Russen in Parijs
These two composers have in common the social and artistic isolation in which they spent their entire lives working with unshakeable consistency on an unappreciated genre: the composer Nikolai Obukhov as an immigrant living in interwar Paris, his compatriot Galina Ustvolskaya in postwar Leningrad. Despite their inhabiting totally contrasting musical universes – the one ecstatically exuberant, the other glowingly concentrated – both are creators of what is essentially a single work given various external forms.
Izstuplenie (ca 1925), which literally means ‘abandonment’, in the sense of ‘ecstasy’, is in fact a pocket edition of Obukhov’s monumental Kniga Zhizni or The Book of Life, a work that has never been performed and is essentially unperformable. Ustvolskaya’s Three compositions are also a pars pro toto, culminating in an unrelenting hammering upon the anvil of truth. Between these two extremes, we hear music by living composers from the post-Soviet era, including Filanovsky’s musical setting of the last words spoken by one of the most notorious gangsters of all time – no Russian, incidentally, but an American, as the title already implies.
Izstoeplenije (arr. Elmer Schönberger)
Four Balmont Songs (arr. Elmer Schönberger)
Words and spaces
Aus dem stillen Raume… (world première, commissioned by Festival d’Automne à Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Asko|Schönberg)
Composition nr. 1 – ‘Dona nobis pacem’
Composition nr. 2 – ‘Dies Irae’
Composition nr. 3 – ‘Benedictus, qui venit’
Reinbert de Leeuw