2018/5/23

24.5, 19.00 - "The Multiple Worlds of Valentin Silvestrov"

- Alexei Lubimov, piano, Yana Ivanilova, soprano, Stas Malyshev, violin - G-18

Presented by MCS Young Artists
18:45 - Concert presentation by pianist Kirill Kozlovsky
21.00 - Post-concert talk with the artists


“Music should be so transparent that one can see the bottom and that poetry shimmers through this transparency.” – Valentin Silvestrov

The unique sound-world of Valentin Silvestrov is in the spotlight for pianist Alexei Lubimov's first recital in this festival, where he is joined by soprano Jana Ivanilova and violinist Stanislav Malyshev. Together, they pay tribute to the multiple universes of Silvestrov, ranging from his early avant-gardistic works to the melodious and quasi retro style of his more recent music.

Pianist Kiril Kozlovsky gives us an introduction to the life and works of Silvestrov at 18.45 and hosts a post-concert talk with the artists after the concert. A belated tribute to the composer's 80th birthday, this concert gives the audience a rare opportunity to discover Silvestrov's music in all of its variety.

This concert is organised by MCS Young Artists.


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Program:


Piano Sonata No.2 (1975)
Sonata for Violin and Piano (from Drama, 1971)
Songs from the cycle "Quiet Songs" (1976)-:
1. Winter Journey (Alexander Pushkin)
2. "A Solitary Sail Shines White" (Michail Lermontov)
3. "When the Yellowing Cornfield Stirs" (Lermontov)
4. "Winter Evening" (Pushkin).
---intermission---
Post Scriptum, Sonata for violin and piano (1997):
1. Largo.-Allegro.
2. Andantino.
3. Allegro vivace, con moto.
Moments of Memory II, Three Pieces for piano solo. (2004):
1. Elegy.
2. Intermezzo.
3. Serenade.
Songs from the cycle "Steps" (1986)
1. Elegy (anonym)
2. My Soul (Fyodor Sologub)
3. Last Love (Fyodor Tyutchev)
A Winter Night's Music (2004...2010) for piano, violin and electronics.

Alexei Lubimov, piano
Stanislav Malyshev, violin
Jana Ivanilova, soprano.

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Valentin Silvestrov was born in Kiev on 30 September 1937. He came to music relatively late, at the age of fifteen. He at first taught himself, and then, between 1955-58, went to an evening music school while during the day studying to become a civil engineer; from 1958 to 1964 he studied composition and counterpoint, respectively, with Boris Lyatoshinsky and Lev Revutsky at Kiev Conservatory. He then taught at a music studio in Kiev for several years. He has been a freelance composer in Kiev since 1970.

Silvestrov is considered one of the leading representatives of the "Kiev avant-garde", which came to public attention around 1960 and was violently criticized by the proponents of the conservative Soviet musical aesthetic. In the 1960s and 1970s his music was hardly played in his native city; premieres, if given at all, were heard only in Russia, primarily in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), or in the West. His Spectrums for chamber orchestra, for example, was premiered to spectacular acclaim by the Leningrad Philharmonic under the baton of Igor Blashkov in 1965. In 1968 the same conductor gave the premiere of the Symphony no 2.

The works of the young composer, especially his Symphony no 3, were awarded the Koussevitzky Prize in 1967, and in 1970 Silvestrov’s Hymn for six orchestral groups received an honorary title at the international Gaudeamus competition and festival in Utrecht.

Despite much-acclaimed performances in the West, which the composer was not permitted to attend, his music was ignored in his own country on the official level, though unofficially it created quite a stir, which is the reason why it was sometimes banned. For many years there were at least a few enthusiastic performers who played his music from time to time.

This situation gradually changed with Silvestrov's growing international acclaim. One of his earliest champions was the American pianist and conductor Virko Baley, an aficionado and longtime advocate of contemporary Ukrainian music in general and Silvestrov's works in particular. It was Baley who brought about in 1985 the first performances of Postludium for piano and orchestra and in 1988 of the symphony for baritone and orchestra Exegi monumentum in Las Vegas as well as a Valentin Silvestrov 50th Birthday Concert in New York. Silvestrov became a visiting composer at the Almeida Music Festival in London (1989), Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus Festival in Austria (1990), and various festivals in Denmark, Finland, and Holland. Later he was "composer in residence" in Hungary (2007 Pannohalma), Poland (2009 Nostalgia-Festival, Poznan), Austria (2013 Klangspuren, Schwaz), Switzerland (2016 Davos-Festival "Young artists in concert"), the Netherlands (2017 The Hague, Unheard Music Festival) and in Germany (2017/18 Staatskapelle Weimar).

Since the end of the 1980s, the number of performances has increased, even in Russia and the Ukraine. In 1989 Silvestrov took part in the "Alternativa" New Music Festival in Moscow, and in 1992 in the "Five Evenings with the Music of Valentin Silvestrov" in Ekaterinburg. In 1994 he participated in the "Sofia Gubaidulina and Her Friends" festival in St. Petersburg, and a year later in an event devoted to Sofia Gubaidulina, Arvo Pärt and himself. In 1998, on the occasion of his 60th birthday, there was a Silvestrov festival in Kiev with many concerts and a scholarly conference organized by the National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music of Ukraine, the former Kiev Conservatory.

During the 1990s, Silvestrov's music was heard throughout Europe as well as in Japan and the United States. In 1998-99, he was a visiting fellow of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in Berlin, where three of his major works have been premiered to date: Metamusic (March 1993), Dedication for violin and orchestra (November 1993), and Symphony no 6 (August 2002).

In celebration of Silvestrov’s 80th birthday there are many concerts across the world from America to Europe, from Russia, the Ukraine to Japan: Gidon Kremer performs Dedication, Vladimir Jurowski is conducting Symphony no 3, Roman Kofman the Symphonies no 5 and 7, John Storgårds Symphony no 8; the world premiere of his Violin Concerto (2016) takes place in Weimar on 14 January 2018 featuring the young violinist Valeriy Sokolov. Further renowned pianists, chamber musicians and choirs, as well as a conference in Moscow, join the series of jubilee festivities.

Silvestrov has always maintained his independence, both in his early avant-garde period and after his stylistic volte-face in the 1970s. In recent decades he has dispensed with the conventional compositional devices of the avant-garde and discovered a style comparable to western "post-modernism". The name he has given to this style is "metamusic", a shortened form of "metaphorical Music".

Of all the many translations of the Greek prefix meta (after/post-, above/supra-, behind/ultra-, outside/extra-, etc.) Silvestrov prefers "above" or "behind". He regards metamusic as "a semantic overtone above Music". In a certain sense, "metamusic" stands for a universal style (a concept that Silvestrov has been using a long time) and a universal language. He understands it to mean "a general 'dictionary’ that belongs to no one but can be used by anyone in his or her own way."

His work has affinities with the era of the "classical" fin-de-siècle, especially Gustav Mahler, with whom Silvestrov is frequently compared. The difference is that the lexicon of contemporary musicians is unlimited. The lack of delimitation forces composers to search for the lost ontological meaning of music as art. Silvestrov believes that melody is an important precondition for the survival of Music – a view that reveals the lyric basis of his art regardless of the period in his career. The fact that he sees melody in a more comprehensive way is reflected in his vocal music which plays a special role in his musical output. Silvestrov is the author of two large and many shorter song cycles in addition to isolated songs and cantatas, most of them on poems by classical authors. His attitude to poetry is based on the notion that he does not wish to disturb its innate musicality and attempts to subordinate himself to it.

"Poetry ... is the salvation of all that is most essential, namely, melody as a holistic and indispensable organism. Either this organism is there, or it is not. I believe that Music – even if it cannot be 'sung' – is song nevertheless; it is neither philosophy nor a world view, it is the song of the world about itself, as it were a musical testimony to existence." This same approach also governs Silvestrov's instrumental music, which is always richly infused with both logical and melodic tension.

Since 2001/02, Silvestrov has again been working with small forms and "pure" melodies, composing numerous cycles ('families', 'colonies') for various small instrumentations (more than 260 cycles for piano solo): waltzes, lullabies, postludes, nocturnes, barcaroles, pastorals, serenades. Silvestrov describes the short pieces as 'bagatelles' in the centre of which is the melody, and in which he tries to seize and 'halt' the 'melodic moment', intonations, calls and motifs which flash past, without imposing the burden of what is termed thematic elaboration.

Since 2005, Silvestrov has again increasingly devoted himself to choral music, particularly to sacred choral music which, however, is not intended for liturgical use.

During the political unrest in the Ukraine Silvestrov fought for his country with 'musical means', composing numerous choral works, 'Majdan Hymns' and 'Prayers for the Ukraine'.


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Alexei Lubimov is a Russian pianist who also plays fortepiano and harpsichord. In his early years he studied at the Moscow Central Music School, and in 1963, entered the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Heinrich Neuhaus and Lew Naumov. He developed a strong interest in Baroque music and 20th century modernist works. Lubimov gave the Soviet premieres of many western compositions, including pieces by Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg, John Cage, Terry Riley, Pierre Boulez, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, which brought censorship from the Soviet authorities. For a number of years he was prevented from traveling outside the Soviet Union. For a number of years he was prevented from traveling outside the Soviet Union. Turning to his interest in period instruments and authentic performance practices, he founded the Moscow Baroque Quartet and co-founded the Moscow Chamber Academy with Tatiana Grindenko. Lubimov also organized the avant-garde music festival "Alternativa."

Much in demand as a soloist since the 1980s, Lubimov has performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, to name a few. He has collaborated with many conductors, among them Vladimir Ashkenazy, Christopher Hogwood, Neeme Järvi, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Roger Norrington, Marek Janowski, Iván Fischer, Kent Nagano, and Frans Brüggen. In 1998, Lubimov toured Europe with Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in performances of Rachmaninov's four piano concertos. He has performed with Andreas Staier and Alexei Zuev in piano duets; played chamber music with Natalia Gutman, Heinrich Schiff, Christian Tetzlaff, Gidon Kremer, and Wieland Kuijken; and accompanied tenor Peter Schreier in vocal music.

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Yana Ivanilova received her Masters Degree in voice at the Gnessin Russian Academy, where she studied under Professor Valentina Levko; she then received her Doctorate degree at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with Professor Nina Dorliak-Richter. Beyond these degrees, Ms. Ivanilova has studied voice in Vienna with Professor Ingeborg Wamser, thanks to a scholarship with the Austrian Ministry of Culture (1993-99); during this same period, she worked with conductor and vocal coach Peter Berne on Italian opera and Mozart repertory performance practice (1997-98). Ms. Ivanilova is currently residing in Montreal, Canada, where she is studying voice with Marie Devaluy (since 2000).

Her studies have yielded Ms. Ivanilova considerable success in her subsequent singing career. Among the awards she has won thus far include 2nd Prize in the 1998 Schneider-Trnavksy International Vocal Competition (Slovakia). As an opera soloist, she has worked with such esteemed conductors as Kent Nagano, Evgeni Svetlanov, Vladimir Fedoseev, Mikhail Pletnyev, Richard Bonynge, René Clemencic, Vladimir Spivakov, and Alexander Rudin. She has appeared as a soloist with the Moscow New Opera Municipal Theatre, the Moscow Bolshoi Theater, at Victoria Hall in Geneva, and at Westminster Cathedral in London, among others. Her operatic roles thus far include Violetta in La Traviata; Maria Stuarda in Donizetti's opera of the same name; Tatiana in Eugene Onegin; Lucrezia in I Due Foscari; Statue in Rameau's Pigmalion; and roles in Baldassare Galuppi's Il Re Pastore and Giuseppe Sarti's Enea nel Lazio. The last several roles underscore Ms. Ivanilova interest in early music, and in particular she has taken a keen interest in resurrecting 18th c. Russian secular and courtly vocal music that she performs regularly. This along with her activities performing contemporary music make Ms. Ivanilova a versatile vocalist indeed.

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Stanislav Malyshev - violinist, conductor
In 2005 graduated from the Moscow Conservatory (class of Prof. I. A. Frolov), in 2008 completed post-graduate studies (specialty – "chamber ensemble", class of Prof. N. L.Kogan). Participated in master classes of professors S. Kravchenko, Sergey Stadler (violin), Alexander Rudin (chamber ensemble). Laureate and winner of national competitions: N. Rubinstein (2006), D. Shostakovich (2008).
Performs as a soloist with foreign orchestras: Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, Musica Viva Orchestra, Studio for New Music Ensemble and Ensemble Modern (Germany) etc.
Since 2008 — soloist and concertmaster of the Studio for New Music Ensemble. With this ensemble, as a soloist, Stanislav has performed the Russian premieres of the violin concertos of György Ligeti, Kaija Saariaho, Faraj Karaev and also played the rarely performed concertos of Alban Berg, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Lou Harrison, Arthur Lourié, Giacinto Scelsi, Salvatore Sciarrino. Since 2016 Stanislav is the second conductor of the Studio for New Music Ensemble. The violinist actively collaborates with contemporary composers, whose works he successfully performed for the first time in Russia. Among them are Krzysztof Penderecki, Helmut Lachenmann, Vladimir Tarnopolski, François Paris, Serghey Slonimsky, Sofia Gubaidulina, Tigran Mansuryan, Faraj Karaev etc.
Stanislav is the first violin of the String Quartet "Studio of New Music", he also collaborates with the percussion ensemble M. Pekarsky ensemble "Opus POSTH" Tatyana Grindenko, the Moscow chamber choir of the Moscow Conservatory, plays with pianist Alexandr Lyubimov, these musicians have recorded several CDs with works by John Cage, Andrey Volkonsky, Lou Harrison, Alfred Schnittke.
Stanislav Malyshev has toured extensively in Russia and abroad, being a regular participant of various international festivals: Nice Manca Music Festival (France), St. Gallen (Austria), Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Eurasia (Ekaterinburg), Moscow Autumn (Moscow) etc.
Also Stanislav teaches at the Moscow Conservatory – "Contemporary music and new performance techniques of string instruments", "Laboratory of the contemporary chamber ensemble" and chamber ensemble. Since 2016 Stanislav is associate Professor of the Moscow Conservatory.

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