If you think that, as a form, the three-movement symphony has had its day, then you haven’t yet heard the Symphony No. 1 of Victoria Borisova-Ollas. A ‘gorgeously orchestrated work of great power and poetry’, it bears the subtitle The Triumph of Heaven, referring to a 1907 painting by Russian artist Kazmir Malevich. The symphony – each movement of which is ten minutes long – was composed in 2001 for the Malmö SO. The opening conveys an impression of the threatening skies looming over St Petersburg in the early twentieth century – a century that brought so much suffering to humanity. This first movement is characterised by a blind pursuit of the Zeitgeist and the desperate struggle to survive. The second is dedicated to silent mourning, and the third takes the listener back to the erratic twentieth century. A symphonic experience.
"With her expressive and methaphysical attitude, Victoria Borisova-Ollas is absolutely unique in Sweden. In her Symphony, there is the same nervous touch, the same high tension and hot-temperedness, the same passion for an almost erotic game, with colliding harmonies and extended climaxes, as in Skriabin`s 'Le divine poème'. The excitement lasts through the whole piece. Borisova-Ollas is able to create a charged atmosphere and she knows perfectly well how to use her weapons."
(Thomas Anderberg/Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm)
"Her fantasy for the orchestral sound and it`s colossal dynamic power is impressing... She has a good command of the orchestra and shows both well controlled eruptive energy and glimmering harmonies. The last minutes of her Symphony might feel a little bit eclectic but I found them very gripping. Not only interesting or skilfully written but really gripping."
(Carlhåkan Larsen/Sydsvenska Dagbladet, Malmö)