Naxos continues to contribute to the growing appreciation for the music of Valentin Silvestrov with this release conducted by Christopher Lyndon-Gee. Silvestrov has been dubbed one of the greatest composers of our time by the likes of Alfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt.
The programme is substantial. It includes both the Symphony No. 7 and a world premiere, that of the orchestral version of Ode to a Nightingale, a significantly altered score to its chamber music original but one that has lain unperformed since the mid-1980s. And three works feature the soprano Inna Galatenko, for whom Silvestrov has written all his vocal works over the last fifteen years.
Valentin SILVESTROV (b. 1937)
Symphony No. 7*
Ode to a Nightingale†1
* WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING
† WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING OF THE ORCHESTRAL VERSION
Inna Galatenko, Soprano 1 · Oleg Bezborodko, Piano 1, 2
Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra
Valentin Silvestrov’s elusive post-modern style is rich in nostalgia for the lost music of a barely remembered past filled with beauty and spiritual aspiration. Ode to a Nightingale is a masterly response to Keats’ unsentimental reflection on human mortality, contrasting with the beauty and affecting intimacy of the Cantata No. 4 and the resonant emotional world of its companion piece, the Concertino. Starkness set against elegiac melancholy are the shared features of Moments of Poetry and Music and the Seventh Symphony – an embodiment of Silvestrov’s dual musical nature of anguish and tenderness.
Listen to an extract from Cantata No. 4:
III. Vyecher. Sadok Vyshnevyi (Evening. Cherry Orchard)
About the Artists
Soprano Іnna Galatenko
is a soloist with the National Ensemble ‘Kyivska kamerata’. Her wide vocal range, subtle sense of artistic style and powerful stage energy have allowed her to perform music of different styles and eras. In 2003, she made the first recording in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire
, gave Russian and Ukrainian premieres of Denisov’s large-scale song cycle На Снежном Костре
(‘On the Snow-Fire’), and the Ukrainian premiere of Volkonsky’s Wandering Concerto
Composer and pianist Oleg Bezborodko
studied in Switzerland and the Ukrainian National Academy of Music where he now serves as a professor. A member of the National Union of Composers of Ukraine, Bezborodko is a prizewinner of many national and international piano competitions and recipient of scholarships, including the Revutsky Prize (2008) and Lysenko Prize (2017). Bezborodko is in high demand as an interpreter of contemporary music and as a chamber musician.
The Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra
(LNSO) has been active for almost eight decades and has long represented Lithuanian culture abroad, appearing at various festivals and concert halls across Europe. The LNSO has accumulated an extensive repertoire, and its discography contains numerous significant examples of Lithuanian symphonic music. Leading Lithuanian conductor Modestas Pitrėnas has served as principal conductor and artistic director of the orchestra since 2015.
Included among the 300 conductors featured in Naxos’ A to Z of Conductors
, Christopher Lyndon-Gee
was nominated for GRAMMY Awards in 1998 for the first volume of his ground-breaking series of the complete works of Igor Markevitch; in 2003 for the world premiere recording of George Rochberg’s Symphony No. 5 and Transcendental Variations
; and again in 2007 for Hans Werner Henze’s Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 3. He studied conducting under Franco Ferrara in Rome and Rudolf Schwarz in London. He worked as Bruno Maderna’s assistant at La Scala, Milan, later becoming second conductor at the Teatro Regio in Turin.
More recordings of music 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.’
‘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. Both recording and annotations are on a par with the best from the Grand Piano series.’
– International Record Review
‘An absorbing, immersive choral experience for both the singers, one confidently assumes, and certainly for the listener, from an impressive choir.’