London: Privately Printed, 1991.
Large folio (441 x 317 mm). Original black cloth-backed colored paper boards by Vogt. 1f. (half-title), 1f. (title), 10 ff. (5 full-page etchings of poems by Ratushinskaya in Russian followed by their English translations), 128, [i] (note on commission and first performance), 1f. (composer's note on the poetry), [i] (orchestration), [ii] (biographies of Ratushinskaya, Vogt, and Elias), [i] (blank), 1f. (acknowledgements and limitation statement) pp. + 5 ff. etched poems by Vogt. Music in facsimile of the composer's autograph. Printed on handmade paper. In original full black cloth slipcase.
With autograph signatures in pencil of Elias, Ratushinskaya, and Vogt to lower margin of limitation statement.
Boards very slightly worn and warped. Occasional light soiling to blank upper margins.
An exceptionally good copy overall.
Limited to 35 numbered copies and 7 proof copies, this number 25. Rare (2 copies only, one in the British Library and the other at the Royal Academy of Music).
The Five Songs were commissioned by the BBC for the 1988-89 Winter Season and first performed at the Royal Festival Hall on April 23, 1989 by Elizabeth Laurence and the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lothar Zagrosek. The songs " show [Elias] in command of a technique able to clothe words in emotionally descriptive music that places the work alongside the great orchestral song cycles of the past." Susan Bradshaw in Grove Music Online.
Elias was educated at the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Searle, Bernhard Stevens, and privately with Elisabeth Lutyens. For a time he earned his living as a statistician in New York and London. In 1979 he resumed a full-time career as a composer and freelance teacher.
The artist, Andres Vogt, was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1945. His artwork is held in collections in the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Israel.
For her incendiary poems and political activism, Ratushinskaya was arrested by the KGB and sentenced to seven years' hard labor in 1983. In 1986, on the eve of the Reykjavik summit between President Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachov, she was released. The poems in this collection were written between 1978 and 1982.
Price: $1,500.00 other currencies