Vladimir Martynov (b. 1946) is one of the leading composers of the Russian avant-garde, an experimentalist of serial, minimalist and electronic music. His interest in folk music and religious musicology led him to write several works on Christian themes after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Lamentations of Jeremiah depicts the destruction of Jerusalem, as expressed through the testimony of the prophet Jeremiah. Each of the twenty-two verses is preceded by a corresponding letter from the Hebrew alphabet, and for the basic melodic material Martynov drew on the influences of Byzantine Octoechos, Gregorian chant, and ancient Russian and Balkan chants. Fragments of the work were premiered in Moscow in 1992, and the piece was performed in its entirety for the first time in 1993 at the December Soirées, where it attracted the attention of renowned stage director Anatoli Vassiliev. Vassiliev bestowed his dramatic wisdom on the performers, the Sirin Choir, combining the singing with movement and turning the work into a theatrical piece. The Lamentations later won the Golden Mask, the highest accolade in Russian theatre.
The acclaimed Sirin Choir specialises in early Russian chant and consists of graduates from the Moscow Conservatory and the Gnessin Institute. The choir has toured Europe and has won awards in numerous international competitions, in addition to its regular performances for television and radio.
- Recorded in March 1997, Mosfilm Studio, Moscow
- Vladimir Martynov his ethno-musicological studies into the folk music of Russia, his philosophical and religious ideas and his great knowledge of Renaissance polyphony as well as Orthodox Chant all inspired his compositions, landmarks of Russian minimalism and neo-spirituality (comparable with Arvo Pärt and Giya Kancheli).
- His Lamentations of Jeremiah are an expression of despair over the destruction of Jerusalem, or, in general, over the destruction of all ecological, ethical and aesthetical values of our time. At the same time it also presents a prayer of hope, the hope that despair will lead to construction and creation.
- Contains Liner notes by the composer himself
- Contains composer and ensemble biography