Ukrainian Sacred Music of the 18th century

Odessa Chamber Choir
Vladimir Koshkin, Music Director

Catalog #S022574CD [DDD]

Program Notes

Maxim (Sozontovich) Berezovsky (1745-1777) was born in Gluhov, Ukraine. Very little is known about his life except for a few bare facts. He studied at the Kiev Ecclesiastic Academy and attracted attention by his lyric voice. In 1765 he was sent by the Russian government to Bologna for further study and became a pupil of Padre Martini. His musical talents were recognized in Europe and his opera "Demofoonte" was staged in Livorno and Bologna in 1773. He became well-known in Ukraine and Russia for his choral compositions especially Sacred Choral Concerti. His famous Sacred Choral Concerto "Do not repudiate me in my old age" became a classic and later influenced Bortnyansky, Vedel and other composers of liturgical music. While he did not use Italian operatic styles in his Christian music he nonetheless brought the technical skills of counterpoint and harmony to bear on it. His style of writing was considered innovative at the time as in his sacred works he followed the natural accents of the Russian and Ukrainian text. Upon his return to Russia he could not find a position in the field of vocal teaching and opera as most such jobs were taken by Italian musicians. He became depressed and committed suicide in the prime of his life at the age of 32. Most of his compositions were lost. A few that survived are known exclusively in Ukraine and Russia. This disc contains cycles of liturgies and sacramental verses Berezovsky wrote while living in Italy.


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