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Valentin Silvestrov – Symphony for Violin and Orchestra ‘Widmung’

‘Currently living in exile in Berlin, Valentin Silvestrov is Ukraine's leading composer. His path through the jungle of what we now know to have been the late-Soviet period was far from easy. He was twice expelled from the Composers’ Union, first following his protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and again in 1974. Postludium, and its companion work on this recording, Dedication, are perhaps the two finest representatives of the earliest period of Silvestrov’s mature work, which has progressively built on this aesthetic ever since.

Though already well known before recent events, he is now performed and cited as an inspiration throughout the world. Perhaps in culmination (for the moment), his music was chosen for the Nobel ceremony of December 2023, when the Prize in Physics and the Peace Prize were presented.’

Christopher Lyndon-Gee, conductor

Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937)
Symphony for Violin and Orchestra ‘Widmung’ 1
Postludium for Piano and Orchestra 2

Janusz Wawrowski, Violin 1 • Jurgis Karnavičius, Piano 2
Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Lyndon-Gee

Valentin Silvestrov, Ukraine’s leading composer, currently lives in exile in Berlin. His life in the late-Soviet period was harsh and included expulsion from the Composers’ Union which led to his withdrawal from participation in public life. This album brings together the two superlative works of Silvestrov’s early maturity. Postludium for Piano and Orchestra is yearning and dissonant, embodying the atmosphere of a lament, but without nostalgia, cast in a style full of ambiguity and allusion. The Symphony for Violin and Orchestra ‘Widmung’ is another melancholy, mystic work, a homage to the human spirit and life-force, but also, through hard-won lyricism, to love, hope and renewal.

Listen to an extract from Postludium for Piano and Orchestra
About the Artists

Polish violinist Janusz Wawrowski has given numerous premieres of violin concertos, and is the dedicatee of works by Tomasz J. Opałka, Marcin Markowicz and Norbert Palej, among others. An important part of his career is the interpretation and research of Polish music, and among his many other accolades, Wawrowski has been awarded the Polish Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis. He plays a 1685 Antonio Stradivari violin.

Pianist Jurgis Karnavičius was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. A laureate of numerous prestigious international piano competitions, he has given concerts in many European countries, the United States, Canada and Korea. In addition to his active performing career, he is a professor at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He gives frequent masterclasses in Lithuania and abroad, as well as participating in various international competitions as a jury member.

Conductor/composer Christopher Lyndon-Gee is renowned for his catalogue of many dozens of albums, almost all of them recorded since 1994 for Naxos. They include the complete orchestral music of Igor Markevitch and of Edgard Varèse; most of the symphonies and orchestral works of George Rochberg; and the present series featuring the music of Valentin Silvestrov. Other prize-winning recordings include the music of Hans Werner Henze, Ottorino Respighi, Dmitry Shostakovich, Larry Sitsky, Igor Stravinsky, Arthur Bliss and Richard Strauss.

Established in 1940, the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra presents around 50 concerts annually in the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Hall and across Lithuania. It has also performed in some of the most prestigious international concert venues, such as the Musikverein Wien, the Cologne and Berlin Philharmonic Halls, and the Barbican Centre in London. The orchestra regularly participates in the GAIDA contemporary music festival and presents music by Lithuanian composers on Euroradio broadcasts.

More albums of works by Valentin Silvestrov
‘These are beautiful, sensitive performances that make a strong impression even though they never raise their voices. Yablonsky gives these works the transparency of chamber music, and the Ukrainian musicians respond to the music’s tender requiems.’
Symphony No. 7
Ode to a Nightingale • Piano Concertino

Galatenko • Bezborodko
Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra
‘Soprano Inna Galatenko sings ravishingly throughout, and the playing of the two pianists and orchestra under Christopher Lyndon-Gee are extremely fine. A demonstration-class recording and detailed notes by Lyndon-Gee complete a very appealing release.’
To Thee We Sing
Sacred Choral Works

Latvian Radio Choir
‘Silvestrov could not have better advocates than the Latvian Radio Choir who sing with empathy and impeccable intonation.’
Limelight ★★★★
‘Blumina … renders all with unerring poise, making this disc now the preferred option by which to encounter the piano music of a composer whose thinking transcends time and place in equal measure.’
International Record Review

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