Universal Edition - Victoria Borisova-Ollas – Before the Mountains Were Born

Victoria Borisova-Ollas

Victoria Borisova-Ollas
Before the Mountains Were Born

Year of composition: 2005
Scored for: for orchestra
Composer: Victoria Borisova-Ollas
Soloists: flute; oboe; clarinet in Bb; bassoon
Instrumentation: 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, pno, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
3rd flute (+alto fl
1st oboe
2nd oboe
3rd oboe (+c.a)
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
3rd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
4th horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
1st percussion
2nd percussion
3rd percussion
piano (+cel)
violin I
violin II
violin III
Commissioned by: Commissioned by Südwestrundfunk
Duration: 16′
Dedication: Dedicated to Andrey Boreyko and the RSO Stuttgart
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Audio Excerpt

Before the Mountains Were Born

World Première

Location: Beethovenhalle Stuttgart / Germany
Date: 12.10.2005
Orchestra: RSO Stuttgart
Conductor: Andrey Boreyko

Work Introduction

The title of the piece, Before the Mountains were Born, comes from Psalm 90. Many beautiful pictures came into my mind whilst reading this psalm. I pursued my reminiscences of all those "frescoes" whilst composing the piece. When the RSO Stuttgart approached me for a new piece, featuring their amazing woodwind section, I felt the time ripe for the use of my third favourite psalm (my works Wings of the Wind and Kingdom of Silence have featured my first two favourites, Psalms 104 and 94). Being less descriptive than Psalm 104, it gives little opportunity for music and text to work hand-inhand, scene by scene. It is a persistent prayer: the fleeting thoughts of a human being appealing to the superior power. The work does not begin as a "standard" concerto. The soloists – flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon – start playing within the woodwind group. They then proceed one after another towards their soloist stands at the front of the orchestra. After their virtuoso "cadenzas", the reverse process begins. Towards the end they begin to join the woodwind section "musically" again. Before the Mountains were Born is dedicated to the conductor - Andrey Boreyko.

Victoria Borisova-Ollas

study score - Before the Mountains Were Born

Before the Mountains Were Born
  • for orchestra
  • Edition type: study score

study score - Before the Mountains Were Born

Before the Mountains Were Born
  • for orchestra
  • Edition type: study score

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