Three Concertos for Bandura and Symphony Orchestra by Yuriy Oliynyk
A NEW HISTORIC BANDURA RECORDING
This recording will make an excellent addition to your Christmas present list. It is a CD of historic significance, since it is the first ever to feature original music for the concert bandura and symphony orchestra.
The CD includes three concertos for bandura and orchestra by Yuriy Oliynyk. Ola Herasymenko Oliynyk, the bandura virtuoso featured as a soloist in these performances is the first professional bandurist to appear with both American and European symphony orchestras. Perhaps the fact, that Ola, the performer, and Yuriy, the composer, are married to each other has presented an ideal opportunity to create new repertoire for this unique instrument. Ola performs on an instrument custom built by her father, professor Vasyl Herasymenko, who is teaching graduate students at the Lviv Lysenko Higher Institute of Music and has devoted the last 40 years of his life to designing and building the most advanced concert banduras now highly sought by concert artists in Ukraine and abroad.
The recordings were done with the "Lviv Philharmonic" Orchestra and the "Lviv Virtuosos" Orchestra conducted by National Artist Prof. Yuriy Luciw and Honored Artist Serhiy Burko.
Both, the soloist, Ola Herasymenko Oliynyk, and the composer, Yuriy Oliynyk, were recently awarded honorable citations by the Ukrainian government in Kyiv for special contribution to Ukrainian culture abroad.
Concerto No. 1 became known as "American" after it was revealed that the composer, although born in Ukraine, has spent most of his life in the United States. It consists of three contrasting movements. The melodies retain Ukrainian character in a neo-romantic style. In this elaborate composition, the bandura and the orchestra complement each other in a tense, dramatic succession. The bandura gets plenty of time to show off its artistic possibilities while playing together with the orchestra and also alone in the cadenza sections.
Concerto No. 2, the "Romantic", contains many subtle quotations of ancient Ukrainian melodies that Mrs. Oliynyk likes so much. Again, the bandura is featured prominently against the orchestral texture. The music is romantic, full of unexpected changes and is beautifully performed both by the soloist and the orchestra. The driving tempo in the final movement conveys a breathless mood.
Concerto No. 4, the "Trypillian", pays tribute to the Trypillian culture which flourished in Ukraine between 6000 and 1000 BC. It is full of innovative sounds, both in the bandura and the orchestra. Ukrainian music often expresses joyful moods with minor tonality and somber or sorrowful moods with major tonality. The major and minor tonalities coexist in this concerto, sometimes simultaneously, and sometimes in an alternating mode. This is reminiscent of the ancient modality in early Ukrainian music.
The CD and the cassette offers titles in English and Ukrainian, as well, as the duration times. Biographical information about the performers, the selections and the composer is included in the insert. The total recording time is 64 minutes and 8 seconds.