With Maidan, Valentin Silvestrov continues his longstanding association with ECM and this time presents a programme of choir music that is as timely as it is dear to the Ukrainian composer’s heart.
Like the albums Sacred Songs and Sacred Works, Maidan embraces Silvestrov’s composing for vocal ensemble and captures the Kyiv Chamber Choir under Mykola Hobdych in an impassioned performance at the St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv from 2016. Silvestrov, who in spring 2022 had to leave his Kyiv home of over half a century, composed “Maidan 2014”, a ‘cycle of cycles’, in the wake of the ‘Euromaidan’ – the wave of demonstrations that hit Ukraine in 2014. Replete with liturgical passages and verses by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchencko, Maidan offers a wealth of melodies with both hymnal and chant-like structures.
In the CD’s liner text, Silvestrov points out how “it’s no accident that the symbolic crown and ending of the “Maidan 2014″ cycle is a quiet lullaby. For I’m neither able nor willing to duplicate the noise of this terrible war. Instead, I want to show how fragile our civilisation is. I try, with my music, to safeguard and preserve a day of peace.” The album is released as Silvestrov turns 85.