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Victoria Borisova-Ollas: Symphony No. 1

  • "The Triumph of Heaven" (2001)
  • for orchestra
  • 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, pno, str
  • Duration: 30’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute (+picc)
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    3rd oboe (+c.a)
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    bass clarinet in Bb (+cl(Bb)
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    3rd bassoon (+cbsn)
    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
    contrabass tuba
    1st percussion
    2nd percussion
    3rd percussion
    piano (+cel)
    violin I
    violin II
    violin III
  • Composer: Victoria Borisova-Ollas

Work introduction

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.


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Concert Hall, Malmö (SE)
Malmö Symfoniorchester
Dmitri Liss

Press reviews

"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)

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