Maxim Shalygin

composer | conductor | visual artist

Title: Tristissima
Instrumentation: cello & piano
Year: 2022
Duration: 9'12"
First performer: Ella van Poucke & Caspar Vos

Commissioner: Ella van Poucke & Caspar Vos with the financial support of the Fonds Podiumkunsten 

Buy Score: Donemus  


Program notes

Shalygin composed his Tristissima for Ella van Poucke & Caspar Vos, the commission having been assisted by funds from Fonds Podiumkunsten. Shalygin has commented: “ There is music that stands outside the time stream, that is difficult to attribute to a specific era, that flows with its own time, its own history. This kind of music was and still is for me the most intimate and outspoken statement. This kind of music is given as a gift, not often, but it happens sometimes. Tristissima has been such a gift for me, which I have enjoyed throughout the creative process. When you write music like this, it feels as if it is being written by itself, and you are a kind of strange observer alongside the growing matter. Certainly, this is an unacceptable beauty today, one that can be on the borderline of vulgarity, while at the same time opening us up to some feelings that we often shy away from ourselves. In Tristissima there are two moments in particular that stand out to me. One is when the cello suddenly stops on one note and listens to a piano chorale … it's like your breath catching when you see your beloved after a long separation. And the second moment, when the cello theme dissolves into an endless stream of ascending cello glissando. It is as if the melody tries to climb these rolling waves, diving under them again and again until it reaches the shore ...”