Listening to the music of Lera Auerbach, we are immediately touched by several impressions. First, that we’ve been waiting our entire lives for this music. And it has such emotion, such soul, it so floods the space around us, that a second impression soon follows, that of the great multiplicity of the music’s facets, its meanings. At some point Bach, having failed to become a discoverer of new paths, grew instead into the embodiment of an enormous musical language—of all that had gone on in Europe before him. In the English Suites, the French Suites, in him—that is, in Bach—we find the spirit of Italy, the Spirit of Vivaldi, the spirit of the Reformation and of the protestant choir; in other words, Bach, in his work, brought many different runnels and rivers flowing into one another, merging into the singular “ocean” of his—that is, of Bach’s—music. When I listen to Lera Auerbach’s music, I cannot help feeling we have received a comparable gift. Without daring to compare Bach and Lera Auerbach in terms of their importance to world music, I can confidently say that we see before us not just a polystylist, but one who has brought the most disparate tendencies together, successfully merging them under a single roof—tonality alongside atonalism, Russian melodicism alongside Mahlerian, the elements of ancient cultures combined with the simplest children’s songs. And together with all of this are colossal structures—whether of the late-romantic sensibility, or of the twentieth century itself . . .
Translated from the Russian by Ian Drieblatt