One of the greatest Soviet film composers, Alexey Rybnikov could perhaps be viewed as the Russian François de Roubaix - an artist best known for scoring mainstream theatrical and television films, as well as countless children’s movies and shows. Although classically trained, Rybnikov fell in love with rock n’ roll, and eventually electronic music, leading him to briefly suspend classical ambitions in order to work primarily in the world of cinema and television throughout the 1970s and 80s.
Shortly before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Rybnikov returned to composing classical music, a prolific output that includes six symphonies and two rock operas.
Nevertheless most Russians know Rybnikov for his film music, which has become iconic and representative of a nostalgia for a lost time. As Soviet mainstream cinema of the 1970s and early 80s was steeped in fabulism and fantasy, Rybnikov’s music embodies many of the predominant narratives so popular at the time: folk and fairy tales, adventure stories, classical adaptations, sci-fi genres, and animation. His style could be classified as baroque rock, with a propensity for highly intricate melodic beauty.
Among the most popular of Rybnikov’s scores are for children’s films like Treasure Island (1971), The Big Space Adventure (1974), The Adventures of Buratino (1975), The Little Red Riding Hood (1977), The Star Boy (1983), as well as lyrical fantasies including That Very Same Munchausen (1979) and To the Stars By Hard Ways (1980).