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Clarinetto (B) part from The Russian Autumn, 2015

for Chamber Orchestra

Composer
Duration
7 minutes
Genre
Modern classical music

Of "The Russian Autumn", Daniel Werth has said the following: "My ambivalence towards one of my historical inspirations, the USSR, is presented in this diptych, The Russian Autumn. Although it was responsible for some great achievements (like the victory on the Eastern Front in World War II and send the first man to space), the USSR was also the progenitor of some of the most atrocious acts performed during the 20th century (the Holodomor, the Gulag system, and forced collectivization being good examples). The first piece of the diptych, "In Memoriam Marina Tsvetaeva", is an elegy for a victim of the USSR’s repressive policies, Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the most famous Russian Silver Age poets, and my personal favorite. Although the USSR was not directly responsible for her untimely demise, the Soviet government’s internment of her husband, and daughter, the eventual execution of the former in 1941, and the poverty that had plagued her entire life led her to commit suicide that same year at the age of forty-eight. The composition itself contains two main melodic lines. The first, introduced as a lone soliloquy at the very beginning of the piece, represents the distant western rumbling of the opening year of World War II, while the second, introduced by the viola sul ponticello, is the image of Tsvetaeva herself, teetering between thoughts of continuing on or of suicide. Meanwhile, the second piece of the diptych, "The Battle of Berlin", begins with a fugato section based on the war theme of “In Memoriam". The main theme is introduced in the piano as a quasi-cadenza hastily interrupted by the other players. The piece, roughly in the form of a scherzo, progresses towards a large, celebratory conclusion depicting the capture of the Reichstag in May 1945."

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