Sergei Mikhailovich Slonimsky (born in 1932) is one of the leading modern Russian composers. His creation embraces actually all the genres. Remember the musical drama “Virineya” (1965–1967) after the novel by L. Seyfullina, chamber opera “Master and Margarite” (1970–1972) after M. Bulgakov, opera-ballad “Mary Stuart” (1978–1980) to Ya. Gordin’s libretto, dramma per musica “Hamlet” (1990–1991) after W. Shakespeare’s tragedy translated to Russian by B. Pasternak, chamber opera (monodic drama) “King Ixion” (1993–1995) after the ancient myth and the tragedy by I. Annensky, the Russian tragedy in 14 visions with three epilogues and overture “The Visions of Ioann Grozny” to Ya. Gordin’s libretto, dramma per musica “King Lear” (2000–2001) after the tragedy by W. Shakespeare translated by B. Pasternak, 32 symphonies, ballets, instrumental concertos, cantatas, among which there is the “Voice From Choir” (1962–1963) to the verses by Alexander Blok, “One Day of the Life” (1998) to the texts from “Chapter of the Thousand” by Dhammapada translated by V. Toporov, Requiem for soloists, choir and symphony orchestra (2003), so as numerous choral, chamber-instrumental and vocal compositions. The spring of 2005 was marked by the ballet premiиre of the “Magic Nut” after the tale by E. Th. A. Hoffmann to the libretto by the artist Mikhail Chemiakine, who staged it in the Mariinsky Theatre. It was in 2008, when Slonimsky’s oratorial opera “Antigone” after Sophocle’s tragedy was firstly staged by A. N. Sokurov at the St. Petersburg Academic Kapelle.
Sergei Slonimsky is the People’s Artist of Russia, laureate of the Russian State Prize, knight of the orders “Merits before Motherland” and of the Commander Cross of the Order “Merits before the Polish Republic”. Slonimsky’s opuses are on roll all over the world.
Open, clear and somewhat simplified folkloristic song on the verses by Koltzov find themselves at the crest of the lyric song style. Koltzovs images of ‘bonny lasses’ and ’fair lads’, simple peasants, smiths and girls – spinners are the most convincing in the Russian poetry. The ‘narrator’ of his verses becomes in future Esenin’s Poet who sang of the peasant lifestyle, soil of the Motherland and great and mighty Russian people.
Chamber vocal works by Slonimsky written on the verses by Koltsov and Esenin gained immense popularity. Those are separate works but they seem to be one cycle because of the common intonation, folklore base (urban lyric), simplicity in choice of means of expressiveness as well as sincere tear present almost in all of them.
The musical language in the present cycle is rather simple: deliberately stressed sexts and quarts in melody, vocal part basing on diatonic scale, though delicately outlined by dissonant chords in piano part and open emotion that appeals strongly to the stage artists.
As the nightingale of passage
Stormy winds are blowing