PAVLOVA: Monolog / The Old New York Nostalgia
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Alla Pavlova (b. 1952)
Sulamith Ballet Suite Monolog Old New York Nostalgia
Alla Pavlova is acomposer and musicologist.
In 1983 shereceived her Master'sDegree at the GnesinAcademy of Music inMoscow. From 1983 to1986 she lived inthe Bulgarian capitalSofia,where she workedfor the Union ofBulgarian Composersand the BulgarianNational Opera. From1986 to 1989 she was inMoscow, working for the Russian Musical SocietyBoard. Since 1990 she has lived in New York, where sheis a member of New York Women Composers, Inc. AllaPavlova has written a number of compositions fororchestra, including five symphonies, as well as otherinstrumental and vocal works that have been performedin the United States, Europe, and Canada.
The draft of Monolog was made on 4th October,2002, and the score was completed during the next twoor three days. Some of the most powerful memories ofmy childhood are connected with my father. He loved toplay the violin. He was not a professional musician butfor him music was the most precious thing in theuniverse. Monolog has received several performances inNew York.
Old New York Nostalgia, a suite for string orchestra,percussion, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone andtrumpet, was written first for piano solo in 1994-1995and first performed in March 1996 at the Weill RecitalHall (Carnegie Hall). Since then the suite has beenperformed many times in the United States, and abroadin Russia, Bulgaria and Canada. The first version of theorchestration was made in 1998 and recorded in 1999,together with the Second Symphony and Elegy for pianoand string orchestra. The present orchestration was madein the fall of 2002, at the time of the completion of thescore of my Fourth Symphony. I included two newmovements: From My Mom's Photo Album and Lullabyfor the Twins, dedicated to the victims of 9/11.
The suite Sulamith, written in 2003 and 2004,consists of excerpts from the ballet Sulamith, based onthe story by the famous Russian writer AlexandreKuprin (1908). It is a very dramatic and touching lovestorybetween King Solomon and a poor girl, Sulamith,a servant from his vineyard, and the only love of his life.
The libretto also includes Assyrian and Egyptian scenes,and all the events described have a historical basis,including the Great Mysteries of Isis and Osiris. Themusical language makes no use of folk-material. Thepresent short version of the suite contains theIntroduction and a Ritual Dance to the Sun-God Ra,concluding the feast at King Solomon's palace on theoccasion of the arrival of the Assyrian envoys. Thedance is performed by Queen Astis, who is KingSolomon's wife and a daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt,and the priestesses who serve the cult of Ra. At the endof the dance the sun is rising, and the guests areastonished by the magic of Astis. The third movement isthe Duet of King Solomon and Queen Astis, in the King'schambers. Astis, in desperation, begs Solomon, who nolonger loves her, for her love to be returned. This isfollowed by Night in Sulamith's room, a love duetbetween Solomon and Sulamith on the occasion of theirsecond meeting, and the ecstasy of their love. The fifthmovement is In the Temple of Isis, which comes beforethe beginning of the second part of the Great Mysteriesdedicated to Osiris and Isis. Queen Astis persuadesEliab, Head of King Solomon's bodyguards, who is inlove with her, to kill Solomon and Sulamith, promisinghim her love and Solomon's throne. In King Solomon'sChambers brings the final love duet of Solomon andSulamith, who dies to save Solomon's life.Alla Pavlova