Silvestrov: Symphony No. 5; Postludium

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COMPOSERS: Silvestrov
WORKS: Symphony No. 5; Postludium
PERFORMER: Alexei Lubimov (piano); Deutsches SO, Berlin/David Robertson
The Ukrainian Valentin Silvestrov was born in 1937 and came late to music. His Fifth Symphony (1980-82) has a nine-part arch-structure, underlining his belief that ‘form continues to resonate in invisible, inaudible space, in spite of a unity that exists on every level’. In Postludium, for piano and orchestra (1984) ‘neither composer nor musicians are overshadowed by the great composers of the [Romantic] past: they go on singing a beautiful, old and endless song, albeit with a catch in their breath’ (Tatiana Frumkis). These works are a lyrical tapestry of emotions, illusions and reflections, a music of the subconscious that rolls inexorably on, like waves pounding and receding. Both works suddenly erupt with a big bang, then lingeringly spiral down into silence. Both are about repetitive melodies and encircling sequences, sensuously suggestive colours and comforting, hypnotic sounds. Memories of worlds glimpsed by visitors, from Mahler and Respighi to Hovhaness and Enya, of a space continuum where earth time all but stands still, haunt their voluptuous, ambient experience. With such dedicated advocacy (David Robertson is Music Director of the Paris Ensemble InterContemporain, Lubimov has recorded the Silvestrov sonatas for Erato), could this be another cult album? Ates Orga