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Work

神圣的夜晚 Shénshèng de yèwǎn : (Holy Night), a meditation for bass flute, viola, tubular bells and tam-tam

by Katia Tiutiunnik (2017)

Also known as: Holy Night

Work Overview

神圣的夜晚 Shénshèng de yèwǎn (Chinese for "Holy Night") is loosely based upon my previous composition, White Night for solo viola, which, in turn, is a transcription of the final piece of my cycle Who is like God?: A Cycle of Four Works For Violoncello. All three compositions comprise originally composed melodies reminiscent of Jewish music of the Eastern European ("Ashkenazi") tradition. These melodies were directly inspired by various transcendent states of ecstasy I experienced during the many "White Nights"(Beliye Nochi) I spent on the rivers and canals of Saint-Petersburg, Russia during my sojourn there in June 2006. (The nature of the "White Nights" can be explained by the geographical location of Saint- Petersburg, which is located at 59 degrees 57' north. Due to such high latitude the sun does not appear to sink below the horizon deep enough for any darkness to occur.) It was while surrendering to one these mystical states-brought on, largely, by the sublime beauty of Saint-Petersburg enshrined, like a precious jewel, in the white summer night-that the melody of White Night came to me. It was at that point that I felt closest to God.

The tubular bells in 神圣的夜晚 Shénshèng de yèwǎn are intended as symbols of spiritual transcendence, due to the mystical connotations of the bell in Russia and beyond. The Russian composer Alexander Scriabin-whose music has always been a great source of inspiration for me-was intrigued by the mystical aspect of Russian bells. The sound of a bell, because of its broad harmonic spectrum, demonstrates multiplicity in unity-hence, the association of bells with the realm of the divine. Temples, shrines, or churches without bells in some form are almost non-existent, anywhere in the world. Religious services utilise their sound as a means of producing heaven on earth.

Work Details

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Bass flute, viola, tam-tam, tubular bells.

Duration: 4 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Vilma Campitelli

First performance: by Vilma Campitelli, Katia Tiutiunnik, Sias International University Percussion Ensemble — 11 May 17. 2017 Annual Symposium of the World Academy for the Future of Women International Concert, Sias International University, Xinzheng, Henan, China

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
Russian music; Near Eastern music.

Subjects

Performances of this work

11 May 17: 2017 Annual Symposium of the World Academy for the Future of Women International Concert, Sias International University, Xinzheng, Henan, China. Featuring Vilma Campitelli, Katia Tiutiunnik, Sias International University Percussion Ensemble.

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