Notes & Reviews:
"The Ukrainian Valentin Silvestrov has established himself over the past three decades as a 'composer of farewells', of long slow elegies to Romanticism, to melody, to tonality gradually and ineluctably effaced by time." ***** - Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine
Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Much of Silvestrov's music since the mid-1970s has been a requiem in all but name - a rite of regret and consolation for music and for the hopes and dreams of modern consciousness. So it's no surprise that he should join Schnittke, Denisov, Tishchenko and others of the post- Shostakovich generation in composing a work of that name. The external stimulus was the sudden death in 1996 of his musicologist wife Larissa Bondarenko, his staunch supporter through trials of the kind virtually all modernist composers in the former USSR had to face.
He completed the work three years later, having built into the 'Tuba Mirum' section the fractured but passionate textures of his First Symphony of 1963, and having arranged the second Agnus Dei around his Mozartian piano piece, The Messenger. At the heart of the Requiem is his Taras Shevchenko setting, 'The Dream', as breathtakingly moving here as in its original place in the cycle Silent Songs. Otherwise he fragments the Requiem text and disposes its incomplete phrases across seven mostly slow movements; only the 'Lacrimosa' survives intact. The choir features a basso profundo section and three soloists who gently ease in and out of the texture. The classical-size orchestra is augmented by synthesizer, first heard in the celestial harmonies succeeding the first Agnus Dei.
Whether or not you know the fragile, haunting sound world of Ukraine's senior composer, this is a disc you should try.
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Silvestrov: Symphony no 6 / Boreyko, et al
Pärt: Orient Occident
Coates: London Again, etc / Wilson, Royal Liverpool PO
Balada: No-res (Nothing), etc / Ramón, Rafter, et al
American Classics - Schuman: Symphonies no 4 & 9 / Schwarz
Rawsthorne: Symphony no 1 - 3 / Lloyd-Jones, et al
Mahler: Symphony no 6 / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco SO
Bax: Piano Sonatas no 1&2, Burlesque, etc / Ashley Wass
Balada: Guernica, Symphony no 4, Zapata / Conde, et al
Works DetailsSilvestrov, Valentin : Requiem for Larissa, for mixed choir & orchestra
- Conductor: Vladimir Sirenko
- Ensemble: Ukrainian National Capella "Dumka"
- Running Time: 51 min. 9 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary
- Written: 1997-1999