Fanfare 5 stars
April 3, 2022
GRIGORJEVA Lament. Michala Petri (rec) OUR RECORDINGS 9.70894 (8:23). Reviewed from an mp3 download: 192 kbps
This Digital EP presents a piece for solo recorder by the Ukrainian composer Galina Grigorjeva. Born in the Crimea, Ukraine, in 1962, interestingly her works Molitva and Recitativo accompagnato turn up on a disc of Estonian cello works entitled Timeless Light (Fanfare 41:5), while her piece On Leaving appears on Harmonia Mundi’s Baltic Voices 2 (Fanfare 28:5) and her Bless the Lord, O My Soul is on Divine Art’s Psallite compact disc (Fanfare 39:6). All of which might imply a spiritual bent, and so it appears. The link between the Crimea and Estonia is explained by the composer's move from St. Petersburg Conservatoire to Estonia as a resident; she now works there as a freelance composer.
Written in 2000 for tenor recorder, Lament has something of a Slavic quality, perhaps by evoking the Ukrainian overtone flute, the Kalyuka. The tenor recorder has a particularly haunting timbre and, of course, a lament is the perfect response to current ongoing (at the time of writing) events in the Ukraine. Since the date of Russia’s invasion, of Ukraine Michala Petri has featured Grigorjeva’s work in all of her concerts, and will continue to do so for the duration of the conflict. What we have here is a very recent recording, released on Digital EP on Friday, April 1, 2022. The music of the Ukraine is never far from the surface of this piece; all proceeds if this EP will be donated to the Kyiv Contemporary Music Days Foundation, which provides financial assistance to Ukrainian classical musicians both resident and abroad.
There is surely no need to introduce Michala Petri or her excellence: she has done more for the recorder in modern times that anyone. One hardly notices her technique until one puts attention on it; then the difficulty of the passages between the four- and five-minute mark become clear; or, indeed, one may admire the perfect trills around seven minutes in. But really one is transported to a space of sorrow, but this is sorrow with hope. This is sorrow as part of a bereavement/healing process and from the lament will come a greater sense of purpose, a greater joy in living. Grigorjeva’s piece offers us all an eight-minute space for meditation on the effects of the atrocities in the Ukraine, a time to grieve for those who needlessly passed, and for those who still might until a cessation of hostilities (one fervently hopes that that cessation will be the case by the time this review makes it into print).
A heartfelt piece, perfectly chosen by Petri, and perfectly performed by her, caught in a typically perfect recording from OUR Recordings. Colin Clarke
Five stars: A heartfelt piece, perfectly chosen by Petri, and perfectly performed by her, caught in a fabulous recording