Her music is like a hammer striking upon the anvil of truth: without compromise, irrefutable in its conviction, impassioned, but at the same time exact and form-conscious. The Petersburgian composer Galina Ustvolskaya did not stand above time, but rather outside of it. Far removed from trends, movements and ‘isms’, she conceived her sounds that seem carved from granite and used them to create a small but solid oeuvre in which every composition is unique and every note is a necessity. It must be the least appreciated music to have been written in the Soviet Union in the second half of the twentieth century – and to have been rejected. Ustvolskaya only found recognition and a platform for the performance of her music – above all in the Netherlands – in her old age, and primarily outside of Russia. The composer died on 22 December 2006 at the age of 87. High time for a retrospective and a tribute.
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Russian Orthodox religious music
Symphony nr. 4 – ‘Prayer’
Symphony nr. 5 – ‘Amen’