Episode #4 Heaven and Earth of Sofia Gubaidulina

This episode is dedicated to the 90th birthday of Sofia Gubaidulina. Based on archival documents, historical publications and her interviews from the 1990s to present, the episode discusses Gubaidulina’s spiritual philosophy of music and positions her work alongside some of her most prominent contemporaries – Andrei Tarkovsky, Gennady Aygi, Valentin Silvestrov and John Cage.


  1. Valentin Silvestrov, “When the cornfield, yellowing, stirs,” from a cycle Silent Songs (1973-1977), dedicated to Sofia Gubaidulina
    Sergey Yakovenko, Baritone
    Ilya Scheps, Piano
    ECM records
  2. Sofia Gubaidulina, Introitus (1978)
    Kyiv Chamber Players
    Vladimir Kozhukhar, conductor
    Beatrice Rauchs, piano
  3. Sofia Gubaidulina, Vyacheslav Artyomov, Victor Suslin “Archipelagos of sounds in the ocean of time” (1977)
    Astreya Ensemble
    Solyd Records
  4. Sofia Gubaidulina, Offertorium (1980)
    Gidon Kremer, violin
    Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
    Deutsche Grammophon
  5. Sofia Gubaidulina, Seven Last Words (1982)
    Vladimir Tonha, cello
    Friedrich Lips, bayan
    Collegium Musicum Chamber Orchestra
    Timur Mynbaev, conductor
  6. Sofia Gubaidulina, Hommage à T. S. Eliot (1987)
    Christen Whittlesey, soprano
    Gidon Kremer, violin
    Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Dutoit
    Deutsche Grammophon
  7. Sofia Gubaidulina, Now Always Snow (1993)
    Netherlands Chamber Choir
    Schönberg Ensemble, Reinbert de Leeuw
    Philips Classics
  8. Sofia Gubaidulina, Canticle of the Sun (1997)
    Mstislav Rostropovich, cello and percussion
    London Voices
    London Symphony Orchestra
    EMI Classics
  9. Sofia Gubaidulina, Canticle of the Sun (1997) Nicolas Altstaedt, Violoncello Andrei Pushkarev, Percussion Rihards Zaļupe, Percussion, Rostislav Krimer, Celesta, Riga Chamber Choir Kamēr…, Māris Sirmais, Conductor ECM records
  10. Sofia Gubaidulina, Am Rande des Abgrunds (On the Edge of an Abyss, 2002) Julius Berger, Niklas Eppinger, Aleksandra Ohar, Diego Garcia, Yoonha Choi, Yoon-Jung Hwang, Tai-yang Zhang: violoncelli. Sofia Gubaidulina, Victor Suslin: waterphones WERGO
  11. Sofia Gubaidulina, Dialog: Ich und Du (2018)
    Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Vadim Repin, violin)
    Andres Mustonen, conductor
    June 2019, Wien, Grosser Musikvereinssaal (archival recording)

Note that only brief excerpts from each piece are quoted in the program. Please consider purchasing complete recordings at the links above.

mp3 file download

Works cited

Aygi, Gennady and Peter France. Selected Poems: 1954-1994. Angel: 1997.
Gubaidulina, Sofia. Letter to Victor Suslin, May 24, 1983, Paul Sacher Stiftung, Sofia Gubaidulina Collection.
Kholopova, Valentina. Sofia Gubaidulina. Moscow: Kompozitor, 2008.
Kurtz, Michael. Sofia Gubaidulina: a biography. Translated by Christoph K. Lohmann; edited by Malcolm Hamrick Brown. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. Originally published in German as Sofia Gubaidulina: eine Biografie. Stuttgart: Urachhaus, 2001.
Licht, Viktor and Elena Dolinskaya. “Dialog o festival.” Sovetskaya muzyka no 3 (1983): 2-27.
Lukomsky, Vera and Sofia Gubaidulina. “My Desire Is Always to Rebel, to Swim against the Stream!” Perspectives of New Music. 36, No. 1 (Winter, 1998): 5-41.
_____________________. “’The Eucharist in My Fantasy’: Interview with Sofia Gubaidulina.” Tempo, New Series (Sep., 1998): 29-37.
Martynov, Vladimir. Avtoarkheologiya 1978–1998. Moscow: Klassika-XXI, 2012.
Munipov, Alexei. Fermata: razgovory s kompozitorami. Moscow: Novoe iztatelstvo, 2019.
Nesterenko, Oksana “A Forbidden Fruit? Religion, Spirituality and Music in the USSR Before Its Fall (1964–1991)” (Ph.D. diss., Stony Brook University, 2021).
Nesterenko, Oksana. “Vertical Time in Sofia Gubaidulina’s Hommage a TS Eliot” (MA thesis, Stony Brook University, 2013).
Ortmeier, Philipp. Symbol und Wirklichkeit im Schaffen von Sofia Gubaidulina. Passau: Klinger, 2011.
Smith, Jenna. “Sofia Gubaidulina’s violin concerto Offertorium: theology and music in dialogue” (PhD Dissertation, Université de Montréal, 2010).
Restagno, Enzo and Sofia Gubaidulina. “Zhyzn’ Pamyati: Sofia Gubaidulina Beseduet s Enzo Restagno.” In Sofia Gubaiduluna, edited by Valentina Kholopova. Moscow: Kompozitor, 2008.

©2021 by Extended Techniques. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “Episode #4 Heaven and Earth of Sofia Gubaidulina

  1. Pingback: Heaven and Earth of Sofia Gubaidulina  – Avant Music News

  2. Pingback: The Heaven and Earth of Sofia Gubaidulina | Extended Techniques Podcast

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