Polina Nazaykinskaya

Notes from the Composer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Polina Nazaykinskaya

Konzerto for A

Performed by Anastasia Metla- solo violin, members of Yale Philharmonia; conducted by Farkhad Khudyev.

Each piece of music that I write comes from the depth of my heart, from the inner ocean of emotions and possibilities that are carried by waves of memories. Just as a sculptor frees the elusive figures from the block of marble by cutting away all that is unnecessary, I find myself carving out the musical notes with the inspiration that visits me and calls on me to compose, guiding the process of creation. Perhaps for the composer, the writing of music is a divine act, as much a meditative experience opens the gates to paradise lost and brings out the nostalgia for the infinite. This is what I felt when I was writing the violin concerto, Konzerto for A.

During the past summer, after finishing my first year at Yale, I was looking for inspiration. I was preparing to write a concerto, but I did not have material or an idea with which I could work. In search of it, I went back to Russia and visited an old Russian village. There I was able to connect to my roots and rekindle my imagination by going to a series of sacred places in the wilderness: three mountain peaks that when seen from an aerial perspective appeared to form a giant goblet. I was all alone, with a vastness of space and rocks stretching in all directions. And then it came to me. It was a choral, religious motif that I could faintly discern. I sat down on a fallen tree and wrote it in my scratch book.

Once I returned and started working on my concerto, I felt that I was still missing the key idea. It was so hard to start my first violin concerto! Unable to decide whether to have a tour de force opening or to save it for the climax near the end, I was caught in a dilemma. After multiple starts, I finally found the right key, and it felt like the concerto was writing itself. I just barely had time to move my hand as I scribbled it all down. Inspiration had been unleashed as I feverishly worked nonstop for several days, until I laid my pen down to rest.

When I started composing Konzerto for A, I found myself reaching for that special place within, where everything surrenders to the whispers of nature and divine harmony. It is probably one of my most cherished compositions, with personal significance to me. Creating it has been both a challenge as well as an enchanting delight.

The concerto begins with a fleeting image: a Russian winter filled with void, bleakness and an eerie feeling; a traveler on a long journey, at the brink of madness and desperation, fighting his way through a deadly blizzard. A vision from the past, joyous and wondrous, then materializes and disappears, as a mirage in the middle of a snowy desert.

"Passacaglia Zero"

Performed by Misha Namirovskiy, David Fung- piano. Arnold Choi- cello, Igor Pikaizen-violin, Sara Wolmacher- clarinet.

Passacaglia Zero combines the qualities of several different musical forms, such as rondo sonata and continuous variations. The composition evokes the rondo-sonata form because the two main subjects are repeated several times in a certain pattern and the piece’s two contrasting themes contain sonata elements that are asserted thematically and tonally. The composition can also be viewed as a continued set of variations because the main theme is based on a chord progression that does not vary throughout the piece. But because the musical idea of the secondary theme undergoes change in the recapitulation, the sonata form prevails. Beyond formal elements, the music contains important aspects of poetic symbolism. Inspired by the dark emptiness of long winter nights and insomnia, the piece transcends the boundaries of experience, offering a journey into a fragmented consciousness. Evocative and haunting, the music takes emotional flight over the abyss of melancholic longing in a quest for solace. Between sadness and anxiety, between nostalgia for the infinite and a loss of absolutes, the music captures despair and fleeting emotions that combine dreamlike delirium with the state of being fully awake and present in the moment while searching for hope.


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Comments [55]

So intense and melancholic music...thank you. Sergio Wagner Stinco.

Aug. 26 2012 07:11 PM

Although this music is very lovely, accomplished and accessible - I would not pay to go hear it. With my limited concert-going budget I prefer programming that is more adventurous, original, and, yes, challenging. Would I mind hearing her work on a program of otherwise more unusual or boundary-stretching works? Probably not - I'm sure I would enjoy it. But would I ever make a point of going to hear it? No.

Aug. 12 2010 03:06 AM
Kevin Scott from Middletown, New York

This is nothing like Shostakovich. If anything, it's closer to the romantic concertos of Glazunov and Korngold. That said, Ms. Nazaykinskaya has a wonderful romantic soul and cinematic vision that stirs the blood, yet she is her own person and composer. The concerto may be a throwback, but its good throwback. I want to hear more of her work.

Aug. 06 2010 12:57 PM
Olga Geertsma from Amsterdam

Remarkably, when the music evokes many different emotions and feelings ... When live your whole life listening to this suite ... When the heart speeds up its pace or contracts from the inevitability of being ... This music is very stirring the soul with its passion and so it is beautiful ... Thank you for your sincerity and originality ... I liked very much!!

Olga Geertsma

Jul. 15 2010 04:05 PM
Carl from Manhattan

I don't see the point of writing music that would have already been old-fashioned 60 years ago. The reason why Shostakovitch returned to tonality was because he was forced to by the Stalinist apparatchiks. So copying his style in the year 2010 adds nothing to the evolution of music history. It's just empty blabber, out of place, redundant. People, if you like Shostakovitch--listen to the original!

Jul. 09 2010 03:04 PM
harry blazer

Should be one of your finalist. Excellent. Compelling. Has form, shape, meaning - e.g. beauty.

Jul. 07 2010 12:59 PM

Polina is a rare and profound musical being. She is always sharing, unabashedly and with bravery and grace, the deepest emotions of her inner self. Her music, then, is potent in its emotional frankness, by which she helps us unearth, express, and liberate our own deep well of feelings. Listening to her voice of exuberance, ecstasy, terror, and grief is a visceral, cathartic, and unforgettable experience.

Jul. 01 2010 11:43 AM
Jessica from Washington, DC

This is very nice and well-constructed, but I think it owes a lot to Shostakovitch. If you enjoy this, I recommend the music of Lera Auerbach.

Jun. 30 2010 11:04 AM
Ian from New Haven

Polina's music is above all things sincere. The raw emotion and passion of it brings chills to my body every time I hear it.

Jun. 29 2010 01:17 PM

Konzerto for A

Thank God!

Really Russian, really artistic, really beautiful! I am so happy to have heard this.

1. I want the album!
2. I want Polina Nazaykinskaya to have a big, big career!
3. I want to hear more of her music and collect her scores!

This is work by a real artist. One is not likely to find a more worthy composer in this Century.


Dr. Scott Marcus Anthony Giles

June 28th, 2010

Jun. 28 2010 06:36 PM

Hello dear Polina Nazaykinskaya: I have listened to your music many times and it is very deep into my heart and soul.
The reason is that your great Art conveys the most intense feelings...and wonderful and unique ideas.
Cheers!!!, Sergio Wagner Stinco.

Jun. 28 2010 03:03 PM
shadi from Toronto

Beautiful!! and very emotional!
btw, congratulations on your graduation!

Jun. 26 2010 08:33 PM

Strong and brave!
How much passion, pain in this music. At the head of a huge number of images and colors. Pauline's music can touch!. How much personal for each person in these sounds. ..
Pauline, this is incredible!
Thank you!

Jun. 26 2010 05:11 PM
Jerry Kronenburg from NYC from NYC

The emotional depth of the Passacaglia is simply astonishing. The music is so evocative, dynamic and fluent. I wish there would be more pieces like this.

Jun. 26 2010 03:37 PM
Kelly from NYC

I was disappointed with the excerpts posted. Despite all the flowery rhetoric I was hoping for something unique and thought-provoking. I found the clarinet concerto indulgent and a little stagnant. Sorry to post a negative comment, but I hope Carnegie hall make a bolder choice.

Jun. 26 2010 09:02 AM
Elisa Gonzalez from New Orleans, LA

Polina's music has an amazing emotion and intensity that I am always spellbound by.

Jun. 25 2010 09:19 PM
Jon Barrett from Texas

I believe the truest indication of quality in music is when you are left wanting more.

Could anyone listen to Polina's music and not be left hungry enough for a second or even a tenth helping?

Jun. 25 2010 04:54 PM
Barbara W. from USA

Exquisite ... ethereal, evocative. Extraordinarily listenable - reminiscent of Debussy and the Impressionists. Congratulations to the fabulous composer and also to the wonderful violinist and other musicians:) Thank you!!

Jun. 25 2010 01:48 PM

Beautiful music.. Very emotional... Bravo!

Jun. 25 2010 03:57 AM
Anna from Berlin, Germany

Very emotional, very Russian. Very skillful. Very old.

Jun. 25 2010 02:57 AM
Anna Bondarenko from Toronto, Canada

This music is exceptionally melodic and organic. It's very complex but at the same time it touches you with the simplicity and sincerity of true emotions like loneliness, desperation, hope and happiness... Both pieces are fantastically cinematic. I can see a plethora of images - there are two ready-made scripts for an impressionistic animation here.

Jun. 24 2010 09:50 PM

Intensely beautiful, yet tender melody that inspires imagination. A work of rare quality, especially for such a young mind. Brava, Polina. Looking forward to more!

Jun. 24 2010 09:47 PM
Ann F. from Kiev

It`s very especial music...
It is music of your heart and my soul...

Jun. 24 2010 03:59 PM
Igor Skuratov from from Saint-Petersburg, Russia

I’m screening being that there exists a deepest consciousness composer of a gung-ho approach that to put weave at be anguish filled over for both fragments.
It’s very gifted!

Jun. 24 2010 02:59 PM
Dinara Usenakunova from Moscow

as if I were standing on the edge of the abyss in the sea, waves, wind, dusk . And all my fate is being decided at this time. Thanks for the impressions and experiences.

Jun. 24 2010 01:38 PM
Natalia from Samara, Russia

It is great! I love it!

Jun. 24 2010 12:42 PM
Marina B.

Very sincere and very interesting music.

Jun. 24 2010 09:52 AM
Ekaterina Blokhina from St. Petersburg, Russia

So deep! So emotionally intensive!...and so lucent at the same time!
I'm really impressed how such a young lady can have a gust of human soul complexity !

Jun. 24 2010 08:47 AM
Vladimir from Moscow

Well, i'm very impressed by this. It's beautiful and very special music - I think that you, Polina, have a great opportunity to develop your creativity on.

Good luck!

Jun. 24 2010 08:46 AM

It's music of eternity. Thank you. Very sensual..

Jun. 24 2010 08:14 AM
Vlasova E.

This music as a fire and water))It's wonderful!!!

Jun. 24 2010 08:10 AM
Moses from Italia



Jun. 24 2010 07:40 AM

Rather, rather...))

Jun. 24 2010 07:25 AM
Prokopenko Alina

This music touches the soul!

Jun. 24 2010 01:07 AM
Katie, New Haven from New Haven, CT

I have had an honor to be present at the World premiere of Polina Nazaykinskaya's
"Konzerto for A", and I have to tell you that it is absolutely the most immaculate and captivating piece I've ever heard. If there is anything in this world that can describe a Russian winter to those who never experienced it - it's "Konzerto for A".
Let the World hear her!

Jun. 24 2010 12:25 AM

After "Koncerto for A" I was crying like a child. Perhaps, I can compare this music with moonlight and wind, with a rain drops on the grass, with roses and tears. Thank you.

Jun. 23 2010 06:32 PM
David Jaeger from Toronto, Canada

Dear Polina,

Hearing these samples of your music have made me eager to hear more. I hope all of us listeners will have that opportunity soon, in many various ways. It is clear to me that you have found an intensely creative outlet through your music. Your performers seem to connect with this very well, giving us a lucid & moving experience. Thank you for this.

-David Jaeger, Toronto

Jun. 23 2010 05:17 PM
Nasty A-va

From the first notes I felt in love with "Konzerto for A" . It’s smth great and deep. It’s most beautiful ,amazing music I heard last time! I could’n understand why it’s so close ,clear and mystery for me at the same time. I find the answer in Polina’s history about her work-time : it’s my russian roots :)

Polina, i believe in you !

Jun. 23 2010 03:11 PM
Maxim Fedorov from Russia

Very beautiful music, very talented composer.
I'm sure she has a great future!

Jun. 23 2010 01:29 PM
Olga Nazaykinskaya from Moscow, Russia

When I listen to Polina's music I feel it flows freely from her heart. I love genuine emotions and amazing individuality of her pieces. Gifted melodically Polina finds her inspiration in rich musical culture of Russia and combines that with modern approach in composition. I look forward to her new vocal and instrumental works.

Jun. 23 2010 01:03 PM

Beautiful musik !!

Jun. 23 2010 11:16 AM

Beautiful musik !!

Jun. 23 2010 11:15 AM

Amazing and awesome music!

Paul Ch.

Jun. 22 2010 11:40 PM

Passacaglia , so mesmerizing and haunting, is filled with emotional depth and complex sorrow.
And the Concerto - so beautiful , that it takes the breath away. Ms. Nazaykinskaya creates absolute magic.

Jun. 22 2010 09:07 PM

Absolutely awesome!

Jun. 22 2010 05:16 PM
Oxana Shevchenko from Moscow

Touching. Wonderful. I'm really impressed by Polina's music !!!!

Jun. 22 2010 05:03 PM
Polina Babinkova from Nijny Novgorod, Russia

i'm very greatful to be born on one earth and to live at the same time with Polina. She is really genius.
Polina, thanks for your art!

Jun. 22 2010 04:45 PM
Elaterina from Dallas

I love this music!!!!Wonderful!
Polina,I wish you a great sucsess!

Jun. 22 2010 04:45 PM
Alex Sokolov

It is very sensual beautiful musik. Her art followes the greatest russian composers.

Jun. 22 2010 04:17 PM
marina gvozdeva

When something is beautiful words are not needed.
Polina, This is Beautiful music!!

Marina ( nyc)

Jun. 22 2010 04:07 PM
Maryana Osipova

The real art is impossible without connection with tradition. Polina's music is a real art. Self-development of truth.

Jun. 22 2010 03:47 PM
Amphian Wieciełkowski from Samara, Russia

Amazingly beautiful music. It’s deeply sensual and (that is especially valuable, I think) clearly national. It isn’t refinedly aloof, but quite the contrary, is like a very personal, confidential conversation with your soul.

Jun. 22 2010 03:33 PM
ksenia antonova from new york

amazing!!beautiful!!like a breath of fresh air!!

This girl has a talent !!
And I wish her all the best!!!

Ksenia Antonova

Jun. 22 2010 03:19 PM
Otte Geertsma

This is fantastic, and i believe that this piece's is comming out your heart, it is very intense to here your music..I think you wil be an great composer..
Otte Geertsma
Assen Holland

Jun. 22 2010 01:10 PM
Jordan Kuspa

This music is so intense and clearly from the heart. I'd love to hear what she could do writing for Orpheus.

Jun. 20 2010 01:18 AM

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