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

REQUIEM

POEM OF DAWN

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.
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Remy Franck
PIzzicato Magazine
October, 2015

Violist Anna Serova is spectacular, delivering exceptionally confident, technically brilliant, sensitive renditions of Pigovat’s heartfelt scores...
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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.
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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.
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David Denton
David's Review Corner
June, 2015
On Mount Sinai (2004)

On Mount Sinai (2004)

Poem for Symphonic Wind Band

  • Duration: ca. 17 minutes
  • Picc, 2 Fls, Ob, Bsn, P.Cl, 3 Cls, B. Cl, Shofar (ad libitum), 2 A. Sxs, T. Sx, B. Sx, 4 Hns, 4 Tpts, 3 Tbns, Bar, 2 Tbas, Str. Bass, Timp, Perc (5).

The performance of the poem begins with narration of the following scene from the Bible:

And it came to pass on the third day in the morning,
that there were thunders and lightnings,
and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and the sound of a shofar exceeding loud;
so that all the people in the camp trembled.
And Moshe brought the people out of the camp to meet with GOD;
And they stood at the foot of the mountain.
And mount Sinay smoked in every part,
because the LORD descended upon it in fire:
and the smoke of it ascended like the smoke of a furnace,
and the whole mountain quaked greatly.
And then the voice of the shofar sounded louder and louder…
…And all the people perceived the thunderings, and the lightnings,
and the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking:
and when the people saw it, they were shaken, and stood afar off…
…And the LORD came down upon mount Sinay,
on the top of the mountain…”
EXODUS 19 (16 – 19), 20 (15), 19 (20).

In 2004, M. Delman and the Petach Tikva Conservatoire Wind Orchestra premiered this work in Israel. They performed it again at the wind orchestra competition in Interlaken,  Switzerland, and then two  days later at the Mid-Europe festival in Shladming, Austria.
The evening after the performance  in Interlaken, M. Delman felt strong pain, caused by acute appendicitis. He was hospitalized and had emergency surgery.

We were sure that the performance in Shladming would have to be cancelled, but, two days later, M. Delman went on to conduct his orchestra at the festival!

Such was his strength of will and creative dedication!

Below is the recording from the premiere.

Petach-Tikva Conservatoire Symphonic Band
Michael Delman, Conductor
Festival Kfar-Saba (Israel), 2004

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.

Nov, 2013: "Poem of Dawn" for Viola and Symphony Orchestra at Il Settembre dell’Accademia

Nov, 2013: "Poem of Dawn" for Viola and Symphony Orchestra at Il Settembre dell’Accademia

  • Duration: ca. 15 minutes
  • 2 Fls, 2 Obs, 2 Cls, 2 Bsns, 4 Hns, 2 Tpts, 3 Tbns, Timp, Perc, Hp, solo Vla, Str.

I composed Poem of Dawn in 2010 for violist Anna Serova, to whom it is also dedicated.
The piece was inspired by Nikolaj Kun’s Legends and Myths of Ancient Greece (1914):

The morning is near… There is a faint light in the East. Aeos and Pyrios, the morning stars and harbingers of Dawn, shine brightly in the East. There is a gentle breeze. The light in the East glows brighter and brighter… In vivid colours, on rosy wings, Dawn is soaring into the illuminated sky, drenched in rosy light. Dawn pours dew from her golden urn onto the Earth, and the dew sprinkles the grass and flowers with glistening, diamond-like drops. All is fragrant, all around. The waking Earth happily greets the Sun – Helios.

I wrote Poem of Dawn using the style and compositional methods of the Russian Romantic school, which I  believed to be particularly well-suited to the warm, expressive sound of Serova’s viola playing.

The premiere took place at the Il Settembre dell’Accademia 2013, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona (Italy), performed by Anna Serova and the Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radio and TV, conducted by Nicola Guerini.
Poem of Dawn was recorded, together with Holocaust Requiem, for the Naxos label. In June 2015, the CD  was released by Naxos, received the Supersonic Award from Pizzicato Magazine, and was nominated for the 2016 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).

In September 2017, Anna performed Poem of Dawn in the 44th International Viola Congress, in Wellington New Zealand. I obtained a special approval to share the video of that amazing performance with my followers.
Click here to visit the event page where the video is available.

Below are some samples of the premiere and some photos from the event.

The Poem of Dawn, composed for the distinguished violist and soloist on this disc, Anna Serova, is a warm natured tone poem in the Romantic tradition, its message one of love a beauty.
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David Danton
David's Review Corner
June, 2015

This is a beautifully textured, lyrical work. Its main interest lies in the viola solo and in Serova's lyrical and beautiful performance on her instrument.
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Robin Friedman
Amazon Top Reviews
July 18, 2015

I am referring to Pigovat's rapturous "Poem of Dawn," which knocked my soaring soul out of its body and had me (still has me!) playing it repeatedly. If you love the music of Claude Debussy and have found yourself swooning over Ernest Chausson's "Poeme de l'amour et de la mer," you're sure to fall irretrievably in love with this work.
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Joel Kovacik
Amazon Top Reviews
August 19, 2015
2013: Sonata for Viola and Piano - International Viola Congress at Krakow and "home is where..." CD

2013: Sonata for Viola and Piano - International Viola Congress at Krakow and "home is where..." CD

  • Duration: ca. 26 minutes

I composed Sonata for Viola and Piano in 2012 for violist Donald Maurice, after his great performance of the Holocaust Requeim at the Concert of Remembrance of 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht in Wellington, New Zealand, in 2008.

The piece was conceived for the Home is where… CD launched by Atoll (New Zealand), and starring Donald Maurice and Richard Mapp.

Donald premiered this piece in 2013 at the International Viola Congress, in Krakow, Poland, with pianist Wioletta Fluda.
The Atoll CD was released that same year.

Later, in February and March 2015, the piece was performed at three concerts in the United States:
The American premiere was in Baltimore, featuring soloists Peter Minkler (viola) and Lura Johnson (piano).
Eight days later, in Houston featuring Lawrence Wheeler (viola) and Tali Morgulis (piano).
In March 2015, in Walden, Colorado, featuring Barbara Sudweeks (viola) and Jo Boatright (piano).

The first movement of Sonata  was influenced by the strong emotional impact of two paintings: Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna del Magnificat (1483-1485) and и Madonna della Melagrana (Virgin with a Pomegranate) (1487).

While working on Sonata, I had an idea that it could also be performed as standalone piece; I named this piece Botticelli’s Magnificat. 

I shared my idea with Donald and received his support. Donald premiered Botticelli’s Magnificat before the premiere of Sonata.

In 2013, this piece was performed by the young Israeli violist Matan Noussimovich (you can listen to the recording, below).

Below are some samples from the Home is where… CD and recordings from the U.S. premiere, and of Botticelli’s Magnificat.

Recording from the U.S. premiere in Baltimore, featuring Peter Minkler (viola) and Lura Johnson (piano)
Recording from the performance of Botticelli's Magnificat, featuring Matan Noussimovich (viola) and Pazit Gal (piano)
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)