Jun, 2015: NAXOS Records launched "Holocaust Requiem & Poem of Dawn" CD

Jun, 2015: NAXOS Records launched "Holocaust Requiem & Poem of Dawn" CD

As named, the CD contains two pieces for viola and symphony orchestra, both performed by the distinguished violist Anna Serova, with the Croatian Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Nicola Guerini.

When Anna listened to the recording of Requiem’s premiere (performed by Rainer Moog, in Kiev) she told me that she wants to perform and record this piece herself. Together with her manager Alessandro Panetto and conductor Nicola Guerini, they made it happen: Requiem was recorded for NAXOS by the Croatian Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra.

When planning the Requiem recording, Anna asked me to write another composition for the disk. This is how Poem of Dawn was born: I wrote and dedicated this piece for Anna. Inspired by Nikolaj Kun’s Legends and Myths of Ancient Greece (1914), I used the style and compositional methods of the Russian Romantic school, which I believed to be particularly well-suited to the warm, expressive sound of Anna’s viola playing.

Poem premiered at the  Il Settembre dell’Accademia 2013, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona (Italy), and was recorded, together with  Requiem, for the NAXOS label. The NAXOS CD was released in June 2015; that same year, it received the Supersonic Award from Pizzicato Magazine and was nominated for the 2016 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).

Below are the full recording and short samples from the CD (the CD is available from Amazon).

Recordings from the Naxos CD
Anna Serova, Viola
Nicola Guerini, Conductor
Symphony Orchestra of Croatian radio and TV



Samples from the Naxos CD

In spite of the more dramatic Dies Irae, Boris Pigovat’s Holocaust Requiem is a music of striking serenity, beauty and depth, becoming highly emotional in the performance by violist Anna Serova and the Croatian Radiotelevision Symphony Orchestra. The poetic and evocative Poem of the Dawn is no less appealing.

Remy Franck
PIzzicato Magazine
October, 2015

Violist Anna Serova is spectacular, delivering exceptionally confident, technically brilliant, sensitive renditions of Pigovat’s heartfelt scores...

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found
August, 2015

Pigovat is a remarkably fine orchestrator. Poem of Dawn makes a fine contrast to the melancholy, passion and tragedy of the Requiem. Nevertheless it is the very fine Holocaust Requiem that I will return to most often. Anna Serova proves to be a first class soloist with the Croatian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra under Nicola Guerini turning in first class performances.

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer
July, 2015

Remembered on disc four and more decades ago, the famous Zagreb Radio Orchestra is the renamed orchestra that is providing a high impact Holocaust Requiem and the gorgeous sounds for the land in paradise created for the Poem. A thought provoking release much recommended.

David Denton
David's Review Corner
June, 2015
Feb, 2014: "Lux Aeterna" from the Holocaust Requiem, Pittsburgh, USA

Feb, 2014: "Lux Aeterna" from the Holocaust Requiem, Pittsburgh, USA

Lux Aeterna, the fourth part of Holocaust Requiem for Viola and Symphony Orchestra, merited another great performance, this time in the USA, performed by Tatjana Mead Chamis and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Manfred Honeck.

Mark Kanny, a classical music critic at Trib Total Media,  wrote how this performance was conceived:

Honeck first became aware of Pigovat’s music when the symphony’s associate principal violist Tatjana Mead Chamis told him about the composer’s Requiem — The Holocaust. Honeck came to love the piece and led the symphony in a performance of its Lux Aeterna movement with Chamis as soloist at a Music for the Spirit concert in 2014 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church.

Below is the recording from YouTube.

Sept, 2012: "Requiem" CD received Pizzicato's Supersonic Award

Sept, 2012: "Requiem" CD received Pizzicato's Supersonic Award

In 2010, Atoll released the “Requiem” CD, which includes the live recording from the performance of Requiem in the Concert of Remembrance for Kristallnacht 1938, and three of my other pieces, all starred by Donald Maurice (viola), an excellent performer and a dear friend of mine.
In 2012 the “Requiem” CD was awarded the Supersonic Award by the Luxembourg classical music magazine, Pizzicato.

Below are some samples from the CD.

Live recording of "Requiem" (samples)

Part 4 “Lux Aeterna” published by Atoll in YouTube

Prayer for Viola and Piano (samples)
Silent Music for Viola and Harp
Nigun for String Quartet (samples)
Oct, 2011: Holocaust Requiem at the International Viola Congress, Wurzburg, Germany

Oct, 2011: Holocaust Requiem at the International Viola Congress, Wurzburg, Germany

Viola Congress at 2011 was the third time when Donald Maurice performed Requiem, after his great performance at the Concert of Remembrance for 70th the Anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Donald received an invitation to give the work’s first-ever performance in Germany, on October 15th at the final gala concert of the International Viola Congress in Wuerzburg.

The performance commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre, and featured Donald, with the Camerata Louis Spohr orchestra from Duesseldorf, conducted by Bernd Peter Fugelsang.

Below are some photos from the event, kindly given to me by Dwight Pounds.

Nov, 2010: Launch of "Requiem" CD by Atoll, New Zealand

Nov, 2010: Launch of "Requiem" CD by Atoll, New Zealand

In November 2010, two years after the performance of Requiem at the the Concert of Remembrance for Kristallnacht 1938 at Wellington, a live recording of the concert was released by Atoll. This recording also includes three of my other pieces, featuring my dear friend, Donald Maurice (viola), and other great performers. The CD includes the following pieces:

Prayer for Viola and Piano
Donald Mautice, Viola
Richard Mapp, Piano

Silent Music for Viola and Harp
Donald Maurice, Viola
Carolyn Mills, Harp

Nigun for String Quartet
Dominion String Quartet

Dwight Pounds reviewed the disc in the Journal Of The American Viola Society, he writes:

Completing the album and complementing the Requiem musically and emotionally are three small ensemble compositions, each by Boris Pigovat. The very dramatic and tragic Prayer was written the same year as the Lux Eterna (1994) and in fact shares at least one common theme. Silent Music, known in Hebrew as Nerot Neshama (Candles of the Soul), was written in 1997 in response to a particularly vicious terrorist attack. In Nigun, conceived originally for string orchestra, Pigovat’s goal is to give “expression to the tragic spirit which I feel in traditional Jewish music” by giving homage to the style and spiritual atmosphere of ancient tunes, but without quoting traditional melodies.

In 2012, the Requiem CD was awarded a Supersonic Award by the Luxembourg classical music magazine Pizzicato.

Below are some samples from the CD.

Live recording of "Requiem" (samples)

Part 4 “Lux Aeterna” published by Atoll in YouTube

Prayer for Viola and Piano (samples)
Silent Music for Viola and Harp
Nigun for String Quartet (samples)

Donald Maurice’s solo playing vividly captures the music’s gamut of supplicatory emotion, while Marc Taddei and the orchestra provide an accompaniment richly-mixed with ambiences of faith and trust, doubt and fear. READ MORE

Peter Mechen
Middle C, Classical Music Reviews
Wellington, NZ
September 15, 2011

This is a most extraordinary release. I guarantee it contains music like you’ve never heard before and that will leave you emotionally shattered and physically drained. …the performance and the recording are stunning, impactful, and overwhelming.

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare Magazine
Junuary, 2012
Nov, 2008: Concert of Remembrance of 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, Wellington, New Zealand

Nov, 2008: Concert of Remembrance of 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, Wellington, New Zealand

Holocaust Requiem was performed for it’s second time at the Concert of Remembrance for the 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht.
The outstanding performance by violist Dr. Donald Maurice, Professor of Music at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, conductor Mark Taddei, and Vector Wellington Orchestra, was widely reviewed by local and international media.

Later, Donald Maurice remembered:

The performance was in 2008 but is indelibly etched into my memory. Many people were in tears. I myself said, ‘I must not cry!’” Commenting on the composition’s future and potential for effecting change, he observed, “It needs to be performed often as a reminder of the effects of war and the circumstances that precipitate one culture wanting to dominate or annihilate another.

A live recording of Requiem from the event was released by Atoll, in November 2010, with other pieces of mine.

Here is an audio recording of an interview given by Donald Maurice and Marc Taddei to Radio New Zealand (Nov 2008).

Below are some samples of that amazing performance and some photos from the event.

Requiem “The Holocaust” is not music for the faint of heart. The listener is drawn inexorably into the unfolding tragedy... Pigovat runs a stylistic gamut from tonal to expressionistic with hints of Berg and Shostakovich as he gradually unfolds his nightmare. Though instrumental throughout, there are times one can hear “Re—qui-em” among the many busy layers of musical texture.

Dwight Pounds
Journal of the American Viola Society

The Music is harrowing and tense, and very Russian in sound. Echoes of contemporary composers such as Denisov, Kanchelli and Gubaidulina can be heard, as well as the inexorable thread of Shostakovich in the Dies Irae, but the voice of the composer remains highly individual. Balancing the violence, anger and tension is the conciliatory beauty of the Lux Eterna that rounds out a work of deeply felt power.

John Button
The Dominion Post
November 11, 2008

Using purely orchestral forces this 46-minute symphonic-concerto encompasses ear-splitting anguish, horror and confusion -- tolling tintinnabulations mark the outset of unspeakable atrocities while abject grief is heightened by sonorous lamentations of the solo viola; a role of unusually formidable demands.

Howard Smith
M&V Daily, Concert Reviews
November 13, 2008

Pigovat's music is evocative and distuibing in its depiction of the Holocaust. With styles reminiscent of other Russian composers, including the rich melancholy of Shostakovich the compositional style is still distinctly Pigovat's own. Intense and strongly assured it is a life-affirming piece that makes a telling statemen with subtlety.

Garth Wilsher
Capital Times, NZ
December, 2008