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Mikael Tariverdiev: Olga Sergeevn Original Television Score

Like the rest of my unworldly brethren, I only became acquainted with the works of the Soviet composer Mikael Tariverdiev when Stephen Coates of Real Tuesday Weld brought them to our attention. Tariverdiev’s film music was a delicate mix of classical and jazz but didn’t feel like it was heavily entrenched in either camp. The double album Olga Sergeevna turns our attention to just one of the TV film series that he scored. Like the Film Music collection, we are treated to a surplus of material; 28 tracks that span an hour and 22 minutes.

Mikael Tariverdiev

Olga Sergeevn Original Television Score

Earth Recordings

Release Date: 20 Oct 2017

The story of
Olga Sergeevna was told in eight television episodes. The premise may sound quaint to us today, but it was quite the eye-opener in the ’70s-era Soviet Union. The title character, played by the actress Tatiana Doronina, is a marine biologist who decides to devote her life to her work, forsaking any happiness in her personal life. According to the press release that comes with the soundtrack album, the idea of a woman scientist being a central character in a television drama had yet to touch popular culture in America. Not only had the Soviets shot into orbit first, but they beat us to the punch in addressing women in high-profile workplaces within the entertainment industry. It’s not quite Sputnik, but it gave a certain composer a job.

According to
Olga Sergeevna‘s director Aleksandr Proshkin, Mikael Tariverdiev wasn’t entirely comfortable working along the schedules of others. While the rest of the filming crew were coming up against deadlines, deadlines, and more deadlines, the man in charge of the music preferred to wait for the ideas to come to him. Rarely do these two approaches co-exist peacefully.

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