About this Recording
8.557674 - PAVLOVA, A.: Monolog / The Old New York Nostalgia / Sulamith Suite
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Alla Pavlova (b. 1952)
Sulamith Ballet Suite • Monolog • Old New York Nostalgia

Alla Pavlova is a composer and musicologist. In 1983 she received her Master’s Degree at the Gnesin Academy of Music in Moscow. From 1983 to 1986 she lived in the Bulgarian capital Sofia,where she worked for the Union of Bulgarian Composers and the Bulgarian National Opera. From 1986 to 1989 she was in Moscow, working for the Russian Musical Society Board. Since 1990 she has lived in New York, where she is a member of New York Women Composers, Inc. Alla Pavlova has written a number of compositions for orchestra, including five symphonies, as well as other instrumental and vocal works that have been performed in the United States, Europe, and Canada.

The draft of Monolog was made on 4th October, 2002, and the score was completed during the next two or three days. Some of the most powerful memories of my childhood are connected with my father. He loved to play the violin. He was not a professional musician but for him music was the most precious thing in the universe. Monolog has received several performances in New York.

Old New York Nostalgia, a suite for string orchestra, percussion, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone and trumpet, was written first for piano solo in 1994-1995 and first performed in March 1996 at the Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall). Since then the suite has been performed many times in the United States, and abroad in Russia, Bulgaria and Canada. The first version of the orchestration was made in 1998 and recorded in 1999, together with the Second Symphony and Elegy for piano and string orchestra. The present orchestration was made in the fall of 2002, at the time of the completion of the score of my Fourth Symphony. I included two new movements: From My Mom’s Photo Album and Lullaby for the Twins, dedicated to the victims of 9/11.

The suite Sulamith, written in 2003 and 2004, consists of excerpts from the ballet Sulamith, based on the story by the famous Russian writer Alexandre Kuprin (1908). It is a very dramatic and touching lovestory between King Solomon and a poor girl, Sulamith, a servant from his vineyard, and the only love of his life. The libretto also includes Assyrian and Egyptian scenes, and all the events described have a historical basis, including the Great Mysteries of Isis and Osiris. The musical language makes no use of folk-material. The present short version of the suite contains the Introduction and a Ritual Dance to the Sun-God Ra, concluding the feast at King Solomon’s palace on the occasion of the arrival of the Assyrian envoys. The dance is performed by Queen Astis, who is King Solomon’s wife and a daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt, and the priestesses who serve the cult of Ra. At the end of the dance the sun is rising, and the guests are astonished by the magic of Astis. The third movement is the Duet of King Solomon and Queen Astis, in the King’s chambers. Astis, in desperation, begs Solomon, who no longer loves her, for her love to be returned. This is followed by Night in Sulamith’s room, a love duet between Solomon and Sulamith on the occasion of their second meeting, and the ecstasy of their love. The fifth movement is In the Temple of Isis, which comes before the beginning of the second part of the Great Mysteries dedicated to Osiris and Isis. Queen Astis persuades Eliab, Head of King Solomon’s bodyguards, who is in love with her, to kill Solomon and Sulamith, promising him her love and Solomon’s throne. In King Solomon’s Chambers brings the final love duet of Solomon and Sulamith, who dies to save Solomon’s life.

Alla Pavlova


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