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Leggiero, Pesante Import

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Audio CD, Import, June 18, 2002
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Silvestrov: Sonata For Violoncello And Piano (1983)Anja Lechner22:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Silvestrov: String Quartet No. 1 (1974)Rosamunde Quartett21:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Silvestrov: Three Postludes (1981/82) - Postlude No. 1 "Dsch"Simon Fordham 6:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Silvestrov: Three Postludes (1981/82) - Postlude No. 2Simon Fordham 9:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Silvestrov: Three Postludes (1981/82) - Postlude No. 3Anja Lechner 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Silvestrov: Hymne 2001Valentin Silvestrov 6:28$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 18, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Ecm Import
  • ASIN: B00005Y33E
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


ECM's booklet quotes Valentin Silvestrov as saying: "What I deal with might be termed poetry in music." It's a statement borne out by this important disc of his chamber music. The basic impulse is lyrical, but these works are full of startling dynamic shifts and dramatic nuances. His is a subtle art; the String Quartet No. 1, for example, opens with a hushed, choralelike passage that slowly separates into the individual instruments quietly parting with the group and then rejoining it for ghostly unison figures. Later, we hear coloratura figures in the violin and still later, slashing, dramatic episodes that subside and revive again until the music fades into one of the punctuating silences.

Similar effects are heard in the other works, fully absorbing the listener in Silvestrov's sound world. In the Cello Sonata, the piano is a full partner, its pedal effects coloring the music like a third participant, an effect well captured by the excellent sonics. Typical of the innate drama of his music is the Three Postludes, whose performers are instructed to leave the stage as their Postlude dies out. The first is for soprano and piano trio; the second for violin alone; the last, for cello and piano. Silvestrov himself ends the program at the piano with his haunting Hymn 2001. Performances by the outstanding players of the Rosamunde Quartet and assisting artists are as good as can be. --Dan Davis

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Boris Joselovich on October 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the best CD to start one's acquaintance with V.Silvestrov's world of music.It contains pieces written between 1974-2001.The music is wonderful: quiet,very nostalgic,with subtle references to the romantic past,but very individual style.For those who like the music of Arvo Part,John Tavener and H.Gorecky ,it is an essential purchase.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Roof on July 3, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love the music of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. Once a strong proponent of the Soviet Avant-Garde, Silvestrov broke away, in increments, during the early 1970's. He slowly developed his own version of what I would describe as post-modern romanticism. But, I hate those labels. Silvestrov's music is mainly a loose construction of melodic strands and echoes - harmonized and extended - vague but familiar. In my opinion, his music has grown more attractive and accessible over the decades, with the most recent Sacred Works, Sacred Songs, and Bagatelles and Serenades serving as indispensable examples of Silvestrov's finest work. They are superb music, which I listen to repeatedly.

As much as I hate to say it, this production provides a pretty weak case for the beauty and power of Silvestrov's music. For me, the weakest work is the first on the CD - Sonata for Violin and Piano - 1983. This piece just seems to go nowhere, and only in a few brief sections, do we hear what I would call signature Silvestrov beauty. Much of it strikes me as annoying and pointless. The 2nd work, String Quartet # 1 (1974) is quiet, lingering, and atmospheric. I enjoyed it, though in the end, it doesn't leave much of an impression. I was more pleased by the 3 postludes (1981-1982), particularly the first, which is "classic" Silvestrov. The CD concludes with a quiet and moody "hymn", which I found pleasant enough. The performances are highly professional - these committed players have done everything they can with this music. And as always, the ECM New Series production is well above industry standards - very artistic and stylish.
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Format: Audio CD
This ECM disc, dating from only 2002 and strangely already out of print in the US, documents a collaboration between the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov and several German musicians. Silvestrov's music is simultaneously sui generis and completely derivative, for with the fragmentation of music in the 20th century into all possible styles and techniques, he feels the only way to move forward is to write "postludes" to the Classical and Romantic traditions. A Silvestrov composition is typically marked by lush harmonies, though without progressing towards any clear resolutions and making much use of odd Webern-like intervals. Silvestrov is perhaps best known for his orchestral works, and the Sonata for Cello and Piano (1983) best compresses the grandeur of this into chamber form. The ending is among one of the most unusual scenes in all of Silvestrov's late oeuvre, as the cello plays harmonics over almost drum-line piano.

Unfortunately, the remaining pieces don't have this richness of texture and fail to impress. The String Quartet No. 1 (1974) comes across as an immature work, only hinting at the sound Silvestrov was to perfect only in the 1980s. The "3 Postludes" (1981-82) are scored for different forces, but their concerns remain similar. The first, titled "DSCH" in memory of Shostakovich, is for cello, violin, soprano (who sings only vocalizations) and piano. The second is for solo violin, and the third for cello and piano. While the first of these pieces is fairly engaging, the remaining two seem pretty inconsequential. The same holds for the closing piece of the disc, "Hymn 2001" for piano. Played by Silvestrov himself, it ends a disc full of uncertainties by leaving us a large glimmer of hope.
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By Ben Abraham on February 18, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In some of these compositions, Silvestrov sounds confused.
It's as if he's saying "I'm not sure why I'm writing music."

Confusion, I guess, is a legitimate thing to express, but it usually doesn't make for compelling listening.

The String Quartet suffers the most from this confusion.
The Cello Sonata fares somewhat better, though the sometimes harsh dynamic shifts compete against a sense of calm that the piece seems to attempt to create. Nevertheless, it's an interesting sonata.
Both of these works -- the String Quartet and the Cello Sonata -- are more harsh and dissonant than Silvestrov's more popular fare, though they both have many moments of calm beauty. They're also less tidy than Silvestrov's more popular fare.

The three Postludes, on the other hand, sound more focused.
These are very nice little pieces.

The last track is a piano piece played by the composer himself. It's called Hymn 2001, and it sounds almost as if Silvestrov is sitting at the piano just noodling around, semi-improvisitorily, relying on cheesy chords, on a suprisingly poorly recorded piano.

In sum, the Cello Sonata (about 22 minutes of music) and, especially, the three Postludes (about 30 minutes) are very rewarding. The String Quartet has its moments but, overall, it's a frustrating piece. The Hymn 2001 is for Sylvestrov completests only.

As for my favorite Silvestrov compositions, I highly recommend the piece Postludium (Symphonic Poem for Piano and Orchestra). That work is probably his masterpiece.
His CD Silent Songs (for baritone and piano), too, is exceptional.
And his Requim for Larissa is an effective piece of music.

As for the CD at hand -- Leggiero, Pesante -- it's a mixed bag, but a worthy and often rewarding record.
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