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Olga Gladkowa: Galina Ustvolskaya

Music as Magical Power

Olga Gladkowa: Galina Ustvolskaya

Music as Magical Power

Verlag Ernst Kuhn, Berlin, 2001, 154 pp.

ISBN 3-928864-77-7

In the periodical "Klassik heute" (Classics Today) of September 2001, the following remarks could be read concerning new publications: "The Berlin publisher Ernst Kuhn has now dedicated the 19th volume of his series 'Studia slavica musicologica' to Galina Ustvolskaya. Her pupil Olga Gladkowa set herself no easy task in writing the first monograph on the life and works of the composer. She had to renounce theoretical analysis, for her teacher disapproves of this in connection with her own works. Not only this, but, with the exception of several stages in her life, the composer allows but few glimpses into her biography.

"With the exception of one interview, Olga Gladkowa concerns herself in the book's nine chapters with the description of one group of works per chapter, then placing it into a biographical or thematic context. For example, when treating the Octet for two oboes, four violins, tympani and piano, she deals with the problematical relationship between Ustvolskaya and her teacher, Dmitri Shostakovich, who was particularly impressed by this work. This is a careful handling of the subject on the part of the author, leaving the music in the foreground whilst simultaneously concentrating her point of view upon various necessary aspects." (Astrid Konter)