Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912) is regarded as 'the father of Ukrainian classical music'. As did Bartók later in Hungary, he went out into the field, listened to what the people were singing and fashioned an individual musical language that brought together the styles of Chopin and Liszt and the essence of Ukrainian folksong. This CD presents his complete output of music for violin and piano, complemented by a new work for violin and piano commissioned to display the lyrical riches of Lysenko's songs.
Solomia Soroka, violin; Arthur Greene, piano;
Spring Kaleidoscope https://d3i77y9w5vf4up.cloudfront.net/TOCC0177/08.mp3
Catalogue No: TOCC0177EAN/UPC: 5060113441775Release Date: 10.03.2015Composer: Mykola Lysenko Artists: Arthur Greene, Solomia Soroka
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Robert Maxham :
Toccata’s compilation of music written for violin and piano (or arranged for that combination) by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko opens with a performance of his Second Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes, transcribed by Vadym Stetsenko from the original version for piano. This deeply ethnically colored work showcases the throaty lower registers of Solomia Soroka’s violin. … According to the notes, Lysenko wrote the Fantasy on Two Ukranian Themes for either violin or flute with piano. Solomia and her husband, pianist Arthur Greene, endow its opening theme with fresh, ruddy charm and play exuberantly throughout. … For this recording, composer Victor Kaminsky compiled and arranged 10 of Lysenko’s songs into a suite, Spring Kaleidoscope. Some, like “I Rose at Dawn” (the second), based on a text by Panteleimon Kulisch, seem exceptionally moving in the instrumentation of violin and piano. To this song, Soroka brings such a strong emotional ambiance that her tone production almost chokes, especially in the lower registers. … She masters the double-stops in “Do not Look at the Moon in Spring” and in “A Mist Across the Valley,” the second of these originally based on a text by Tamas Svechenko. “Spring Awoke in My Heart” brings a joyous conclusion to the set. … The notes point out that the difficult piano part almost overwhelms the violin solo; but the sturdy Soroka is hard to blow over, even with a gale wind such as Greene creates. Those interested in the origins of music in the Ukraine, as well as those simply interested in an effective program of violin music (billed as first recordings), sympathetically performed, should enjoy the first part of the duo’s recital; yet, in the suite arranged by Kaminsky, they’ll reach the musical heart of the program. Warmly recommended across the board. —Fanfare Magazine, September 2015
Gerald Fenech :
“… Lysenko wrote for the violin rarely and spasmodically, indeed his entire oeuvre includes only a few pieces for the instrument, and some are only transcriptions of original piano works. This programme embraces all of these works in the genre and something extra too. The music is highly romantic and full of catchy tunes, and the Second Rhapsody on Ukrainian Themes, the Elegiac Capriccio and Fantasy on Two Ukrainian Themes, the three main pieces on this disc that are Lysenko’s own, display the superb craftsmanship of the composer and his virtuosic gifts of composition.” —Daily Classical Music, September 2015
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