Critic’s Choice

Wed Apr 03, 2019 at 11:34 am
Galina Ustvolskaya

Galina Ustvolskaya

Of his student Galina Ustvolskaya, Shostakovich was quoted as saying, “I am convinced that [her] music…will achieve world fame, and be valued by all who hold truth to be the essential element of music.”

The former has not yet come to pass and Ustovalskaya is still at the margins of 20th century music. More than any other conventional composer, Ustovolskaya’s music is unadorned in the extreme. Everything she put on paper has meaning; what she left out had no value to her. Her lack of compromise gives her music an exceptional austerity, and her determination turns that into great, even exhilarating, power.

On Friday evening, Blank Forms presents a major concert of her work, with pianist Marianne Schroeder tackling Ustvolskaya’s Piano Sonatas 1-6 and 12 Preludes. Concert time is 8 p.m. Friday, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Chelsea.

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