Ukrainian / Estonian, born 1962 in the Crimea. She studied at the Odessa Conservatory and later at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After marrying an Estonian she moved to Estonia and furthered her studies with Lepo Sumera at the Estonian Academy of Music. On leaving was composed in 1999.
History almost repeats itself. I first heard Grigorjeva's music a couple of years ago on tapes of concerts by Hortus Musicus, the Estonian early music group directed by Andres Mustonen. These included a purely instrumental performance of On Leaving, which I immediately recognised as a work I wanted to perform - with voices. This process imitates what happened with Arvo Part's earliest tintinnabuli music, which Hortus Musicus premiered in the 1970s. Although I did not hear the original Part versions until after I had performed the works myself, I do want to acknowledge Mustonen's crucial role in advancing the work of these two composers.
Grigorjeva writes: "For this composition I turned to the prayer book and selected certain lines from the 'Canon to Jesus Christ Our Lord and the Virgin Mary on the Hour of Leaving of Orthodox Souls' (parts 1-3) and from the chapter 'On Burying Lay People' (parts 4-5). While working on the composition I acquainted myself with the 15th-17th century tradition of polyphonic singing and with various forms of Russian sacred poetry The natural dissonance and the almost impenetrable rhythmic organisation of heterophonic polyphony I find most remarkable. It's these very elements, to my mind, that give the national musical culture its distinctness." The work is recorded here for the first time.