Choose artist...
Kyiv Chamber Choir

Valentin Silvestrov - Maidan

Release Date: September 30, 2022

Press Release

Read press

Artist Details

Read bio


1 Maidan 2014, Cycle I - National Anthem  
2 And Glory, Mountains Blue, to You  
3 Give Rest, O Christ, to Thy Servant  
4 Cycle II - National Anthem  
5 Lacrimosa  
6 Holy God  
7 Cycle III - National Anthem  
8 The Lord's Prayer  
9 Requiem aeternam  
10 Agnus Dei  
11 Cycle IV - National Anthem  
12 Elegy  
13 Prayer for Ukraine  
14 National Anthem  
15 Lullaby  
16 Four Songs - The Mighty Dnieper  
17 On Earth There is Fortune  
18 A Cherry Orchard by the House  
19 My Testament  
20 Dyptych - To Little Mariana  
21 Psalm (The Mighty Dnieper)  
22 Oh Shining World  
23 Come to Your Senses  
24 Alleluia  
Show all tracks

With Maidan, Valentin Silvestrov continues his longstanding association with ECM and presents a programme of choir music that is as timely as it is dear to the Ukrainian composer’s heart. Like Sacred Songs and Sacred Works, Maidan embraces Silvestrov’s composing for vocal ensemble and captures the Kyiv Chamber Choir under Mykola Hobdych in a performance at the St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv from 2016. Silvestrov, who in spring 2022 had to leave his Kyiv home of over half a century, composed the album’s main music Maidan 2014, a ‘cycle of cycles’, in the wake of the ‘Euromaidan’ – the wave of demonstrations that hit Ukraine in 2014. As the composer’s close friend and musicologist Tatjana Frumkis notes in the CD’s liner text, “Valentin Silvestrov had barely taken interest in politics” before that event. “Now, seated at the piano and singing with his voice, he immediately began his own musical eye-witness chronicle of the revolution” – or as the composer himself puts it: “a spontaneous response to the events I saw every day.”

Replete with liturgical passages and verses by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchencko, Maidan 2014 offers a wealth of melodies with both hymnal and chant-like structures. The beginning of each of the four sub-cycles is marked with different variations of Ukraine’s National Anthem, linked by a recurring theme that alludes to the alarm bells of the St. Michael’s Cathedral, which, at the onset of the Maidan, rang out for the second time in history. In between the tocsins, soft choruses and quiet laments come forward, carried by few singers at a time as in the haunting “Give Rest, O Christ, to Thy Servants” or through wordless vocal compositions as in “Elegy”. Due to the many shades and nuances of Silvestrov’s scores the lyrics of the Latin “Lacrimosa” or “Prayer for Ukraine” – its only two lines read “God, protect the Ukraine. Give us power, faith and hope.” – resonate more powerfully than words alone are able to convey.

In these chamber choir elaborations, individual voices and groups of singers organically separate from the ensemble and then recede back into the collective, carrying meaningful verses and imperative melodies to the fore as the choir’s phrases rise and fall, and continue this shifting pattern as in a natural act of breathing. This differentiated treatment of the voices is equally true for Four Songs, Diptych and Triptych, the three shorter cycles that succeed Maidan 2014. Composed subsequently, in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, they are made of a similar fabric as the main cycle and likewise combine liturgical texts with poems by Taras Shevchenko.

Go to artist details