“There are very few recordings available on general release of music by the Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk, so I am delighted to redress such an undeserved neglect with this fine recording. I am confident that this release will help raise Myroslav Skoryk's status from national artist to that of an internationally acclaimed musical voice for his country.”
- Klaus Heymann, founding chairman of Naxos
“The heart of the CD might well be Skoryk’s Melody. This composition is so well-known throughout Ukraine that most people are certain it is native folk music. Very few laymen realize Melody is in fact an original composition by a living composer. I remember sitting with Skoryk outside a café in downtown Kiev a year ago, where a trio of street musicians happened to be playing his Melody, and asking the young waitress if she knew who wrote the music they were playing. Although she knew the music, she had no idea who the composer might be. When I told her the elderly gentleman sitting opposite me was the composer, the expression on her face was simply unforgettable.”
Myroslav Skoryk holds the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine and is one of his country’s outstanding composers. Both the Cello Concerto and the Seventh Violin Concerto combine bittersweet lyricism with explosive dynamic contrasts. With its swinging rhythms and folk-music pungency the Carpathian Concerto is one of Skoryk’s most engaging and popular works. The pensive Melody for strings propelled him to the forefront of Ukrainian music, while the slapstick in his transcription of Paganini’s Caprice No. 19 reveals the composer’s humorous side. These live recordings were made at Myroslav Skoryk’s 75th anniversary concerts in Odessa.
Listen to an extract from Skoryk's Melody
Listen to Raymond Bisha's podcast, Myroslav Skoryk - at the musical heart of Ukraine
About the Composer
Myroslav Skoryk completed his PhD at Moscow Conservatory with Dmitri Kabalevsky. He won the prestigious Shevchenko Prize and holds the title People’s Artist of Ukraine. Skoryk’s output embraces biblical and philosophical worlds, classical and the avant-garde and Carpathian melodies and jazz rhythms. In his compositions from the 1960s, ideas brought him to a musical crossroad where classical genres and folk traditions intertwined with contemporary music and techniques. His compositions, including various sacred pieces, jazz improvisations and music for children, convey his ongoing concerns with an elevated spirituality and universal beauty.
About the Artists
Hobart Earle enjoys an international reputation as a conductor with dynamic qualities. He is currently music director and principal conductor of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra. In recognition of his work with the orchestra, which he has elevated to a position of international prominence unprecedented in its history, Hobart Earle was awarded the titles of Distinguished Artist of Ukraine and People’s Artist of Ukraine, the first foreigner in the history of the country to be honoured in this way.
Founded in 1937, the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra performed regularly throughout the Soviet era, although it was not allowed to tour abroad. Following the independence of Ukraine in 1991, the orchestra’s status rose: in 1993 the Government of Ukraine formally awarded the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra federal status. Since then, the orchestra has become the first from Ukraine to cross both the Atlantic Ocean and the Equator, travelling with its music director Hobart Earle to fourteen different countries.