Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sofia Gubaidulina, Part 9

In the mid-70s Gubaidulina was commissioned by Vitaly Kataev to write a piece for wind ensemble. She chose an ensemble consisting not only of winds but percussion, harp and mezzo-soprano singing a poem by Marina Tsvetaeva from the cycle Hour of the Soul. Tsvetaeva committed suicide in 1941 after a life of great suffering. The original version of Gubaidulina's portrait of her went thirty years before it was performed. She revised it twice, the last version dating from 1987 for orchestra, percussion solo and mezzo. It is without a doubt a challenging piece, containing great ranges of textures and orchestrations, micro-tones, wide-ranging melodic figures, and a great variety of instrumental techniques. It ends with a cantilena for the singer that begins after the 15 minute mark in this recording:

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