Slonimsky S. Requiem. Symphony No 11 (CD)

Slonimsky S. Requiem. Symphony No 11 (CD)

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Slonimsky S.
Author (full):
Sergei Slonimsky
Title (full):
Requiem. Symphony No 11
Number of pages:

Sergei Mikhailovich Slonimsky (1932–2020) is ranked among the most distinguished composers of Russia, holding the centre of the modern music’s stage. Operas, symphonies and cinema tracks form his everyday element.

The Requiem dates 2003. This grand canvas is distinct from the numerous similar compositions of this genre. It happens because of the text order, which is changed in comparison with the canonic ecclesiastic one. The music history witnessed the cases of this genre’s (established in the 14th century) free interpretation. Remember the requiems by Ochegem, Orlando Lasso and their contemporaries. Not all the Roman canon’s movements are present in those works. Gabriel Fauret omitted «Dies irae» in the 19th century, while Benjamin Britten amalgamated canonic Latin texts with the English verses in his «Military Requiem» dating the 20th century. The Requiem’s German tradition allows to resort to the Lutheran Bible’s verses instead of the Latin ones. 

It took rather a long time to make the Requiem independent of the church service. Now it’s affirmed as the mere musical genre.

Slonimsky’s Requiem is not initially implied as the part of some ritual. Lofty thoughts, repentance, the prayer of sins’ redemption. The composer sets himself free of the canonic textual disposition, marking the most vital shades of meaning, which emotional kernel looks extremely burning for his mind.

The Eleventh Symphony (2003) is inspired by Michail Chemiakin’s creation. Being on the same wavelengrh Slonimsky and Chemiakin rallied in their art, while staging the Mariinsky Theatre performances. This is exactly Michail Chemiakin, whom the Symphony No 11 is dedicated to.

The symphony’s construction is not traditional. The succession of songful motives fascinates one in the first movement. Sinister monodic buffoonery and two marching voices (movement II), ponderous meditation and pliant polyphonic Adagio with volitional finale (Sonata structure with a fugue evolving) crowned with forceful chimes of polyrhythmical coda.


2   Dies irae
3   Requiem aeternam
4   Lux aeterna
5   Tuba mirum 
6   Agnus dei
7   Rex tremendae majestatis
8   Domine Jesu
9   Hostias
10   Sanctus
11   Benedictus
12   Libera me
13   Kyrie eleison
14   Lacrimosa

Symphony No 11
15   Lento 
16    Presto 
17   Adagio
18   Allegro

Slonimsky S.
Author (full)
Sergei Slonimsky
Title (full)
Requiem. Symphony No 11
Number of pages