Akhmatova’s Requiem is an elegy written over three decades depicting the terror of the Stalinist regime. The poems in this cycle reflect the horrors Akhmatova personally experienced and those experienced by the people around her.
In this setting of the text, the words are placed at the forefront. Akhmatova wanted people to learn of the horrors of this regime and it felt wrong for me to potentially obfuscate the meaning of this important cycle through song. Instead, the majority of the text presented here is clearly spoken. The singers and the piano work together to create textures that underpin the words. This musical material is derived from the melodic line of the spoken text as well as the rhythms produced by it. The sounds sung by the singers are taken from the vocables that make up individual words. Rather than being a text set to music, I have treated this as music set to text.
Please note, score is handwritten and contains no performance instructions. If you are interested in performing this, please contact me and I will produce a better version of this score for you.