By Harmen de Boer, Vera Beths, and Reinbert de Leeuw. By Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-). Classical. CD. Naxos #Hat(now)ART194. Published by Naxos (NX.HAT-NOWART194).
Item Number: NX.HAT-NOWART194
Ustvolskaya's music is dark, somber, even remote when a solitary voice holds sway. Her rejection of easily recognizable form suggests that, metaphorically, time is not a factor; as temporal references are acutely literai, the means to escape an oppressive time and place are found in spiritual, not social, values. Similarly, the chilling sparseness of textures becomes an emotionallandscape, scarred, sometimes painfully severe, where inner strength is necessary for survival. But there is, too, especially in the Duet For Violin And Piano, a sanctity of mood (shared with the later Shostakovich, when he was obsessed with death, and where, in his final works such as the Viola Sonata and Sonata For Violin And Piano, the influence of Ustvolskaya may be felt). ln moments like this, rare is the music where the human will is so immediate, so enduring.