The title, Glossolalie, is the plural form of Glossolalia, the Greek word meaning the gift of speaking with tongues. The reference is to the Feast of Pentecost, when “suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind... and there appeared... cloven tongues like as of fire” and the Apostles were suddenly able to speak in many languages. This describes the key episode in the history of Christianity when Christianity became a world religion.
Glossolalie is a work in a single movement. Out of the quietly flickering textures of the beginning it builds to a savage climax, where the different sections of the orchestra seem to be hurling themselves against each other. At the end, the music dies away to a mysterious tolling of the bells over a distant pulsing. The work is composed in the dodecaphonic technique and based on a single series.
The work was awarded the Main and Special Prizes at the Third International Composers' Competition Kazimierz Serocki, Poland; among the jury members there were Krzysztof Penderecki (chairman), Gunter Schuller, François-Bernard Mâche, and Zygmund Krauze. The premiere of the work took place in 1990 at the festival Warsaw Autumn, the performers were the Baltic Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble conducted by Paweł Przytocki.
© 2000 by Oleksandr Shchetynsky