Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ukrainian Bandura Chorus - Choral Music Of The Ukraine

Side 1

1. Song Of Juri Tjutjunnyk
(Kytasty; Bahrrianyi)

Soloists: Petro Sadowy, baritone; Ivan Hosch, tenor
2. Cossack Song
(Folklore, arr. Kytasty)

3. The Vow
(Folklore, arr. Kytasty)

Soloists: Mychaslo Minsky, baritone; Mykola Buchkowsky, tenor

4. The Singing Forest

(Folklore, arr. Kytasty)

5. Kolomyjka
(Folklore, arr. Hnatyschyn)

Side 2

1. Church Bells

(Folklore, arr. Kontzevytsch)

Soloists: Ivan Samokysch, baritone
2. Cossack Song In Captivity


Soloist: Mykola Buchkowsky, tenor
3. Evening Peace

(Stetzenko; Samijlenko)

Soloist: Bohdan Tschaplynsky, tenor

4. Hymn Of The Cherubs


The Singing Forest

Sung and played by the Ukrainian Bandura Choir The artistic tasks of the direction of the choir are shared by W. Boshyk and H. Kytasty. Whereas Boshyk is the experienced choir specialist, who also conducts the ensemble on this record, Kytasty is the bandura specialist who directs, teaches and helps the instrumentalists. Most of the folk-song arrangements for the Bandura Choir are also from his pen. The choir and its directors today live in Detroit, U.S.A. Wolodymyr Boshyk Hryhori Kytasty

This record is a document in sound of the first European tour of the Ukrainian Bandura Choir. Encouraged by its extraordinary successes in the United States, the country which has since 1945, become a new home for the choir, the ensemble gave its first guest performances int the leading concert halls of Western Europe in the winter of 1958-59. Here again the choir aroused the greatest enthusiasm wherever it performed, and the public and the critics were by no means sparing with their praise.

This phonograph record reproduces the essential and best parts of the program performed on the tour. When one hears the items the secret of the choir's success is revealed automatically, for we find ourselves listening to an ensemble which, in spite of the most skillful and cunning application of its stupendous vocal material, has retained its feeling for an authentic and vital folk-art and for a passionate and natural spirit. This special quality is intensified by the fact that most of the singers accompany themselves with great virtuosity on an old Ukrainian plucked instrument, the bandura. We immediately hear int the first song, which dates from the period of the Ukraine's struggle for liberation after 1918 and tells of the brave peasant Juri Tiutiunnyk, how important the stirring off-beat rhythms of the banduras are for the piece's effectiveness. One the other hand, the "Cossack Song" impresses us with its purely choral performance whereas "The Vow" displays not only the high vocal culture and the astonishing depth of its basses. In the duet we hear the lament of a pair of lovers who cannot marry because the girl is already engaged to someone else against her will. "The Singing Forest" is, by way of contrast, a lively rustic love-song. The first side of the record closes with the dance-song "Kolomyika". The singing becomes increasingly fast and ecstatic until the coir, in a humorous parody, gets completely out of breath.

"The Church Bells", which now follows, is one of the favorite and most effective pieces of all East European choirs. Its performance invites comparison with that of other ensembles, so the work should on no account be missing here. "Cossack Song In Captivity" is a typical folk-song ballad: "Cossack held captive in the Orient praise the sun and the freedom of their native land, and are suddenly heard by the Sultan. He, however, has still heavier chains forget for them. "Evening Peace" depicts the mood at sunset in the Ukrainian countryside, leading to the fitting close of the concert with Bortnyansky's famous "Hymn Of The Chrubs".

Hryhory Kytasty

Wolodymyr Boshyk

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