28 Contrasts. Praeludium

Saturday 01.10.2022 / 20:00

Концертний зал Людкевича




 staged song recital

Dedicated to Maria Kalesnikava and to all Ukrainian and Belarusian victims
of the totalitarian, cynical and cruel regimes in Russia and Belarus.


Consuming and being consumed as a metaphor: from yearning, almost allegorical eating to “bloodthirsty consuming” via “being consumed” to “sacrificing oneself” as a grim catharsis. Similarly existential to Sven Ingo Koch’s “Simple Songs & Lieder des Verzehrens”, written together with the lyricist Jan Wagner, are four other cycles commissioned by the exceptional artist Viktoriia Vitrenko for her LIMBO project. The image of the singer accompanying herself on the piano as the most intimate expression concentrated on herself describes the “limbo”, the state of suspension into which the pandemic has placed us. More song than art song, the vocal works reveal various psychological states of being in-between.

The play on closeness and distance, loneliness and global location reflect not only the artist’s situation of pandemic seclusion, but also the threatening situation in her native Ukraine (in Alla Zagaykevych’s song cycle “Signs of Presence” now became a global catastrophe just a few weeks later after the premiere on 06 February 2022) and the isolation of the resistance fighter in the prison cell: LIMBO is dedicated to the Belarusian colleague and friend Maria Kalesnikava, who was recently sentenced to 11 years in prison. The theme of irrational limbo thus takes on a dramatic, very real dimension.

Texts of the vocal cycles


  • Victoriia Vitrenko, vocals, piano and performance
  • Titus Selge, stage director
  • Astrid Eisenberger, costume designer



  • Agata Zubel (1978). Three songs for prepared piano and voice without words (2021)
  • Alla Zagaykevych (1966). “Signs of Presence” for voice and piano after Iia Kyva (2021)
  • Ying Wang (1976). “Illuminations” for voice, piano and tape (2022)
  • Sven-Ingo Koch (1974). “Simple Songs” & “Lieder des Verzehrens” for voice and piano. Dedicated to Jan Wagner (2020–2021)
  • Maksym Shalygin (1985). «Lieder der Heilgen Narren», vocal cycle for voice and piano (2009/10)


With the support of Goethe-Institut Ukraine

The project is created with the support of Musikfonds/Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung in the program NEUSTART KULTUR in cooperation with Musik der Jahrhunderte e.V.

Moderator: Polina Kordovska


Live broadcast provided by:
Andrij Zelenyj, camera
Mykola Khshanovskyi, live broadcast director
Marian Lesiuk, sound director
Bohdan Sehin, producer



“Ukraine–2022. Muses Are Not Silent” is a concert series in support of Ukrainian musicians during the russian armed aggression. Online concerts will become a platform for the uniting of the Ukrainian music community, as many musicians participating in these concert programs have become internally displaced people and have found shelter in Lviv.

We provide a free opportunity for the whole world to watch concerts on the official YouTube channel of the Lviv National Philharmonic. At the same time, we suggest our listeners from abroad make charitable donations to Ukrainian musicians who have stayed here in Ukraine.