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Alla PAVLOVA (b.1952)
Symphony No. 7 (2009-11) [38:26]
Symphony No. 8 (2011) [15:53]
Saule Rinkeviciute (violin) (7)
Lithuanian State Symphony/Gintaras Rinkevičius
rec. Vilnius, 2012
NAXOS 9.70183 [54:19] 

Experience Classicsonline

Ukraine-born composer Alla Pavlova moved from Vinnitsa city to Moscow in 1961. There she secured her B.Mus at the Ippolitov-Ivanov Institute and her Masters from the Gnesin Academy. During 1983-86 she was based in Sofia working for the National Opera there and for the Union of Bulgarian composers. Later she worked for the Russian Musical Society Board again Moscow and then from 1990 in New York.
Over the years MusicWeb International has reviewed most if not all of her CDs. While being entirely her own musical person she is another of those composers who have found melody speaks to them and to their audiences. Previous reviews and a feature cover this aspect. Suffice to say that her music presents no real obstacle to appreciation. It’s from the heart to the heart. Naxos have done particularly handsomely by her. They have recorded all her symphonies on CD. This latest project differs only from the earlier ones in that this is being released only as a download. Those captivated by the early Pavlova symphony discs need have no misgivings. The style is of a piece with the other symphonies - fresh chapters of a book we are familiar with and retaining that capacity to move.
Work on the Seventh Symphony began in the late autumn of 2009 but owing to the composer’s mother’s illness the final version could not be advanced until February 2011. Of this work Pavlova says that it is a synthesis of symphonic and string concerto genres. The mood is overwhelmingly meditative. A crude approximation of what to expect is something between the slow reflective music of the Glass Violin Concerto, Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and the Violin Concertos of Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. In the third of the three movements a more urgent pulse is found but, even so, much of this speaks ineluctably of a delight in melody. The composer says of the Eighth Symphony that it is “in its own way” her “personal Ode to Joy”. The single-movement piece is of about the same length as one movement of the Seventh. It is more clamorous in mood than most of its predecessor. The music is tinged with anxiety and tragedy but calm serenity is in the ascendant - rather like the closing ten minutes of Allan Pettersson’s Seventh Symphony: tranquillity after trauma. The final pages are bathed in an uncannily Tchaikovskian rampant passion. That said, serenity finally conquers all and the solo violin again presides as sincere cantor … as bringer of peace of mind. The musical and therapeutic values are inextricably linked. These two symphonies have an urgent emotional eloquence typical of this composer.
This download launches at the same time as extracts from Pavlova’s other works appear on three Naxos mood compilations: the second movement of her Symphony No., 3 on Eternal Strings (8.578027); the Introduction to the Sulamith Suite on Sonic Rebellion (8.572090) and other music of hers on Classical Meditation (8.570364-65).
Have you given up on modern symphonies as sources of melodic reward? Pavlova will restore your faith
Rob Barnett 

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