|"How I wish for you to be at that moment in Concertgebouw
Amsterdam when an unforgettable premiere of the choir epopee "На Страстной | Na
Strastnoy" took place ... Symbolically speaking, it was a true
The whole Concertgebouw audience: the supporters and the opponents were completely "agreed" with the music ....
| NTR Radio 4 (Hans Haffmans, Frederike Berntsen) describes
these moments as "very rare for contemporary music". Another review is
Momotenko’s new work is an honorable counter-piece for Rachmaninoff’s "All-Night Vigil"
Momotenko’s music unfolds itself serenely but variedly and reaches a flaming peak twice. And as soon as a dissolution approaches, a peaceful end breezes, contributed by the bronze basses and conductor Kļava.
When sixty singers let us hear their voices simultaneously, it maintains impressive, especially in the sonorous, often eight-part chords applied by Sergei Rachmaninoff in his "All Night-Vigil", a piece driven by the tone of the Russian-orthodox church music.
In Holy Week
The Russian Alfred Momotenko-Levitsky, who lives in The Netherlands for years, was commissioned by the NTR ZaterdagMatinee to write a companion piece for "All-Night Vigil". Therefore, the 47-year old composer chose an extensive poem by Boris Pasternak, Na Strastnoy or In Holy Week. In this poem, the mourning and solace of the anamnesis of Christ’s death and resurrection are paired with the suggestion of cruelties and bitterness, as frequently seen in between the lines in Russian literature.
Even though the new piece with a length of widely a quarter feels like David, here clamped in between the split-in-two Goliath of Rachmaninoff, it is an honorable counter-piece. Momotenko utilises the same arsenal of choir sounds, which he, however, enriches and extends, for example to the large, diffuse stacked chord from which Na Strastnoy commences. The lyrics are often presented by individual voices, born by a waving bed of whirring harmonies. Besides a single glissando, hisses and sometimes a baiting dissonant, the piece does not imitate noticeable modernity.
The music unfolds itself serenely but variedly and reaches a flaming peak twice. At the end a dissolution threatens, but bronze resonances and a melodic humming in the basses carry the piece, carefully conducted by the Latvian Sigvards Kļava, to a peaceful end.
Dutch National newspaper "Volkskrant", by Frits van der Waa (27-11-2017), read the original here.
A fascinating silence in the audience during the concert and a long standing ovation of the concert hall after the finale partly speak about what we have achieved together. Please continue reading / listening / watching here.
Above is an excerpt from the pre-premiere on 23 November in Muziekcentrum van de Omroep. Hilversum (NL). With a great collaboration of the Dutch Radio Choir, Sigvards Kļava (LV) and NTR ZaterdagMatinee.
A grateful gratitude and a high esteem for all support, effort and confidence."