Song of the Sea (2005)

Song of the Sea (2005)

Poem for Symphonic Wind Band

  • Duration: ca. 20 minutes
  • Picc (=Fl 1), 2 Fls, A.Fl (= Fl 2).Obs, Bsns, 3 Cls, B. Cl, 2 A. Sxs, T. Sx, B. Sx, 4 Hns, 5 Tpts , 3 Tbns, Bar, 2 Tbas, Str. Bass, Perc (6)

In 2005, I composed Song of the Sea for the conductor and director of the Bands and Symphony Orchestra at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky: Dennis L. Johnson.
I composed the Song of the Sea for Dennis Johnson in 2005.

This is what he said about the piece:

Boris Pigovat is a bright, fresh voice in the world of wind band composition.  His “Song of the Sea” is an original tone poem written for myself and the Murray State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and was premiered in a special performance in Carnegie Hall on March 29 of 2005.  This dramatic work captures the beauty and majesty of the open sea as well as its darker and more ominous mood during a ferocious storm.  The work carries the listener on a journey through calm and tempest and ends with a grandiose climax that rivals any of the great programmatic composers of this or any era.  The wind ensemble and I thoroughly enjoyed the preparation and performance of this masterful work as did the exhilarated crowd in Carnegie Hall that called us back three times.  “Song of the Sea” deserves to be on all collegiate and (technically proficient) high school band programs throughout the world. It is a masterpiece for wind band.

That same year, maestro Johnson premiered the piece with the Murray State University Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, in New York.

Later that summer, he performed it at (a repertoire session at) the WASBE Conference in  Singapore.

The piece also received the 2005 ACUM Prize (ACUM is the Israeli analog of ASCAP).

In 2009, Song of the Sea had its European premiere in Germany, performed by the Munich Academic Wind Orchestra, conducted by Michael Kummer.

Below is the recording from the premiere in Carnegie Hall.

Murray State University Wind Ensemble                                       
Dennis L. JOHNSON, Conductor
Carnegie Hall, New York, 2005

Wind of Yemen (2000)

Wind of Yemen (2000)

Poem for Symphonic Wind Band

  • Duration: ca. 18 minutes
  • Picc, Fl, Ob, Bsn, P.Cl, 3 Cls, A.Cl, B.Cl, A.Sx, T.Sx, B.Sx, 4 Hns, 3 Cnts, 2 Tpts, 3 Tbns, Bar, Tba, Str. Bass, Timp, Perc (4-5)

The symphonic poem Wind of Yemen for Symphonic Wind Band (2000) is based on the traditional tunes and dance melodies which were preserved during the centuries by a very closed society of Yemenite Jews.
The work comprises two connected movements. The first movement depicts a Yemenite desert landscape. The second movement depicts  the Yemenite folk celebration.

The concept was suggested to me by Michael Delman.
The task was very challenging  for me, this was my first introduction to Yemenite Jewish folklore.

When I was a young composer, in the 1980s, Professor Yuri Alexandrovich Fortunatov gave me some advice:

If you need to compose a piece for folklore that is  completely foreign to you, first you must “sink” into it. Only when you feel that you own the style, like it is in your blood beneath the skin, are you ready to compose…

Following that advice, I spent almost three months listening to a massive quantity of audio recordings from Yemenite Jewish folk music, until I was able to internalize the unique feel of its melodic and rhythmic patterns.

In 2000, I completed the Wind of Yemen, and it was premiered by Michael Delman and the Petach-Tikva Conservatoire Symphonic Band.

Wind of Yemen was performed at the Asian Music Festival 2003 (in Tokyo) by the Kosei Wind Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Bostock.

In 2009, it was performed at the WASBE conference by CAM Bétera, conducted by Luis Serrano Alarcón.

In 2010, it was performed in Mano a Mano festival, Bunol, Spain, by CIM La Armónica de Buñol (Valencia), conducted by Frank De Vuyst.
That same year, Wind of Yemen was published in Spain by Piles Editorial de Musica.

In 2015, it was performed  at the WASBE conference (in San Jose, California, USA), by the National Youth Symphonic Band of Israel, conducted by Motti Miron.

In 2018, it was performed at the Singapore International Band Festival, by the Orchestra Collective of Singapore, conducted by Yibin Seow.

Below are recordings from Singapore, Tokyo and from the 2009 WASBE conference. You can also listen to the Mano a Mano festival performance here .

Singapore International Band Festival, 2009
Asian Music Festival, Tokyo, 2003
2009 WASBE Conference, Cincinnati, USA

CAM Bétera
Luis Serrano Alarcón, Conductor

I thought that several other of the performances were also very good, but here is where specific works stand out in my mind as being significant. Boris Pigovat’s Wind of Yemen performed by the Symphonic Band of Centre Artístic Musical de Bétera was marvelous...

Joe H. Brashier
WASBE Conference

I also enjoyed The Winds of Yemen by Boris Pigovat, with its evocative ethnic music. He has a superb website with details of his music, including the Song of the Sea, premiered in Carnegie hall by Murray State University Wind Ensemble conducted by Dennis Johnson. As I reported in a recent homepage, this work was a great success in its recent German premiere, conducted by Michael Kumnmer, and I have no doubt that The Winds of Yemen will join it as a fine example of this composer's music.

Tom Reynish
WASBE Conference
Oct, 2001: Memorial evening dedicated to the Babi Yar tragedy, Kiev, Ukraine

Oct, 2001: Memorial evening dedicated to the Babi Yar tragedy, Kiev, Ukraine

The Memorial evening dedicated to Babi Yar tragedy was the world premiere of Requiem. I was openly excited to have the premiere in that historic location, where the tragedy took place. My father’s family were murdered in Babi Yar by the Nazis in September of 1941, and I was feeling the suffering of this deep personal tragedy when I wrote Requiem.

The outstanding performance by violist Rainer Moog and the Symphony Orchestra of National Philarmonic Society of Ukraine, conducted by Roman Kofman, was the best premiere imaginable.
Later, in his interview to Ukrainian daily newspaper “The Day” from October 9 2001, Roman Kofman said:

I’m sure that the Holocaust Requeim has a great future. Boris Pigovat’s composition is very sophisticated, but isn’t flowery of the pretentious. It is simple but not primitive, it is frank and heartfelt, an outstanding work.

Below is a live recording of that outstanding premiere.

  • Duration: ca. 46 minutes
  • 3 Fls (Picc), 2 Obs, 3 Cls (B.Cl) 2 Bsns, C.Bn, 4 Hns, 3 Tpts, 3 Tbns, Tba, Timp,  Perc (4), Cel, Pno, Hp, Vla solo, Str.