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World Premiere: “Monk’s Music” by Alexander Rastakov in Ireland

On 8 February 2013 the English Carducci String Quartet will perform the world premiere of Alexander Rastakov’s vocal work “Monk’s Music” in the Irish town of Dundalk. The Carducci String Quartet consists of Matthew Denton, Michelle Fleming (both violin), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola) and Emma Denton (violoncello). The bass soloist is Gordon Jones (member of the Hillard Ensemble).

Rastakov’s work is based on seven short texts written by the Russian-orthodox monk Starets Silouan (1866–1938).

Alexander Rastakov comments on his new work as follows:
“The idea of this work came to my mind in 2005 in Moscow, while I was working with the Borodin Quartet. During my conversations with the cellist Valentin Berlinsky I mentioned, that I would like to compose seven slow movements (the model, of course, was J. Haydn’s masterpiece ‘The Seven last Words of our Saviour on the Cross’). Berlinsky was very enthusiastic about my idea and ‘blessed’ me to start writing. I selected my own ‘Seven last words’ from the writings of Starets Silouan. He was a Russian monk, who lived in the Monastery of Athos, died there in 1938 and was numbered among the communion of Saints. The solo bass has to sing these short seven fragments (in Russian) and then the string quartet plays separately a kind of ‘commentary’ on the texts.
The work was finished at the end of 2005, but then Valentin Berlinsky suddenly became very ill and could not play anymore. After his death ‘Monk’s Music’ remained without a performance. Now at last, the first performance takes place in Ireland, and I am very much delighted about it. Ireland gave us great literature. I admire Joyce, Yeats. Through their masterpieces I could feel the fragrance of the country. Some years ago, in Oxford, I met a prominent Irish poet, Bernard o’Donoghue, who became – in spite of the distance – a good friend …”

The organizer of the concert is the Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS).

8. February 2013
St. Nicholas Church, 8 PM
World Premiere: Alexander Raskatov
”Monk’s Music”. Seven words by Starets Silouan
for string quartet and bass solo
Gordon Jones (bass)
Carducci String Quartet


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