Works

Silouan's Song

My soul yearns after the Lord ...

1991

Scored for

string orchestra

Duration

6 min

Short description

Silouan’s Song is one of Pärt’s instrumental works based on a religious text in Russian. The text was written by St. Silouan (1866–1938), a Russian monk from Mount Athos, whose other text became the basis of one of Pärt’s most important works in recent years, Adam’s Lament. Silouan’s thoughts have been compiled and published as a book by his spiritual son, the Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov, 1896–1993), with whom the composer has also had personal contact. The work composed for string orchestra, with the subtitle My soul yearns after the Lord…, was also dedicated to the Archimandrite Sophrony, founder of the Monastery of St John the Baptist, in Essex, England.

The music, both the melody and rhythm, is based on a text. This is characteristic of Pärt…

Silouan’s Song is one of Pärt’s instrumental works based on a religious text in Russian. The text was written by St. Silouan (1866–1938), a Russian monk from Mount Athos, whose other text became the basis of one of Pärt’s most important works in recent years, Adam’s Lament. Silouan’s thoughts have been compiled and published as a book by his spiritual son, the Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov, 1896–1993), with whom the composer has also had personal contact. The work composed for string orchestra, with the subtitle My soul yearns after the Lord…, was also dedicated to the Archimandrite Sophrony, founder of the Monastery of St John the Baptist, in Essex, England.

The music, both the melody and rhythm, is based on a text. This is characteristic of Pärt's tintinnabuli works, so that this music could also be sung. The message of this sincere poetic text is conveyed using extremely ascetic and reduced sound.

Silouan’s Song premiered in Rättvik, Sweden in July 1991 at the “Music at Lake Siljan” Festival, where Arvo Pärt was the festival composer that year. Another version, for eight cellos, was completed in 2012.

World premiere

04.07.1991
Rättvik Church, Rättvik, Sweden

Concert: "Musik vid Siljans" kammarorkester

Chamber Orchestra "Musik vid Siljan", Karl-Ove Mannberg

Completion year

1991

Dedication

to Archimandrite Sophrony and his Brethren

Commissioned by

Concerts Sweden (Svenska Rikskonserter)

Scored for

string orchestra

Duration

6 min

Publishers

Universal Edition

Source text

Saint Silouan's prayer „Yearning for God“ from the book "St Silouan the Athonite", part II (by Archimandrite Sophrony, 1991).


Скучает душа моя о Господе, и слезно ищу Его. Как мне Тебя не искать? Ты прежде взыскал меня, и дал мне насладиться Духом Твоим Святым, и душа моя возлюбила Тебя.
Ты видишь, Господи, печаль мою и слезы… Если бы Ты не привлек меня Своею любовью, то не искал бы я Тебя так, как ищу, но Дух Твой дал мне познать Тебя, и радуется душа моя, что Ты мой Бог и Господь, и до слез скучаю я по Тебе.


My soul yearns after the Lord and I seek Him in tears. How could I do other than seek Thee, for Thou first didst seek and find me, and gavest me to delight in Thy Holy Spirit, and my soul fell to loving Thee.
Thou seest, O Lord, my grief and my tears ... Hadst Thou not drawn me with Thy love, I could not seek Thee as I seek Thee now; but Thy spirit gave me to know Thee, and my soul rejoices that Thou art my God and my L…
Saint Silouan's prayer „Yearning for God“ from the book "St Silouan the Athonite", part II (by Archimandrite Sophrony, 1991).


Скучает душа моя о Господе, и слезно ищу Его. Как мне Тебя не искать? Ты прежде взыскал меня, и дал мне насладиться Духом Твоим Святым, и душа моя возлюбила Тебя.
Ты видишь, Господи, печаль мою и слезы… Если бы Ты не привлек меня Своею любовью, то не искал бы я Тебя так, как ищу, но Дух Твой дал мне познать Тебя, и радуется душа моя, что Ты мой Бог и Господь, и до слез скучаю я по Тебе.


My soul yearns after the Lord and I seek Him in tears. How could I do other than seek Thee, for Thou first didst seek and find me, and gavest me to delight in Thy Holy Spirit, and my soul fell to loving Thee.
Thou seest, O Lord, my grief and my tears ... Hadst Thou not drawn me with Thy love, I could not seek Thee as I seek Thee now; but Thy spirit gave me to know Thee, and my soul rejoices that Thou art my God and my Lord, and I yearn after Thee even to tears.

Translation by Rosemary Edmonds
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