‘Lullaby’ by Maxim Shalygin performed by Amsterdam Sinfonietta. Recorded live at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht, 7 September 2016. Opening concert Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2016
The score at Donemus publishing https://goo.gl/g4drae
Work by Ukrainian composer Maxim Shalygin has been performed regularly during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in preceding years. In 2012, for example, when he was nominated for the Gaudeamus Award, he received an honorary mention for ‘Letters to Anna’, a composition for solo violin. A year later he returned with a violin concerto for Emmy Storms and five percussionists.
In 2016 ‘Lullaby’ was performed during the festival opening. It is, as the composer himself writes, a “hymn to life.” He explains: “There is an African tribe with a wondrous tradition. When two lovers decide to have a baby, they listen to the silence. They do this until they hear the song of the child that wants to be born onto this earth. Its whole life the child will be accompanied by that song. That is why I regard ‘Lullaby’ as a hymn to life.”
Shalygin catches this in music by slowly repeating and piling one and the same melody. A bass player plucks a slow and obstinate walking bass line. On top of that the strings constantly repeat the same melody. This starts with a single string instrument, but one by one more string players join the growing canon. Finally, the bass player stops his walking bass line and plays the melody in a lower range. This way Shalygin’s own lullaby is born.