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Hot Odessa “Nights”: a piece for cello with a cough and painted ulcers


Hot Odessa “Nights”: a piece for cello with a cough and painted ulcers.


The 27th International Contemporary Art Festival “Two Days and Two Nights of New Music” was moved from April to July due to quarantine, and it was unusually hot (some musicians even used portable pocket fans). However, nothing can stop the true connoisseurs of the musical avant-garde.

The prelude to “Nights” was the solo concert of the famous pianist and composer Alexander Kozarenko “The Hour of Ukrainian Biedermeier Music” from the works of Nikolai Lysenko, Boris Lyatoshinsky, Anatoly Kos-Anatolsky and Kozarenko himself. The concert took place in the Great Hall of the Odessa National Academy of Music named after Antonina Nezhdanova, and two hours later everyone moved to the chamber hall, where a very original master class by the Austrian composer Werner Schulze was held. The maestro advised all young authors first of all to think about creating an atmosphere in their works.

The concert part of the festival was held at the Odessa Philharmonic. Works by Georges Apergis, Vinko Globokar, Alfred Schnittke, Valentin Silvestrov, Alexander Krasotov, Carmella Tsepkolenko and many other contemporary composers were performed non-stop.

Photo: Dumskaya

The audience warmly received the Galician Chamber Choir (although connoisseurs of choral music somehow lacked the sound of the bass, which they talked about on the sidelines).

Galician Chamber Choir
Photo: Dumskaya

The main load was taken over by the Odessa ensemble Senza Sforzando. In addition to many chamber works, the ensemble performed new compositions in the genre of mini-mono-opera.

Ensemble Senza Sforzando
Photo: Dumskaya

The brilliant Austrian baritone Rupert Bergman sang. In the opera by the American-Russian composer Anton Rovner “The Pain and Salvation of Job”, the singer reincarnated as only one character, the famous biblical sufferer, who remained firm in the faith, no matter how much the Lord tested him. The naturalism of the ulcers painted on the body of the performer scared some of the audience, but the plot is what it is.

Rupert Bergman (opera The Pain and Salvation of Job)
Photo: Dumskaya

But in the opera “Trigaios” by Werner Schulze on the plot of Aristophanes’ comedy “Peace”, the baritone created a number of images: the winegrower Trigaios, his “Tochterlein”, that is, his daughter (the singer tied his head with a scarf and sang a few phrases in a capricious voice), the god Hermes Trismegistus himself (here everything was decided by blue glasses) … The winegrower does not need wars, which are constantly plotting the mighty of this world, give him peace and fertility! This is the moral. The first opera was written in archaic English of Shakespeare’s times, the second in German, interspersed with ancient Greek texts.

Art director of “Two days and two nights of new music”, Odessa composer Karmella Tsepkolenko, always welcomes the search for new means of musical expression. This time, everyone was surprised by the piece for cello with a cough “Mister Cello and Mister N.” The Odessa composer Lyudmila Samodaeva was prompted by the writer Eugene Demenok, as a result Yevgeny Dovbysh played the cello masterly, and the baritone Andrey Malinich cleared his throat masterly for about six minutes.

“Mister Cello and Mister N.”
Photo: Dumskaya

Lyudmila Samodaeva also wrote a mini-opera “Trebnik of Three” to a libretto by Evgeny Demenko, where the same Malinich reincarnated as the futurists David Burliuk, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Velimir Khlebnikov (Velimir sang the part in falsetto).

Sergey Misyura (didgeridoo)
Photo: Dumskaya

The festival gave the audience a lot of different impressions, and the musicians themselves – the opportunity to perform live, and even with foreign colleagues. Those who could not come – sent a video of their performances, but with the hope of new meetings.