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of lavender light
for eleven players


flute (doubling alto flute), oboe, clarinet in A (doubling bass clarinet), horn, tuba, harp, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass



Year of composition:


Commissioned by:



Lontano, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez

Cheltenham International Festival of Music, Town Hall, Cheltenham, 8 July 1997

Published by:

Recorded by:

Lontano, conducted by Odaline de la Martinez (fire dressed in black: Silvina Milstein Chamber Works, LORELT, LNT129)

And it is impossible not to notice the patch of lavender light that devours the rungs of the great green armchair, the old armchair woven with green straw, even though one may not notice it immediately… For it seems that the focal point is placed elsewhere, and its source appears to be strangely obscene, like a secret whose key Van Gogh must have kept on his person.


Antonin Artaud, Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society (trans. Mary Beach)


In of lavender light … I have explored unfolding musical motives, gestures, and phrases against harmonically static textures, which function as pedal points. The continuously proliferating lines and embellishments heard throughout eventually dissolve into a melody played by a violin, its contours carrying memories of an Argentinian popular song.



… Milstein loves fantastical poetic imagery, and the music is saturated with them: blue tigers, Hindu temples, the 'lavender light' in Van Gogh's paintings.


Ivan Hewitt, BBC Music Magazine



Silvina Milstein’s music is many-layered and complex, but alluring – its colours multifarious, its ideas built from rich melodic and harmonic palettes … the poetic fluidity of of lavender light…


Stephen Pettitt, Sunday Times


… Milstein controls the contrasts in tone and texture admirably …


Guy Rickards, Tempo 63 (250), 2009

Lontano, conducted by  Odaline de la Martinez, excerpt
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