Valentin Silvestrov: Maidan
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 forced the octogenarian Valentin Silvestrov, his country’s greatest living composer, to flee his lifelong home in Kyiv and seek refuge in Berlin. Maidan 2014, a cycle of haunting miniatures for a cappella choir, was written in response to the Euromaidan protests that brought hope to millions of Ukrainians and provided Russian president Vladimir Putin with a pretext for seizing Crimea. Its timeless music, beautifully sung by the Kyiv Chamber Choir, was inspired by centuries of Orthodox chant and the bells of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv, where this recording was made. The work, shaped by Silvestrov’s melodic genius and presented here with exquisite settings of verse by Ukraine’s national poet Taras Shevchenko, speaks of patriotic pride and for the precious sanctity of peace.