Music Of Sorrow And Hope (2011)

Music Of Sorrow And Hope (2011)

  • Duration: ca. 22 minutes
  • 3 Fls (Fl.III = Picc, Fl.II = Alto Fl.), 2 Obs, 2 Cls, B.Cl, 2 Bsns, 4 Hns, 3Tpts, 3 Tbns, Tba, Timp, Perc, Hp, Str.

Music of Sorrow and Hope was commissioned and premiered by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Zubin Mehta) at their 75th Anniversary Festival in December 2011.

The theme of this work is explained in the concert’s program notes:

Sorrow, pain, suffering, anger, struggle, hope and light – it is our way and our destiny.

In 2013, Maestro Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed this
work again in two concerts of their subscription series.

Below are an audio recording and a YouTube video from the live recording of the premiere.

IPO’s 75th Anniversary Festival, Tel-Aviv, December 2011

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Zubin Mehta, Conductor

Light from the Yellow Star (2011)

Light from the Yellow Star (2011)

For Symphonic Wind Band

  • Duration: ca. 40 minutes
  • Picc, 2 Fls, A.Fl, Obs, Bsns, P.Cl, 3 Cls, B.Cl, C-b.CL, S.Sx (= A.Sx.1), 2 A.Sxs, T.Sx, B.Sx, 4 Hns, 5 Tpts, 4 Tbns, Bar, 2 Tbas, Str.B, Synth, Timp, Perc (5), Solo Soprano.

In 2010, Matthew J. George, a conductor of the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble, proposed that I write a composition based on books and paintings by the Holocaust survivor Dr. Robert O. Fisch.

Inspired by Dr. Fisch works, I wrote a suite of five parts:

        I. Introduction
        II. When the Stones weep
        III. 1956
        IV. Silent Music
        V. Song of Love and Hope

The premiere took place in Minneapolis, in 2011, with the participation of Dr. Fisch himself; he read fragments from his books before each part of the suite and at the end of the composition. His paintings were demonstrated on a large screen during the performance. Dr. George even brought a dance ensemble for the performance!

It was  extraordinary event with a big emotional impact on the audience. I invite you to view it (below are eleven clips from the premiere):

Later Matthew J. George and the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Wind Ensemble recorded Light from the  Yellow Star, which was released in 2016 by the Innova label, as part of their album Persistence.

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
Aug, 2010: Wind of Yemen at Mano a Mano, Bunol, Spain

Aug, 2010: Wind of Yemen at Mano a Mano, Bunol, Spain

  • 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 was performed at Mano a Mano festival, in August 2010 in Bunol, Spain, by the CIM La Armónica de Buñol (Valencia), conducted by  Frank De Vuyst and 

I was excited to receive an invitation to that event and to have an opportunity to work with such great performers!

More words are redundant, just listen to the recording from the concert, below.