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Polyphonion, concerto after Filonovs Formulas (2001) 17

extended violin solo, accordion solo, oboe/English horn, clarinet/bass clarinet, French horn, tenor-bass trombone, viola, cello

Irino Prize 2003, Tokyo

Visionary painting by Pavel Filonov (1883-1941) is a hermetic realm of pure energies revealed in harmonious structures. Images of people and animals are woven into a web that lives off their energy. I aimed at building a trajectory of penetration into this everchanging realm. No surprise that some of his paintings are called formulas. In the Formula of Cosmos or Formula of Spring he highlights the conflict between line and colour, and this idea is reflected in the concertato-principle: six instruments create discussions in pairs that counterwork both soloists. Extended violin (modified after my idea by St. Petersburg violinmaker Alexander S. Rabinovich) has an almost flash bridge, and a very curved bow which allows all strings to sound simultaneously. This changes the violin technique and its voice. A completely new serial method based not on tone but on interval principle was elaborated to compose infinite rows, homogeneous but fluctuating in dissymetrical way. My idea was to create a counterbalance to Filonovs images, find a dynamic equilibrium between energy and structure, current and crystal. The piece is written for First Pythian Games by The Pro Arte Foundation and dedicated to Vlad Pessin.

Premiere performance (January 17th 2002, White Hall of Marble Palace, St Petersburg). Vlad Pessin, Sergei Tchirkov, eNsemble cond. by Fedor Lednev (mp3, 15,7 MB)

score (.pdf, 572 KB)