Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Wed, 24 Jul 2024 17:30:42 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Valentin Silvestrov - Hieroglyphen Der Nacht (2017) Valentin Silvestrov - Hieroglyphen Der Nacht (2017)

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Drei Stücke (Für Zwei Violoncelli)
1 	I Hieroplyphen Der Nacht 	1:56
2 	II Nachhall Eines Walzers 	2:38
3 	III Nachhall Einer Sarabande 	3:49

Elegie (Für Violoncello Solo Und Zwei Tamtam)
4 	I 	2:01
5 	II 	3:11
6 	III 	11:10

8.VI.1810...Zum Geburtstag R.A. Schumann (Für Zwei Violoncelli)
7 	I Elegie 	3:53
8 	II Serenade 	1:51
9 	III Menuett 	2:26
10 	Augenblicke Der Stille Und Traurigkeit (Für Violoncello Solo)	7:56

Serenaden (Für Zwei Violoncelli)
11 	I Abendserenade 	3:11
12 	II Augenblicke Einer Serenade 	2:29
13 	Lacrimosa (Für Violoncello Solo)	3:42

25.X.1983...Zum Andenken An P.I. Tschaikowskij (Für Zwei Violoncelli)
14 	I Präludium "Geburt Der Melodie" 	2:50
15 	II Wiegenlied 	4:38
16 	III Serenade 	3:46
17 	Walzer Der Alpenglöckchen (Für Violoncello Solo)	4:04

Cello – Agnès Vesterman
Cello, Tam-tam – Anja Lechner 


This recording of music for cello solo and two cellos by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is a disc of two halves, as it were. Listeners familiar with the benign beauty that imbues much of Silvestrov’s sacred choral works will be in for quite a shock. The opening Drei Stücke and three-movement Elegie belong to a very different world to the composer’s liturgical songs and Alleluia settings (as heard, for example, on the recent, excellent ‘To Thee We Sing’ – Ondine, 10/15). Edgy and pointillist, the first study (whence the recording’s title ‘Hieroglyphs of the Night’ comes), resembles Anton Webern at his most epigrammatic. The Elegie, this time for solo cello, is even more brittle – sounds snatched from the silences that frame them. Alternating between cello and two tam tams, and brilliantly performed by seasoned Silvestrov cellist Anja Lechner, the final elegy evokes a strange, disembodied ritualistic counterpoint.

The juxtaposition is made to sound even stranger by the familiarity of what follows. Two sets of homages – one to Schumann, the other to Tchaikovsky – demonstrate Silvestrov’s oft-quoted comment that his music ‘is a response to and an echo of what already exists’. The ‘Abendserenade’, an arrangement of the ‘Evening Serenade’ from the composer’s Silent Music, gives full vent to the first cello’s lyrical register, supported by delicate guitar-like pizzicatos on the second.

Perhaps even more surprising is that these two sharply contrasting worlds – dissonant, austere and inward-looking on the one hand, exuding a radiant tonal beauty on the other – often coexist in Silvestrov’s creative imagination, making it almost impossible to predict what might come next: a ‘hieroglyphic’ music, formed out of the very layers of history. ---Pwyll ap Siôn,

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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:43:28 +0000
Valentin Silvestrov - Spectra, Eschatophony, Meditation (1976) Valentin Silvestrov - Spectra, Eschatophony, Meditation (1976)

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1-3. Spectra (1965)
Symphony for chamber orchestra

Igor Blazhkov, conductor
Recorded live in the Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic, 1965 (world premiere)

4-6. Eschatophony (1966)
Symphony No. 3 for large symphony orchestra

Bruno Maderna, conductor
Recorded live at the Darmstadt international Summer Courses for New Music, 1968 (world premiere)

7. Meditation (1972)
Symphony for cello and orchestra

Valentin Potapov, cello
Igor Blazhkov, conductor
Recorded live at the Kiev Philharmonic, 1976


Valentin Silvestrov is a famous composer and his discography is rather large thanks to Megadisc Classics and ECM Records. But his works of the 60s and early 70s are barely known, only a pair of them are recorded on CDs, whereas they are not less interesting than the later ones (I guess that for someone they can be even more interesting). Silvestrov was a very important and probably the most radical figure of so-called "soviet avant-garde" during the 60s. He has won the 1970 Gaudeamus Composers' Competition with his Third Symphony "Eschatophony". This composition was created in 1968 in Darmstadt (where it was well received by Adorno) under the direction of Bruno Maderna and you can listen to this world premiere on this CD. As well as you can listen to the creation of Silvestrov's chamber symphony "Spectra" in 1965 in Leningrad. It's absolutely amazing that such kind of music as "Spectra" or Denisov's "The Sun of Incas" could be performed in USSR in the 60th. It became possible thanks to such brave and enthusiastic musicians as, for example, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (in the case of Denisov, Schnittke, Gubaidulina) or Igor Blazhkov who conducts "Spectra" and "Meditation" on this CD. As for "Meditation" it's a kind of passage from Silvestrov's avant-garde period to his later "meta-music".

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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Mon, 30 Apr 2012 21:51:24 +0000
Valentin Silvestrov - Symphony No. 2 etc (2000) Valentin Silvestrov - Symphony No. 2 etc (2000)

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1. Symphony No. 2 (1965)
for flute, timpani, piano and string orchestra

Igor Blazhkov, conductor (Leningrad, 1967)

2. Cantata (1973)
for soprano and orchestra
on the words by Tyutchev and Blok

Nelly Lee, soprano; Igor Blazhkov, conductor (Kiev, 1980)

3. Serenade (1978)
for strings

Alexander Rudin, conductor (Moscow, 1993)

4. Autumn Serenade (1980... 2000)
for chamber orchestra

Ludmila Voinarovskaya, soprano; Virko Baley, conductor (Kiev, 2000)

5. Intermezzo (1983, rev. 1993)
for chamber orchestra

Virko Baley, conductor (Kiev, 1994)

6. Epitaph (1999)
for piano and string orchestra

Virko Baley, conductor (Kiev, 2000)


"Music is still song, even if one cannot literally sing it: it is not a philosophy, not a world-view. It is, above all, a chant, a song the world sings about itself, it is the musical testimony to life." -- Valentin Silvestrov

It's not at all hard to hear the image of a "world singing itself its own song" in Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov's works. His string quartets, his songs, and his masterful symphonies all radiate with the slow steady force of a rotating planet, spinning lonesomely in the void. The notion that these vast, lethargic bodies sing to themselves as they turn, and we hear their music as a symphony or song cycle, admittedly carries an aspect of Romantic fancy to it. But the image also voices a serious metaphor for Silvestrov -- the concept of "meta-music," a music which hovers around, above, and especially after all other musics, like an atmosphere encircling a post-apocalyptic globe. Silvestrov has written much about the idea of "coda" and "epilogue" in his music, that place in which there is "a gathering of resonances, a form which is open." This coda-state is for Silvestrov "not the end of music as an art, but the end of music, an end in which it can linger for a very long time. It is very much in the area of the coda that immense life is possible." Hence Silvestrov's "metaphorical style" from the 1970s onwards: a body of slow, lovely, and astoundingly detailed "postludes," emanating the air of a Mahler adagio through vast waves of time and subtle decay.

Valentin Vasil'yevich Silvestrov was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on September 30, 1937, arguably the darkest year in the Russian history. He came rather late to music, beginning study at 15, first privately and then at an evening music school. By 1955, he graduated with a gold medal and enrolled at the Kiev Institute of Construction Engineering; but three years later Silvestrov began serious pursuit of music at the Kiev Conservatory, studying with Lyatoshyns'ky and Revutsky. Even with earliest works like the Piano Quintet (1961), Silvestrov was already drawn to the dramatic potential in contrasting strong tonality with strong atonality; in his massive Third Symphony "Eskhatofoniya" (1966), this preoccupation with polarities took the form of "cultural" (strictly notated) sounds and "mysterious" (improvised) ones. The place of magic and invocation -- those elements that always defy material, that arise only in the process and afterwards -- began to rest more firmly in Silvestrov's works.

1971's gigantic Drama for piano trio -- "virtually a clinical study of an artistic crisis," Silvestrov's biographer writes -- was a breakthrough work. And it was beginning in 1973 that Silvestrov embarked on his "metaphorical" or "allegorical" style, strongly reminiscent of late-Romantic cliché, to which he still adheres today -- "metaphorical" because Silvestrov knows these sounds to be irrefutably "past" and has no interest in merely "resurrecting" them; and "allegorical," because Silvestrov wishes to use this music obliquely, as an estranged means rather than a predictable end.


Silvestrov's Symphony No. 5 of 1982 is perhaps an ideal symbol of this style: in its three-quarter-hour cycle of nine slow movements, it "recycles" a whole world of banal, almost kitschy melodies on its scarred, cloudy surface. But underneath this floating music lies a tremendous complexity, both technically and emotionally; the accumulative expressive effect is undeniable and unexpected. Malcolm MacDonald perhaps put it best when he wrote that the "Russian sense of lamentation...reaches in Silvestrov a new expressive stage: he seems to compose, not the lament itself, but the lingering memory of it, the mood of sadness that it leaves behind." --- Seth Brodsky,


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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Wed, 01 Feb 2012 20:04:30 +0000
Valentin Silvestrov ‎– Leggiero, Pesante (2002) Valentin Silvestrov ‎– Leggiero, Pesante (2002)

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1 	Sonata For Violoncello And Piano	22:01
2 	String Quartet No. 1	21:07
Three Postludes 
3 	I. Postludium "DSCH"	6:53
4 	II. Postludium	9:25
5 	III. Postludium	4:07

6 	Hymn 2001	6:27

Piano – Silke Avenhaus
Violoncello – Anja Lechner
Rosamunde Quartett:
Viola [Rosamunde Quartett] – Helmut Nicolai
Violin [Rosamunde Quartett] – Andreas Reiner, Simon Fordham
Violoncello [Rosamunde Quartett] – Anja Lechner
Soprano Vocals – Maacha Deubner
Piano – Valentin Silvestrov


Valentin Silvestrov is hardly a household name in the United States; however, in the Ukraine, he enjoys a similar standing to that of his Estonian counterpart Arvo Pärt. But that is where the resemblance ends. Whereas Pärt in his holy minimalism reinvents techniques that derive from Renaissance practice, Silvestrov's roots are planted in late Romanticism. His music is steeped in all of the emotion and drama that such a stylistic association would imply. Leggiero, pesante is a collection of Silvestrov's chamber music, and as an introduction to the musical world of Silvestrov, this ECM New Series release admirably fits the bill. Most impressive are the performances of the Sonata for violoncello and piano (1983) and the third Postludium by cellist Anja Lechner and pianist Silke Avenhaus. In these works, Silvestrov strives toward a synthetic union between the two instruments. Lechner and Avenhaus achieve this end spectacularly well and manage to blanket the performances in an emotional sensitivity that gives voice to Silvestrov's intentions, yet retains the personality of the performers. Also noteworthy is the Rosamunde Quartet's transparent interpretation of Silvestrov's String Quartet No. 1 (1974) and the composer's own delightful, occasionally hesitant reading of a new work, Hymn 2001. Somewhat less engaging is the first two of the Three Postludes. These works are so wispy and fragmentary that they seem a bit undernourished, although they are in keeping with the rest of the music here. This disc is recommendable on many fronts, but especially so to listeners who find contemporary music scary and out of touch. Leggiero, pesante will likely prove both challenging and pleasing to those who take the plunge. The ECM recording is spacious, but not to the extent that it robs this chamber music of its intimacy. ---Uncle Dave Lewis

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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Sun, 15 Dec 2019 16:11:55 +0000
Valentin Silvestrov ‎– Symphony No. 5 ∙ Exegi Monumentum (1994) Valentin Silvestrov ‎– Symphony No. 5 ∙ Exegi Monumentum (1994)

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1 	Symphony No.5 	45:49
2 	Exegi Monumentum 	22:16

Sergej Jakovenko - baritone
The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra
Andrej Borejko - conductor 


I discovered the Silvestrov Fifth Symphony almost four years ago in the infancy of CMOTW. I had just been selected by Len Mullenger as Classical Editor for Music on the Web and was beginning to make contacts with record companies. Amongst those early contacts was BMG-Melodiya in Germany. Their catalogue was the home for the so-called 'Musica non Grata' Russian series which presented music which had been suppressed in the USSR.

The Symphony's single deep-breathed movement prompts comparisons with Pettersson's similar structures although Silvestrov has differing aims. The Silvestrov achieves a mesmerising ecstatic abandon - a sort of misty nirvana.

It is dedicated to Roman Kofman whose 1980s performance with the Kiev Conservatoire SO/Roman Kofman can be had on BMG-Melodiya (74321 49959 2). That performance clearly has great authority. It plays for 46.52 as against Borejko's 45.49. However neither gives the impression of hurry. In fact both create that pulse-slowing phantasmal sense of time suspension. This is crucial to the success of any performance and links the music to a lineage via Pärt's Cantus to Mahler's adagietto. The initial atonalities soon give place to a noble theme on the brass. This rears up in striking beauty over atonal rumblings and the tinkling of the orchestral piano. It is all voluptuously done; the theme swelling, rising and bursting in a languorous slow motion technicolour. The theme branches out in seemingly endless life - a simulacrum of bubbles rising with infinite and unhurried ease from emerald-lit ocean depths. The impression is given of an ascent into a great green country like the planetary realm of C.S. Lewis's 'Out of the Silent Planet'. This work sustains its interest with transfixing power over the complete three quarters of an hour.

The two works on this disc share a common expressive style. The Exegi followed the Fifth Symphony by three or four years. The music has that same static quality. It is modernistic but glowingly attractive and does not hide lack of substantial ideas in a mazed denseness of sound. In the Exegi (with a sung text counselling truth to the artistic self and indifference to adverse, or any, criticism) at 13.09 a trombone oration reminds us of the similar dark and noble role taken by the trombone in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15. Chirruping woodwind rises steadily like the hazeless bell sounds in Britten's morning movement in the Grimes interludes. ---Rob Barnett,

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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Wed, 06 Feb 2019 17:30:52 +0000
Valentin Silvestrov – Requiem For Larissa (2004) Valentin Silvestrov – Requiem For Larissa (2004)

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1. Requiem for Larissa - I. Largo	6:32			play
2. Requiem for Larissa - II. Adagio - Moderato - Allegro	9:10
3. Requiem for Larissa - III. Largo - Allegro moderato	9:52
4. Requiem for Larissa - IV. Largo	5:36
5. Requiem for Larissa - V. Andante - Moderato	9:20
6. Requiem for Larissa - VI. Largo	5:54
7. Requiem for Larissa - VII. Allegro moderato	6:05

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Vladimir Sirenko - conductor


Valentin Silvestrov composed Requiem for Larissa between 1997 and 1999 as a memorial to his wife, musicologist Larissa Bondarenko, who died in 1996. It is a big and unceasingly somber work, scored for chorus and orchestra. Understandably, this Requiem is to a degree reflective, incorporating musical themes drawn from older works that had special meaning to the couple. While Silvestrov's typically glacial tempos are in evidence here, some of the opening half of the piece has an angular spikiness that recalls serial techniques without actively engaging in them. Instrumentally, Requiem for Larissa is dark, atmospheric, and even a little cinematic; the choral parts are sparse and minimally applied. In the fourth-movement Largo, the voices take over and settle down into an ethereal texture that leavens the gloom somewhat, but by this time 25-and-a-half minutes have gone by and some listeners will have already tuned out owing to the toughness of the opening section.

Requiem for Larissa is an intensely personal piece performed with respect and care by the Ukrainian National Chorus and Symphony Orchestra under conductor Vladimir Sirenko. As with many ECM releases, the cover image is striking, being an image derived from a Jean-Luc Godard film. As nice as the package and performance are, it's hard to ignore the seeming impression that there is something distant and detached about the music. Compared to 2002's ECM release Leggerio, pesante, Requiem for Larissa seems a bit of a letdown, though not every listener will agree with this view. Requiem for Larissa should definitely be heard by those already in touch with Silvestrov's music; for others who are coming to Silvestrov for the first time, Leggerio, pesante might be a better choice. --- Uncle Dave Lewis


"While Silvestrov's inspiration is the Latin mass for the dead so widely set in the classical tradition, this is no typical requiem. There's a 'Requiem eternam' and a 'Lacrimosa', but only a few isolated words are selected from the traditional text. There is no 'Dies irae', and no wonder, as who wants to think about one's departed loved one being judged? The work is generally symmetrical. The opening and closing portions of the work are typical of Silvestrov's late orchestral music, with that special lush yet grim lake of sound. At one moment in each of these two framing portions, however, we are treated to a beautiful bit where strings playing harmonics dialogue with flutes.

The middle section, however, will be for many listeners the emotional heart of the world. Here Silvestrov leaves behind the Latin mass and includes a setting of Taras Shevchenko's poem saying goodbye to the world." - Christopher Culver


"Silvestrov's Requiem for Larissa is a poignant tribute to the memory of his late wife, a bitterly-wrought mourning piece that transcends his individual grief to strike a universal chord. Its seven movements are played without pause, utilizing a large chorus and orchestra, piano, and a synthesizer. Its text is the traditional, though fragmented, Latin Requiem, along with an excerpt from a grim poem, 'The Dream,' by the Ukranian poet Taras Shevchenko. This last constitutes the haunting fourth movement, the sung words, a 'farewell to earth,' set to a slow pianissimo folklike melody that stays in the memory. The next movement, the Agnus Dei, includes extended Mozartian solos for violin, its postlude a moving depiction of unearthly peace. The final two movements are a reprised variation of what has come before, from the hieratic opening drenched in sorrow to a Tuba mirum that rages against the dying of the light. The last sounds we hear are the gentle rustlings of the wind, as Nature washes away grief. Silvestrov's sound world is unique, as is this modern masterpiece".

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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Wed, 06 Jul 2011 10:40:59 +0000
Valentin Silvestrov – Sacred Works (2009) Valentin Silvestrov – Sacred Works (2009)

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    1 Liturgical Chants (2005) Litany
    2 Christmas Song
    3 Dithyrambic Song
    4 Cherubic Song
    5 Alleluia
    6 Bless, o Lord
    7 O Holy God
    8 The Creed
    9 Gloria
    10 Hymn of the Cherubs
    11 The Beatitudes
    12 Ave Maria			play
    13 Two Spiritual Songs (2006) Alleluia
    14 Ave Maria
    15 Two Spiritual Chants (2006) A Mercy of Peace
    16 To Thee We Sing
    17 Two Psalms of David (2006) Fret Not Thyself Because of the Ungodly (Psalm 37)
    18 O Praise God in His Sanctuary (Psalm 150)
    19 Diptych (1995) The Lord's Prayer
    20 Testament (From the Poems of T.H. Shevchenko)
    21 Alleluia (2006) Evening
    22 Morning				play
    23 Night

Kiev Chamber Choir
Mykola Hobdych - conductor


Here is a ravishing collection of a cappella choral works by the Ukrainian Valentin Silvestrov that perfectly illustrates his own description of his music as “a response to and an echo of what already exists”. For anyone new to Silvestrov, the initial surprise of these sacred works won’t lie in the crafted precision of their execution – a facet recognisably rooted in the composer’s avant-garde beginnings. Instead, it is the sheer beauty of sound that catches the ear. Luminous and lyrical, these miniature settings of hymns, psalms and chants seem to float in a diaphanous light that hypnotically conjures up a fleeting sense of the ineffability of faith. Glancing idiomatic echoes of near-neighbours Górecki, Pärt and Kancheli aside, what’s on offer here is Holy Minimalism only by association, its rootedness in the mystery of the mystical finding expression in a markedly more distilled, almost monastic manner. Diptych, the earliest piece here, dates from 1995 (Silvestrov came relatively late to choral music) and couples a hushed setting of The Lord’s Prayer with a poem by Taras Shevchenko that manages to be simultaneously plangent and effusive. There’s something of the bittersweet at the core of most of this music. Litany, the first of the Liturgical Chants composed in 2005, is shot through with a tangible melancholia etched into sharp relief by filigree-delicate choral writing and a deep, darkly sonorous solo bass. The following year’s three-part Alleluia moves from Evening through Morning to Night in an elongated arc that glistens with all the fleeting wonder of a shooting star evaporating into darkness. Infused with the baleful beauty of Russian Orthodoxy, the sectional voices, shifting harmonies and emotional thrust of Silvestrov’s music accommodates absorbing introspection and joyous epiphanic release with a becoming tenderness and modesty that approaches the sublime. Undiluted spiritual bliss is given vent in the light-as-sir Christmas Song, the exuberant O Praise God in His Sanctuary (Psalm 150) and the lullaby-like Cherubic Song. Acutely sensitive performances by the Kiev Chamber Choir under Mykola Hobdych – who prompted the composition of the majority of the material here – ring out with crystalline beauty in the softly resonant acoustic of Kiev’s Cathedral of the Dormition. ---Michael Quinn.BBC


Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov (b1937) has described music as "the world singing of itself". Appropriately, these a cappella sacred songs recorded in the Cathedral of the Dormition, Kiev, have a self-contained beauty, politically out of fashion in the Soviet era but now finding free expression among "holy minimalists" such as Arvo Pärt and Giya Kancheli. His "Liturgical Chants", together with hymns, psalms and an Alleluia mostly written in the past five years, have a burnished, almost disembodied quality, richly communicated in the open-throated timbre of the Kiev Chamber Choir. Hypnotic and startlingly different, this music has cult potential. ---Fiona Maddocks

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]]> (bluesever) Silvestrov Valentin Sat, 25 Jun 2011 19:40:43 +0000