Salve Regina for vocal and string quartet (2013) was written to a commission from Eesti Konsert for the Theatre of Voices and the YXUS Ensemble. ‘In my work, the antiphon, which in a direct translation from Greek would mean ‘sounding against’ or ‘responding
with sound’, is the main forming principle. The string quartet does not have so much an accompanying function, rather it constitutes a complement to the vocal ensemble, with its extensive melodic lines reminiscent of what are know as the so-called fitnye raspevi songs. These melismatic songs were widely used in Byzantine and early Russian music, and they enjoyed a rich elaboration, the aim of which was to bring forth the most important words of the canonic evangelic texts and the stressed syllables of these words,’ the composer explains.
Many composers through the centuries have set the Salve Regina prayer, but Grigorjeva’s work stands out in its serenity and in the way it outlines the message with an extraordinarily intense hopefulness.
The work was comissioned by Eesti Konsert and written for Theatre of Voices and the YXUS Quartet. The premiere took place on 9 April 2013 at Garnisons Kirke, Copenhagen and the first Estonian performance on 19 April at St. Nicholas’s Church, Tallinn.
Recording available on Ondine