Описание CD

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  Исполнитель(и) :
   Ustvolskaya, Galina  (Composer) , The Barton Workshop (Ensemble
◄◄◄        ►►►

  Наименование CD :
   Symphony No.4 "Prayer". Grand Duet. Piano Sonata No.5. Trio

Год издания : 2001/1993

Компания звукозаписи : EtCetera

Время звучания : 57:18

Код CD : KTC 1170

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Modern Classics/SU)      

The Barton Workshop Amsterdam Plays Galina Ustvolskaya

Recorded in April 1993 (Hilversum Conservatorium & Muziekschool Amsterdam Noord)

Almost forty years of Melodiya LPs yielded an extremely meager amount of Galina Ustvolskaya's music: her Children's Suite (conducted by Mravinsky, no less), an exciting tone poem Fire in the Steppes, a Shostakovich-like G-minor Piano Concerto and, finally, the spiky octet. It is likely that those familiar with these late 40s - early 50s compositions will be surprised (to say the least), by the stark, bleak, uncompromising, chilling power of the four works on Etcetera's compelling CD. They share a great degree of stylistic unity (despite being written over a thirty-eight-year span), spare textures, and great dynamic extremes, especially at the loud end. At her darkest, Ustvolskaya can, and does, make Shostakovich and Mahler appear incurably, hopelessly sanguine.

It is small wonder that Ustvolskaya's ascetic 1949 trio for clarinet, violin, and piano was never recorded by Melodiya, for it is far-removed from the era's near-pervasive, politically correct, Socialist-Realism. Truly phenomenal is its having been written late in Stalin's reign and only a year after the Zhdanov condemnations of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, et al.

Ustvolskaya, born in Petrograd in 1919, studied with Shostakovich, but her music shows only sporadic traces of his influence. One of those points appears at the beginning of her Grand Duet for cello and piano from 1959, which bears a resemblance to the opening of the finale of the Shostakovich Ninth Symphony. Marked by obsessive qualities, registral and dynamic extremes, great drive and momentum, the first four movements of the Grand Duet are piercing, concussive, and collisional; almost a musical equivalent of Kasimir Malevich's Suprematist paintings. While all five movements are played without pause, she makes a great impact with a brief silence at the beginning of the fifth movement. Following the first respite, the music turns austerely lyrical, the cello and piano diverge, and it ends in ambiguity.

The Piano Sonata No. 5 (1986) is music of rage. Not rage and redemption; just rage. With its power and rarefied atmosphere, it evokes in this listener echoes of early Prokofiev and Stockhausen's Klavierstucke. In ten short movements, played without pause, Ustvolsklaya piles on the clusters and high level dynamics. Particularly impressive is the second movement with its two melodic lines; one high and liturgical, the other a three-note figure rising from the deepest bass. The sonata scales the heights in the fifth movement where a reiterated single cluster at fff to fffff levels obsessively pounds away toward its violent ending.

"My music is never chamber music, not even in the case of a solo sonata" she has said. Her 8:00 single movement Fourth Symphony, scored for mezzo, trumpet, piano and tam-tam, offers persuasive evidence. If this potent music, which took two years (1985-1987) to complete, was any more concentrated, it would implode. With a wailing trumpet superimposed on dark, heavy piano chords augmented by the tam-tam, often played at triple-to-sextuple f levels, the Fourth Symphony seems almost a deconstruction of something liturgical. In sharp contrast to the purely instrumental phrases, the vocal line, possessing many of the spiritual or resigned qualities of some of Mahler's later songs, is predominantly quiet.

Strong, fervent performances by the Barton Workshop have been captured in big, close-up sound as powerful as the music. This one goes on this year's Want List. Strongly recommended to all whose horizons extend beyond pretty tunes.

-Benjamin Pernick ("Fanfare")


========= from the cover ==========

Galina Ustvolskaya was born in Petrograd on June 17th 1919. She studied at the college attached to the Leningrad Conservatory from 1937 to 1939 and then at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory until 1949 She remained there as a student of Dmitri Shostakovich until 1947. She subsequently became a postgraduate student and taught composition at the college She continues to live in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) and to compose She is noted as being the only student of Shostakovich who seems not to have been captured by the immense power of his musical personality It has not been necessary for her, therefore, to escape this influence which continues to pervade so many other Soviet composers such as Denisov, Schnittke and Gubaidulina. Indeed, the originality and uncompromising stance of her musical vision readily explains why it has taken so long for her music to gain any performances let alone the international recognition it is now rightfully attaining

A Cry From The Edge

Here is a musical voice of the utmost originality and urgency and we recognize its characteristic tone immediately The vision is predominantly religious but nevertheless full of bleak despair and obsessional violence Her prayers, despite their incredible intensity, never cause the heavens to open and choirs of revelatory angels to descend in light, but on the contrary, she seems to turn to God because in extremity there is nowhere else to turn. We do not know if her agonizing appeals are heard but we cannot but be torn by the heartrending desperation of them Needless to say, Ustvolskaya composes from utter personal conviction and always on the edge As she has matured, the musical means have become ever more extreme Dynamics from pppp to ffff, extreme registers, concentrated motifs shorn of all unnecessary rhetoric and ornament are particular hallmarks. The cost of her personal originality has been artistic isolation. Most of the music had to wait until the nineteen seventies for performance, in many cases this was 20 or more years after composition. The composer has said "All who really love my music should refrain from theoretical analysis of it."

Symphony No 4 - Prayer (1985/87) for mezzo-soprano, trumpet, piano and tam-tam

The two years working period for the composition of this single movement symphony may seem excessive considering its brevity and limited number of phrases, but to obtain a musical statement as concentrated and tightly focused as this, is as difficult and as telling as the use of the traditional symphonic manner of extended broad rhetoric The material is always massive and profound although only scored for three instruments and female voice. Ustvolskaya has said: "My music is never chamber music, not even in the case of a solo sonata," and the symphony is a perfect example. The medieval text ( originally in Latin) is by Hermann der Schwache:

Starker Gott,

Wahrer Gott,

Vater des zukunftigen Lebens,

Schopfer der Welt,

Jesus Messias,

Errette uns!

Piano Sonata No.5 (1986)

There are ten short movements that play without a break and while each is quite distinct, they are bound tightly together through a common obsession with Db. This note, at the very centre of the piano keyboard becomes both a spiritual and/or obsessional centre from which there is no escape, drawing lines inwards towards it or emitting violent reverberations outward by the power of its insistent mass, (as at the beginning of the first movement) In some ways the effect of this one note is comparable to Hokusai's series of visual masterpieces, "A hundred views of Mount Fuji" which likewise has an unmovable central "fact" of great spiritual significance, Mount Fuji appears in some pictures as an seemingly insignificant part of the background accompanying all the bustle of human daily activity, but it may yet again rise up magnified and in all its majestic isolation. In fact its presence is constant and the artist confronts us with its numerous and varied contexts Ustvolskaya's approach to the piano is also very much her own, opening up the higher dynamic levels by her precise use of all grades from fff to ffffff as well as through her exploration of tone clusters, not only for their percussive power but their inherent harmonic richness. The second movement begins with two melodic lines that are at the furthest extremities from the central Db That in the highest octave has liturgical resonances and is accompanied by the other, consisting of three notes rising from the deepest bass. Movement 3 is like a massive chorale of clusters, interrupted by an increasingly insistent Db Movement 4 is a slow progression of descending chords that paves the way for the fifth, one of the longest movements, but which reiterates a single cluster at a terrifying dynamic level until we long for release from its assault This agonizing experience is placed by the composer at the heart of this sonata. Movement 6 is in two part counterpoint with the rhythm of a French Overture, but this offers no escape into the past, the counterpoint being hammered out at a brutal fffff. The higher part gradually falls, the bass rises up until they collide periodically on the dreadful Db which the composer instructs to be played with both hands! Movement 7 is again quiet, with ominous rising staccato bass notes, the legato phrase above them occasionally expanding upwards with definite overtones from liturgical music. The movement feels it could explode at any moment but the energy is just held in, until movement 8, which is another forceful and terrifying chorale in horrendous cluster-like chords each of twelve or more notes, punctuated by Db's that just will not desist The ninth movement is again soft but emotionally intense, made mainly from chords in fourths, punctuated by a now gently repeated Db. The last movement is a slightly expanded version of the first and the sonata ends with all the violence with which it began.

Grand Duet (1959) for cello and piano

The five movements follow each other without a break. As in all Ustvolskayas multi-movement works, this is not just a set of related pieces for each movement is given significant by its place in a musical story of compelling sequential conviction. Each of the first four movements is relatively short, and each is dominated by the reiteration of a single note value. The first with its beat at mm 276, the violence of the writing for both instruments and the use of extreme registers in the piano, make this an assault that will brook no moderation in its power. Although by comparison the momentum of the second movement is only at a purposeful walking pace its progress is no less inexorable. The opening cello trills come to play a key role in later sections of the work, indeed right at the beginning of the 3rd movement they are taken over by the piano, and injected with a colossal energy which gradually develops into continuous multi layered trills across the keyboard, while the cello keeps the armoured like momentum in quarter-notes always tramping forward Movement 4 has an equally unstoppable forward thrust and at a ferocious dynamic level The emotional response to these four movements comes in the extended fifth which is more inward and austerely lyrical, being built around clearly identifiable melodic cells. Later, more energised material from the first movement finds a little moderation through being fused with melodic ideas from this fifth movement Eventually though one comes to a point at which all energy is spent leaving the cello in a quiet exhausted stillness that for a moment seems timeless. The piano nonetheless again interrupts with music which this time comes directly from the opening of the first movement, but when it suddenly ceases we see that the cello is now beyond its influence. In the final pages the cello becomes ever more withdrawn, locked in a solitary inner world. The piano still twitches with irregular and fragmentary interjections of the works opening three notes, but it is too late, it is all over, and the music comes to its uncertain end.

TRIO (1949) for clarinet, violin and piano

Written just two years after finishing her studies at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatoire, we can already recognize the Ustvolskaya tone of voice, the inexorable urgency, the obsessions The radical polyrnetrical polyphony, in which lines of divergent metrical stress combine with a freedom which is far beyond the conception of counterpoint in the music of most of her contemporaries The beginning of the first movement is just marked 'dolce" but the lines are unable to sustain their "sweetness" for very long embarking as they do on a quest for a stronger raison d'etre than the unfolding of this opening lyricism could possibly offer. The lines fragment gaining an insistence that becomes infused with strength and panic as they search for a way forward, or is it a way out? The music gradually coalesces, becoming textually more unified and polyphomcallyricher, but nevertheless, it finally exhausts itself without ever reaching a true goal Losing its energy the musical texture loosens again, finally leaving the clarinet totally alone, with an austere, unornamented monodic line.

The second movement continues from precisely this point, the unaccompanied clarinet seemingly awakes to a new dawn Now quietly introverted in style, this movement is the inner core of the drama It is interesting to compare its powerful concentration with its deliberately limited melodic motifs with the much later Symphony No 4 to which it is clearly a forerunner.

The last movement, marked only "with energy" is given a considerable rhythmic drive through its almost continuous quarter-note movement and cross metrical polyphony The second of the two main themes was made famous by Shostakovich by being quoted throughout his fifth string quartet as well as in other works The surprising coda for the piano alone, with its obsessive central D. once falling to Db (resonances of Piano Sonata No.5) is quite enigmatic and unlike any other music in the work. A more ominous ending could not be imagined shedding a very dark, retrospective shadow over the trio as a whole, while hinting, perhaps, at an uncertain future.

-1993 Frank Denver

  Соисполнители :

Frank Denyer (Piano)
James Fulkerson (Conductor)
John Anderson (Clarinet)
Lucia Meeuwsen (Mezzosoprano Voice)
Marieke Keser (Violin)
Taco Kooistra (Cello)
Willem Van Vliet (Trumpet)
Wim Konink (Drums)

№ п/п

Наименование трека



   1 Symphony No.4 Prayer         0:08:10 1985-87 For Mwzzo-Soprano, Trumpet, Piani, Tam-Tam
   2 Piano Sonata No.5         0:17:56 1986 - For Piano Solo
   3 Grand Duet         0:20:11 1959 - For Cello And Piano
   4 Espressivo         0:03:34 Trio - 1949 - For Violin, Clarinet And Piano
   5 Dolce         0:03:39  
   6 Energico         0:03:47  


 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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