Maxim Shalygin

composer | conductor | visual artist

Title: Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs
Instrumentation: 7 violin players
Year: 2017
Duration: 68’
First performer: Shapeshift
Premiere: 7th September 2017, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht

Commissioner: Gaudeamus muziekweek and November music festivals with financial support from the Fonds Podiumkunsten.

Buy Score: Donemus 

If there haven’t been tears in your eyes,
there won’t be a rainbow in soul.
Native American proverb

@ Herre Vermeer
@ Herre Vermeer





I. Light 
II. Horns 
III. Air
IV. Insects
V. Rainbow 
VI. Lullaby 
VII. Stream
VIII. Rain
IX. Madness 
X. Melancholia 
XI. Sirens 
XII. Prayers
XIII. Roundelay

Programe note:

Lacrimosa or 13 Magic Songs - is a first chapter of the Similar. During the performance of the 13 Songs, the listeners’ souls are supposed to pass through a series of excruciating, expressive stages, and to finally reach a catharsis. This direction determines the cycle’s dramaturgic structure. My aim is to transform an immediate, openly emotional response to powerful impressions — something most contemporary art refuses to deal with — into the musical form of the Lacrimosa.
For all the varied techniques to be applied in the work, its emphasis is on feelings, its aspiration to capture the listeners’ minds, immersing them in the affect of each part. This idea can be realised only by a multi-voice, single-timbre ensemble of violins, which are at once a unity and a multitude, one soul and its many voices, a number of people struggling to come at peace with the world, one another, and silence…

Lacrimosa CD


"The composer enters a white room, unfathomable in its boundaries, empty, and silent. As soon as his efforts have brought the room to life, with each of its corners homy and dear, as soon as the feeling emerges that outside this room there’s no yourself — he just leaves, closing the door behind him, forever.
     Having lived for 7 years with the idea for Lacrimosa on my mind, I find it all the more incredible to hear it in recorded form. Now I will leave a world that has become dear to me, and set out to create a new one. I gladly believe that for any listener this disk will be that special ‘place’ to which you want to come back again and again."

Maxim Shalygin



(****) NRCHandelsblad
"In dertien delen voor zeven violen liet de componist horen hoe je pizzicato- regens, ziedende strijkstokzwermen en zachte boventoonsluiers uit 28 snaren peurt." 
Moritz Eggert: "The incredibly impressive piece “Lacrimosa” for 7 violins. Discovering the music by Shalygin has been a revelation for me – At first, I feared it would be some kind of Arvo Pärt-style soothing religious Muzak, but the music turns out to be an incredibly intense experience of the highest artistic quality imaginable. Listening to this piece on a fantastic loudspeaker set was a bit like seeing the end of “2001” for the first time – a truly mind-blowing experience that transcends everything that one would expect from 7 violins placed around the listener. This music is highly expressive and deeply authentic, “crafted” by a highly talented composer that I can only recommend checking out. An important work of New Music. Or should I say Craft Music?"
Contemporary Classical – Thea Derks 
Shalygin voert ons door een scala aan emoties, waarin gevoelens van wanhoop, vrees en woede overheersen; de apocalyps is nooit ver weg.
OpusKlassiek - Aart van der Wal 
Musicalifeiten - Jan de Kruijff

Lacrimosa was perfromed by Shapeshift - a flexible performing ensemble, or band, collective and orchestra. Shapeshift is based in The Netherlands and is a composer-performer’s collective. Shapeshift brings exceptional and unusual music productions performed by the best soloists of the new generation, combining quality, vast possibilities, adventure, imagination, excitement, experiment, and unprejudiced freshness with a sharp artistic vision.

Shapeshift works in close collaboration with composers, tailored to their methods. The composition of the group varies depending on the needs of the production. The size can range from small to very large, while still retaining the unique character and personality of Shapeshift. This all makes sure the ensemble is the perfect basis for bringing innovative ideas into practice.


Emmy Storms
Fiona Robertson
Ernst Spyckerelle
Eduardo Paredes Crespo
Anna Britala
Anna Antipova
Andrii Chugai
Maxim Shalygin - conductor