Alexander Levine


And the Line Was Drawn
for unaccompanied choir

duration: 11 minutes

And the Line Was Drawn is a part of the cycle "KOVOKOVA" for unaccompanied choir. The title of the cycle "KOVOKOVA" translates into English as "Bells" and the image of bells goes throughout the whole cycle, which was conceived as a spiritual projection of various aspects of human existence with a wide range of historical, religious and Russian folklore references. Thus, And the Line Was Drawn alludes to the theme of this century's wars, with focus on human emotional and existential experience (the lyric is by a contemporary Russian poet E. Gorboskaia.)

This is a story about two people, a Man and a Woman, caught in the midst of the war. It is a farewell at the railway station where the train is bound for the front-line and the fate seems unavoidable. However it is neither the Man nor the Woman who play the main part in this drama. There is a "figure in the background": their intuition, their "absolute knowledge" of what is going to happen and their spiritual insight embracing the time: what is happening now happened million times before throughout the centuries and will be happening in the future to others who might even be not born yet. This intuition is unmistakable they feel the power of the fate which is going to tear their lives apart. But still they don't give up on changing or at least challenging the fate at this very last moment. It is a mere few minutes before the train leaves (and we feel that it is never going to come back). The Woman feels that only together they would be able to overcome the fate, and the piece starts on this emotional upsurge. The Woman urges the Man to swear that he won't be killed - in an almost ritual way as if the words have the power to change the future. This moment is the pivotal point - And the Line Was Drawn - beyond which begins the spiritual experience of the person who gives this promise and the faith of the two people is put on trail.

Alexander Levine was born in Moscow. He studied piano from the age of 7 at the Gnessin Music School and later he took up the clarinet. Upon graduation he was offered a place at the Moscow Gnessin Music Academy where he studied in 1976-1980. During these years he also held a position of Principal Clarinet in the Orchestra of Russian National Orchestra of Radio and Television and shortly after joining the Orchestra he began to contribute as arranger and composer.

In the following years he established himself as a composer working in collaboration with a variety of orchestras in Russia, theatres, television and film industry. His compositions won awards of the all-Russia Annual Prise of the National Radio and Television in 1989/1990/1991.

Since 1992 Alexander Levine lives in the UK. In 1993-1995 he studied on the Advanced Postgraduate Composition Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also did his MA in Composition at the GSMD in 1995.

In 1994 he was commissioned to write incidental music for the GSMD production of War and Peace (Director Peter Clough), which was performed live by symphony orchestra on stage. "The Times" commented on this work: "It is not often you go to the theatre and get an orchestra thrown in: not providing cues for numbers but underscoring dialogue with a grand swell, like a soundtrack for the big screen" (Kate Basset, The Times, October 29th , 1994)

His successful collaboration with the GSMD Theatre continued and in 1995 he was engaged as music director on the restoration of The Beggar's Opera, and in 1996 Alexander Levine composed the incidental music for the GSMD production of Love's Labour's Lost (Director Di Trevis).
At present Alexander Levine works mainly in the field of contemporary music. His music is performed and broadcast in the UK and abroad.

Back to shortlist.