8. Jul, 2024

Three Anna Akhmatova Songs

Here are my three songs set to three poems by the Russian poetess Anna Akhmatova, one of the most important Russian poets of her time.

Anna Akhmatova was born in Odessa, Ukraine. She endured silencing, censorship, and persecution. Her first husband was murdered, her only son was imprisoned for ten years, and her third husband died in a concentration camp. But Stalin was said to fear Anna Akhmatova, because she could fill any auditorium when she advertised a poetry reading. Regína Stefnisdóttir translated the three poems into Icelandic. Bjarni Thor Kristinsson bass and Ástríður Alda Sigurðardóttir piano premiered Ekki land mitt (A Land Not Mine) at a concert in Harpa in Reykkjavík on September 3, 2023. You may hear a short reference to Boris Godunov there. The other two songs, Lokaskálin (The Last Toast) and Þrumur muntu heyra (You Will Hear Thunder), await their premiere.

Here is the sheet music (Sibelius):