BORIS PIGOVAT (b.1953): Requiem "The Holocaust" for Viola and Orchestra (Vector Wellington Orchestra; Marc Taddei), Nigun for String Quartet (Dominion String Quartet), Silent Music for Viola and Harp (Carolyn Mills [harp]), Prayer for Viola and Piano (Richard Mapp [piano]).
Catalogue Number: 08O083
Reference: ACD 114
Description: Pigovat's requiem for the victims of the Holocaust is a deeply felt, personal work (family members of the composer's were killed by the Nazis at Babi Yar), cast in the mold of a traditional Requiem despite being a purely instrumental work - the four movements take their titles and character from sections of the Mass. The language is very tonal, and unsurprisingly for a composer whose musical studies were completed in what was to remain the USSR for several decades, largely falls into the broad category of music composed in the aftermath of the enormous influence of Shostakovich and Prokofiev. The Dies irae is appropriately apocalyptic, the Lacrymosa a scream of despair, centered on the anguished, urgent protests of the viola soloist. Only in the final Lux æterna is some kind of peace achieved. Of the small chamber works, Prayer is intimately connected with the viola's transition from despair to gentle mourning in the Requiem, while the other pieces explore themes of tragedy, with specific reference to the Jewish experience and Jewish traditional music. Donald Maurice (viola).