Music for the Missing Butterflies

Im Mittelpunkt der außergwöhnlichen Einspielung “Music for the Missing Butterflies” des Ensemble Metamorphosis stehen bewegende Werke ex-jugosloawischer und ex-sowjetischer Komponisten aller Generationen.

Although written at radically different times, each of these compositions reads as a response to humanity's present struggles and the capacity of the human mind and heart to face uncertainty and restlessness. The human capacity for creation and rebirth was the central guiding idea in compiling this programme. The range of emotional states can be traced through the works in this edition, from endurance, resistance, adaptability, acceptance and fear to confrontation and forgiveness.

The pieces

Arvo Pärt:Silouan's Song(1991)


This short work for string orchestra is based on a religious text by St. Silouan (1866–1938), a Russian monk from Mount Athos. Both the melody and rhythm is based on this text, which is characteristic of Pärt's tintinnabuli works, so that the music could also be sung. Subtitled My soul yearns after the Lord, the message of this sincere poetic text is conveyed using extremely ascetic and reduced sound. The work premiered in Rättvik, Sweden, in July 1991 at the Music at Lake Siljan Festival. It is a regular repertoire piece of Ensemble Metamorphosis.

Vladimir Trmčić:Psalm 23(2014)


Asceticism and the reduction of musical means in instrumental writing are ideas also intertwined in the subsequent works presented. The use of text and/or vocality is another connecting point for the compositions. Although originally written for soprano, oboe, and organ, several differently arranged versions already exist. The soprano and string orchestra version presented in this edition results from the author's collaboration with Ensemble Metamorphosis and its artistic director Saša Mirković. "Written on a spiritual text, this composition aims to express the author's interpretation of the essence that the psalm itself seeks to convey – that even in the most challenging moments of life, regardless of all temptations and tribulations, there is solace. Written as a prayer, the composition itself contains the musical reflections of the Renaissance and Baroque era, which, passed through the prism of minimalism, as well as the more modern treatment of chords in the modal scale, give the whole piece a contemporary expression."

Ana Gnjatović:Music for Missing Butterflies(2021)


The album's titling work for string orchestra, is "dedicated to the worlds of small sounds and sounds behind the music that we write off before we get to know them." The piece was written for the concert series of Ensemble Metamorphosis in the winter of 2021. "Science estimates that many yet undiscovered species are on the verge of extinction. Butterflies have four wings and, between them, a long thin heart.

One of the ideas behind this piece is to create an immersive soundscape without the use of electronics. The musicians whisper, murmur and sing softly, rustle with hands and fingers and fill the room in a special way

DmitriShostakovich: String Quartet No. 8


Although the piece differs from the other tracks on the album in its year of composition and musical language, its subdued, often somber sonority and universal message (the score is dedicated "To the Memory of the Victims of Fascism and War") make it more relevant than ever.

One of Shostakovich's most popular works, the String Quartet No. 8 was adapted by Rudolf Barshai, conductor of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, with the author's special permission in 1967. The five-movement symphony contains numerous auto-quotes from earlier symphonic, concerto and chamber works, as well as reminiscences of themes by other composers. The whole piece, both intimate and universal, is imbued with Shostakovich's musical cryptogram D.Sch.

Participating artists

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