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Klangforum Wien · Volkov · The Orlando Consort


Performers: Evert Sooster, Klangforum Wien, Ilan Volkov, The Orlando Consort
Works by Galina Ustvolskaya, Carl Theodor Dreyer

Piano Sonatas – Hinterhäuser

Stiftung Mozarteum – Großer Saal

Performers: Markus Hinterhäuser
Works by Galina Ustvolskaya

Collegium Vocale Gent · Herreweghe · Klangforum Wien · Volkov  


Performers: Collegium Vocale Gent, Collegium Vocale Gent Orchestra, Philippe Herreweghe, Marino Formenti, Klangforum Wien, Ilan Volkov
Works by Heinrich Schütz, Galina Ustvolskaya

Klangforum Wien · Volkov   

Stiftung Mozarteum – Großer Saal

Performers: Evert Sooster, Florian Müller, Klangforum Wien, Ilan Volkov
Works by Galina Ustvolskaya

Cy Twombly · Shades of Night, 1977 · Collection Cy Twombly Foundation · Courtesy: Cy Twombly Foundation, © Cy Twombly Foundation, 2017


sponsored by Roche

Rarely have suffering and passion, unwavering faith and profound despair, the grandiose and the violent been so closely linked as in the work of Galina Ustvolskaya (1919–2006). Her curiously painful, highly dissonant style is full of extremes, and refuses to be associated with any one school. Ustvolskaya always contemplated the greater scheme of things: with a few, often apparently disparate instruments, her symphonies can describe the world within a short space of time. However, that world has gone awry. Nonetheless, or precisely because of this, these works bear titles such as ‘True, Eternal Bliss’, ‘Jesus Messiah, Save Us!’, ‘Prayer’ or ‘Amen’. 

Galina Ustvolskaya loathed the term ‘chamber music’ for the obsessive explorations of the soul – and rightly so. She gave three works the simple title of ‘Composition’, and added these religious subtitles: ‘Dona nobis pacem’, ‘Dies irae’ and ‘Benedictus qui venit’. The centrepiece of her œuvre are the six Sonatas for Piano: written between 1947 and 1988, they cover an enormous musical range and have become a mainstay for performers and audiences alike.

It is self-evident that such writing was in opposition to the official doctrine of the Soviet Union. Dmitri Shostakovich stood up for the maverick composer on numerous occasions. ‘It is not you who are under my influence’, he once wrote to his former student, ‘but I who am under yours’. He trusted her judgement, quoted her in several works – although she herself never quoted anyone. 

‘Zeit mit Ustwolskaja’ (Time with Ustvolskaya) offers audiences the opportunity to expose themselves to a concentrated dose of this unique musical voice – and to feel both its pain and its passion.