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Tag: Valentin Silvestrov

Monday, May 2nd

sounds of Moscow

Alexei Lubimov (1944-, piano), live (4/13/22, Moscow), playing, after pieces by Ukrainian composer Valentyn (aka Valentin) Silvestrov (1937-), Franz Schubert’s (1797-1828) Impromptus (1827), until being interrupted by the police

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Alexei Lubimov:

“Two months ago, we announced the program, of Valentyn Silvestrov’s vocal cycle ‘Steps’ with Yana Ivanilova and the Schubert Impromptus and some lieder. It was a planned event, and was publicized normally. There was nothing dangerous about it. But, on the morning of the day of the concert, the director of the hall [Alexei Munipov] got a call—I don’t know from which authorities—and they asked him to cancel the concert. He replied that he couldn’t cancel it because it was sold out, and that there was nothing problematic or dangerous about the program.

Before the concert, [Munipov] asked me and Yana Ivanilova to speak carefully during our introductions to the pieces, without references to politics or the war. And we did so. We just explained who Silvestrov is—a very well-known composer, of course a Ukrainian composer, a famous member of the avant-garde from the 1970s and ’80s—[and talked] about ‘Steps’ and so on.

We performed ‘Steps’ with great success. Then we began the second part, with the Schubert Impromptus, which were supposed to be followed by Schubert songs. But during the end of the first Impromptu, the policeman came into the hall, and announced loudly, ‘You have to leave the hall, because we have to check for a bomb. There’s been a bomb threat.’

I immediately understood that this was a provocation and that it was fake. So I continued to play, going into the second Impromptu. And the police were waiting at the entrance of the hall. But after four minutes, they came up to me at the piano. I was worried that they would close the piano, but they didn’t. When I finished, there was great applause, and cries of ‘Bravo!’ and so on.

They said we had to stop. I asked why. They explained again that there was probably a bomb, and that they were waiting for the bomb-sniffing dogs to arrive. I asked how long it would take. They said 15 minutes. So I told the audience, ‘Please, let’s follow the procedure. We’ll stop for 15 minutes.’ Everybody understood immediately: There were no protests, no political statements. It was absolutely quiet and polite.

We left the hall, but we couldn’t go back inside. The bomb-sniffing dogs didn’t come until two hours later. The police said they were just following orders, and they obviously didn’t know the music or why they had these orders. But it was immediately obvious to us that they wanted to stop the concert because Silvestrov had spoken clearly about the war and Putin’s dictatorship in interviews. [Silvestrov is currently in Berlin.—Ed.] The authorities probably recognized the name: ‘Silvestrov means you’re against Putin and against the war.’ They probably thought his name was a dangerous anti-war symbol.

[The concert was interrupted] although Silvestrov’s pieces have been performed in this hall—just counting this hall—four times since December. He’s a famous composer, and despite his Ukrainian heritage his works are played often in [Russian] concerts of contemporary music. Even in these dangerous times.”

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reading table

Every moment of life is an attempt to come to life.

—Robert Duncan (1919-1988, The New American Poetry, ed. Donald M. Allen, 1960)

Wednesday, March 16th

sounds of Ukraine

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-), Symphony No. 1 (1963-74); National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (Volodymyr Sirenko, cond.), Kyiv (Ukraine), 1998

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lagniappe

musical thoughts

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

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random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, March 12th

sounds of Ukraine

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-), Meta-Waltz; National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (Volodymyr Sirenko, cond.), live, Kyiv (Ukraine), 9/25/21

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago

Monday, March 7th

sounds of Ukraine

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-, composer, pianist), Kyiv (Ukraine), 4/18/21, playing Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750, from The Well-Tempered Clavier), Robert Schumann (1810-1856, from Op. 99)

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lagniappe

reading table

Hard on the land wears the strong sea / and empty grows every bed.

—John Berryman (1914-1972, MCOTD Hall of Fame), from “Dream Song 1”

Thursday, March 3rd

sounds of Ukraine

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-, composition, piano), live, Kyiv (Ukraine), 2012


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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Oak Park, Ill.

Monday, February 28th

sounds of Ukraine

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-), Requiem for Larissa (1997-1998, written in memory of the composer’s wife); Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra (Hobart Earle, cond.) and the National Choir of Ukraine (Yevhen Savchuk, choirmaster ), live, Odessa (Ukraine), 2018

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lagniappe

random sights

this morning, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, August 21st

alone

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-, piano, compositions), Bagatelles – VIII (2018)

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lagniappe

random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

*****

reading table

Think how they must look now, the mangrove keys
lying out there unresponsive to the lightning
in dark, coarse-fibred families,

where occasionally a heron may undo his head,
shake up his feathers, make an uncertain comment
when the surrounding water shines.

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), from “Little Exercise”

Tuesday, October 8th

more sounds of Ukraine

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-), Requiem for Larissa (1997-1998, written for the composer’s wife); National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, National Academic Choir of Ukraine, live, Kiev, 2000

In this world of too much, too fast, too loud, something slow and deliberate can seem subversive.

,

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lagniappe

random sights

yesterday, Chicago

Thursday, October 3rd

sounds of Ukraine
day four

How about something quiet, delicate, beautiful?

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-), Post-scriptum (1990); Movses Pogossian (violin), Alexei Lubimov (piano), live, Los Angeles, 2016

 

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lagniappe

reading table

Floating on a Marsh
by Wang Wei (701-61), translated from Chinese by David Young

Autumn
the sky huge and clear
the marsh miles from farms and houses

overjoyed by the cranes
standing around the sandbars

the mountains above the clouds in the distance

this water
utterly still
in the dusk

the white moon overhead

I let my boat drift free tonight
I can’t go home.

Monday, April 17th

sounds of Ukraine

The only thing better than one cello is two.

Valentin Silvestrov (1937-), Hiéroglyphes de la nuit; Anja Lechner (cello),  Agnès Vesterman (cello), Valentin Silvestrov (piano), live, Paris, 2015

 

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