Ukrainian music of the 20th century

Igor Shamo
Gutzul Watercolors, Prelude, Humoresque
Yakov Stepovoy
Cossack's Song, Lullaby
Boris Lyatoshinsky
Five Preludes
Valentin Silvestrov
Five Pieces

Tatyana Ryabchikova, piano

Catalog #S022571CD [DDD]

Program Notes

Since 1654, the year of unification of Russia and Ukraine, Ukraine and its' people have lived in the overpowering shadow of Russia. Under Soviet regime this became even more pronounced. Despite this Ukraine has produced quite a few master-composers who might have enjoyed world-wide fame and recognition if it was not for the policies of the Soviet government. Now that the Ukrainian people have embraced their newly found freedom Ukrainian arts and music can be brought out from the shadow and into the light of freedom. The music recorded on this album reflects different periods in Ukrainian history of the 20th century.

Boris Lyatoshinsky was a great post-romantic composer whose brilliant symphonies have already found their way to the West but whose piano compositions are virtually unknown. Igor Shamo (Ihor Shamo) was Boris Lyatoshinsky's student at the Kiev Conservatory. His works have a definitive Ukrainian flavor even though he has never quoted Ukrainian folk tunes preferring to use his own melodic material. In contrast to that Yakov Stepovoy (Yakiv Stepoviy) based most of his compositions on original Ukrainian folk songs and dances that are full of simple charm and eternal sadness. During the years since the Soviet Union fell many Ukrainian composers embraced new ways of expressing themselves. Valentin Silvestrov is one of these artists. Most of his works are atonal. Some works including the selections on this album are written in the 12-tone system.


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