Composer search

Search by surname

Detailed search

Repertoire search

Catalogue search

First edition of Galina Ustwolskajas Concerto for piano, string orchestra and tympani

The author Gerhard Dietel has written about a new score issued by Sikorski Publishers (Ed. 8522) in the specialist magazine DAS ORCHESTER (10/2004; p. 82).

The first edition is the score of the Concerto for piano, string orchestra and tympani by Galina Ustvolskaya, written by the composer during her earlier years.

Dietel appraises the work as follows:

() The archaic, magical-ritualistic character of her music soon earned her the reputation of being a religious-ecstatic composer. Even her purely instrumental works often bear religious titles. Thus, for example, the Compositions Nos. I-III are superscripted with Dona nobis pacem, Dies irae and Benedictus qui venit. My works are not religious in a literary sense, but are filled with a religious spirit, as the composer once said. One finds little of the propagated image of Ustvolskayas production in the Concerto for piano, string orchestra and tympani, published here for the first time as a printed score. It harkens back to the beginning of the composers oeuvre and was in fact, in 1946, the first valid work in the then 27-year-old composers catalogue. The score of the one-movement composition, in which the piano and the five-part string apparatus are less confronted with each other than meshed together, makes a very clear and lucid visual impression when compared to later works of Ustvolskaya. The music is still subdivided by bar-lines, whereby the metres alternate between 4/4, 6/8 and only in sections with slight deviations and the note C forms the tonal centre. The old system of major and minor relationships, however, remains recognisable in the background. () The markedly rhythmic opening motive is repeatedly taken up again during the course of the composition and also dominates the works conclusion, which is intensified with almost brute force to a quadruple forte. In between, aggressive and lyrical episodes alternate with each other; these are carried by the constant transformation and polyphonic combination of two basic themes, until the Lombardian opening rhythm and thematic substance have been integrated with each other at the end of the development as well. This early work hints at the later works of Galina Ustvolskaya in its structural density. Her pupil Boris Tishchenko once compared this structural density to a concentrated laser beam capable of penetrating metal.