Melodiya)||N/A|
|Rails (Russian avant-garde music of the early 20th century) (1991)||CD (MCA Classics)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov (piano): Johann Sebastian Bach "Die Kunst der Fuge" (1993)||2CD (SoLyd Records)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov (piano): Maurice Ravel "Le Tombeau de Couperin. Gaspard de la Nuit. Valses Nobles et Sentimentales" (1993)||CD (SoLyd Records)||N/A|
|I Had Been Looking At The Green Trees For A Long Time (1994)||CD (SoLyd Records)||N/A|
|V/A: Alexandre Rabinovitch "Oeuvres Pour Piano" (1994)||CD (Valois-Naive)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov (piano): The New Ravel. Works For Piano (1996)||CD (Arbiter Records)||N/A|
|Yesterday (Piano Music by George Peletsis, Sergei Zagny, Alexander Rabinovitch) (1998)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|A Composition from Ivan Dykhovichny's Film "Music For December" (1998)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov and Alexei Lubimov (pianos): Vladimir Martynov "Opus Posth" (1998)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov (piano): Sergei Zagny "Sonata" (2000)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Best Before 02.2000 (2000)||CD (LongArms Records)||$13.00|
|Prayers And Dances (2001)||2CD (Tummo)||N/A|
|Music For The 35 Buddhas (2001)||CD (Tummo)||N/A|
|The Wheel of the Law (2002)||3CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov (piano) plays Beethoven, Schubert and Bach. Remix (2002)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Anton Batagov (piano): Morton Feldman "Triadic Memories" (2003)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Music For Piano (2003)||CD (RAIG)||$16.00|
|Save changes before closing? (2003)||CD (Strange Sounds)||$13.00|
|symphony.ru (2003)||CD (Strange Sounds)||$13.00|
|Anton Batagov "Tetractys" played by Opus Posth Ensemble (2004)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|From the Beginning up to the End (2004)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Music for Films (2005)||2CD (Dom Records)||N/A|
|Passionate Desire to Be an Angel (2005)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Breathing In Breathing Out. Original Motion Picture Soundtrack for the film by Ivan Dykhovichny (2007)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|The Monk Thogmey's Thirty-Seven Precepts (2007)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|The Musicmaker's Contract. NTV/NTV+ Channels Greatest Hits (2007)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|ab & xmz. the piano and other sounds (2008)||CD (LongArms Records)||N/A|
|Lama Sonam Dorje & Anton Batagov. Daily Practice (2008)||CD (Tummo)||$11.00|
|Anton Batagov & Telo Tulku Rinpoche. Bodhicharyavatara (2009)||CD (Tummo)||$13.00|
|Yeshe Lodoi Rinpoche - Geshe Lharamba Tenzin - Anton Batagov / Lamrim. A Prayer to the Lineage Gurus (2009)||CD (Tummo)||$9.00|
|ab & xmz. II (2009)||CD (Tummo)||$11.00|