The Rest is Noise: The Music of Alexander Knaifel

The Rest is Noise: The Music of Alexander Knaifel

Drogheda Borough Council in association with Louth Contemporary Music Society for Drogheda Arts Festival present

The Rest is Noise: The Music of Alexander Knaifel
1 May 2009 

Russian composer brings new work to world premiere in Drogheda Louth Ireland 

The haunting music of Russian-born composer Alexander Knaifel is coming to County Louth with two world premieres of his music in a celebration called ‘The Rest is Noise’.T he work of the St Petersburg composer will be performed at St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Drogheda on the 1st May, as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival.

A number of world renowned musicians will perform Knaifel’s works. The virtuoso violinist Elizabeth Cooney, will perform ‘To EF and the Three calling cards of the Poet’, the first Irish commission from Knaifel, along with cellist Elisabeth Wilson and violist Joachim Roewer.

The evening will also include the first Irish performance by internationally renowned Russian pianist Oleg Malov, who has performed in some of the most important festivals of contemporary music in Europe. Oleg Malov will perform the world premiere of A Mad Tea-party Royal version.

The deeply expressive Irish Callino Quartet will also perform some of Knaifel’s hauntingly beautiful music, including ‘O Heavenly King’ with soprano Patricia Rozario.

Organised by Drogheda Borough Council in association with Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) for Drogheda Arts Festival, the performances will be a major musical event for Ireland.

Eamonn Quinn, of LCMS, spoke about the forthcoming event. “We are proud to be able to attract such major contemporary musical events to the area and host such high calibre composers who have chosen to premiere their work in Ireland.Alexander Knaifel is a contemporary of Arvo Part, who’s spiritual music was also brought to the area by the LCMS and featured at performances in Dundalk and Drogheda last year,” said Quinn.

“Knaifel started his career as a cellist and is a former student of Mstislav Rostropovich. He is well-known for both his serious compositions and also his film music, having scored over forty feature films.In the 1970’s he embarked on a quest through his compositions for purity of tone and music of calm, tranquillity and beauty that touch upon mystical questions like the nature of love,” explained Quinn.“The pieces that will be performed in the ‘Rest is Noise’ recital show just how much he has achieved this quest.”

The Rest is Noise: the music of Alexander Knaifel is presented by Drogheda Borough Council in association with Louth Contemporary Music Society (LCMS) for Drogheda Arts Festival. The Rest is Noise is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon and financially supported by the Drogheda Arts Office, the Louth Arts Office and Fáilte Ireland. 

Tickets €15 on sale:

  • from the Central Ticket Bureau
    0818 205 205  UK callers– 0870 850 2896 or international calls – +353 (0)1 872 1122
  • from Highlanes Gallery Laurence St, Drogheda 10am-6pm Monday to Saturday. Sundays 12-5pm Telephone: 00353 41 9807114
  • on the door on the night


1. Nativity (2003)

             Oleg Malov, piano

 2. Ostinati by violin and cello (1964)

             Elizabeth Cooney, violin and Elizabeth Wilson, cello     

3. “O Heavenly King”, Prayer to the Holy Spirit (1994)     

              Patricia Rozario, soprano, Oleg Malov, piano and Callino Quartet     

4. In Clear and Unseen Air”  (with Tyutchev, piano and string quartet) (1994)

            1. In Some Exhausted Reverie

            2. An Autumn Evening

            3. In Air Clear and Unseen

             Oleg Malov and Callino Quartet     


5. Confession by piano with a poem (2003)

Oleg Malov

6. This Child (1997)

Oleg Malov, piano

7. E.F. and three visiting cards of the poet  (2008) [world premiere] – quasi postscriptum

Elizabeth Wilson, cello, Elizabeth Cooney, violin and Joachim Roewer, viola

8. A Mad Tea-Party, Royal version  (2007) [world premier] – quasi postpostscriptum

Oleg Malov, piano


“No other composer from today’s Russia has embraced mysticism in such a rigorous way as Knaifel…He is, without any doubt, one of the most fascinating and challenging artistic figures in modern Russia –
Tatjana Rexroth, MusikTexte, Germany

“one of the most important revelations of recent years”, “sparse, exquisitely refined music” 
International Record Review.

“So quiet, so slow-moving, yet so beautiful”. American Record Guide

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