29 Jan 2019

Elena KATS-CHERNIN: Spirit and the Maiden

From Music Alive, 7:40 pm on 29 January 2019

A young girl falls in love and dances with a water spirit.

  • Listen duration 14:50

Performed by NZTrio – Benjamin Baker (violin), Ashley Brown (cello), Stephen De Pledge (piano).

Elena Kats-Chernin

Elena Kats-Chernin Photo: supplied

Elena Kats-Chernin has based this piece on a Russian fairy-tale about a young girl whose job it is to fetch water for her village from a well.

One day as she rests at the well, her turquoise shawl – a gift from her grandmother, rumoured to be a witch – slips from her shoulders into the cold waters. She reaches down to grab it, but grasps instead a hand.

She pulls and up comes a beautiful young man, the water spirit. She falls in love and dances with the spirit, but he soon begins to evaporate in the noon-day sun down to a single drop.

She carefully places him back into the well but is pulled down into the depths herself. She blissfully accepts the drowning, but the spirit is grief-stricken at what he’s done. He wraps her in the shawl, takes her back to the surface and changes her into a water lilac.

Recorded by RNZ Concert in Q Loft Theatre, 25 September 2018
Producer: Tim Dodd; Engineer: Rangi Powick